The Illinois baseball team beat Saint Louis, 4-1, Tuesday in the first game of a two-game midweek series. Illinois (14-3) won its seventh straight game and tied its best 17-game start since 1959.
Illinois was led by Jeff Korte's two-hit, two-RBI day and Cam McDonald's two RBIs and two runs. Michael Massey and Jack Yalowitz also singled twice, as Illinois outhit Saint Louis 7-5.
It was a planned bullpen game for both teams with Illinois throwing four pitchers and Saint Louis sending five to the mound. Ryan Schmitt (1-0) picked up the win by throwing the fourth and fifth innings scoreless. Sean Leland followed Schmitt with an impressive three innings, allowing only one hit on a bunt and striking out six.
Aidan Maldonado started on the mound for the first time in his career and pitched around five walks in three innings to allow only one run. Garrett Acton earned his seventh save on a double play ball to shortstop Ben Troike with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth.
Saint Louis (9-10) left 11 runners on base and was held to 2-for-15 with runners on base. Illinois was only 3-for-18 with runners on but plated runs on a ground out and sac fly.
The Illini are 14-3 for the fifth time since beginning 16-1 in 1959. Illinois tied its sixth-best 17-game start in program history.
The two teams are back at Billikin Sports Complex at 3 p.m. CT Wednesday for the two-game finale.