Local Sports
The Illinois State baseball team opens the 2017 season Friday at the Riverview Inn Governors Challenge, hosted by Austin Peay, in Clarksville, Tennessee, when it takes on Missouri Valley Conference foe Indiana State in a nonconference tilt.
 
The Redbirds will also face host Austin Peay on Saturday and Youngstown State on Sunday. All three games are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT starts.
 
Illinois State returns to the field after posting a 17-37 overall record one year ago. Head coach Bo Durkac returns for his third season at the helm and welcomes back 19 returners and 17 newcomers. Included in the group of returners is sophomore Owen Miller, who led the team in several offensive categories a year ago to earn Freshman All-America honors from a pair of national outlets.
 
Also returning to the team are three pitchers who Durkac expects to serve as his starters in this weekend's games, in right-handers Jack Landwehr, David Meade and Mitch Weis.
 
Illinois State's games at the Governors Challenge will be the first of 21-straight contests at either away or neutral sites for the Redbirds, who won't play their first home game until March 28, when they welcome Saint Louis to Duffy Bass Field.

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