The Illinois baseball team scored a season-high 14 runs to beat Southern Illinois, 14-5, and finish the sweep Sunday at Illinois Field. Illinois (13-3) is off to its best 16-game start since 1989.
The sweep is Illinois' fourth in the first five weekends of 2019. The 13-3 record is tied for the 10th-best start in program history.
Illinois won both games Saturday by a score of 5-4.
Illinois had 18 hits Sunday, one away from a season high, including career highs in hits from Michael Massey (4), Ben Troike (4, tied), Andrew Dyke (3) and Grant Van Scoy (3). Troike added four RBIs and three runs and Dyke and Van Scoy also scored three times. Branden Comia and Kellen Sarver both had their first career three-RBI days with all of Sarver's coming on a three-run home run to give Illinois the lead in the third inning.
After Sarver's three-run homer in the third, Illinois scored four in the fourth, three in the fifth and four more in the sixth. All 14 of Illinois' runs came during the four-inning stretch.
Illinois starting pitcher Cyrillo Watson's solid start was overshadowed by the bats, as Watson went six innings and allowed only two earned runs on four hits. Watson left with a 10-run lead before Josh Harris (1.0 IP, 0 H), Caleb Larson (1.0 IP, 0 H) and Ryan Schmitt (1.0 IP, 1 R) finished the final three frames.
Illinois' pitching staff finished the series with a 2.00 ERA and .208 batting average against. The hitters slashed .352/.405/.495 in three games, including Grant Van Scoy's .700 series average (7-10) and marks of .545 from Ben Troike (6-11) and .417 from Michael Massey (5-12).
Illinois takes its six-game winning streak to Saint Louis University for a two-game series Tuesday-Wednesday.