Local Sports

Illinois Rolls Iowa, Takes Weekend Series

The Illinois baseball team defeated Iowa 6-2 on Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 1,132 people at Duane Banks Field. 


Justin Janas continued his consistent hitting at the plate, finishing the day 5-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored. He is the first Illinois batter with five hits in a game since Jason Goldstein on May 10, 2015 vs. Rutgers.


The Illinois offense was able to get an early 2-0 lead courtesy of a Nathan Aide RBI double in the second inning and an RBI single from Janas in the third. Iowa (22-16) erased that deficit in the bottom of the third with two runs of their own.


The Illini broke through for good in the fifth inning when they put up four runs. Ryan Hampe hit a 2-run homer to left field before Taylor Jackson hit a two-out, two-run single to get the score to where it ended at 6-2.


RHP Riley Gowens (W, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, career-high 9 SO) gave the Illini a solid start and the bullpen finished the rest. LHP Alex Vera (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO), RHP Ty Rybarczyk (0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) and LHP Cole Kirschsieper (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) combined to throw the final four scoreless innings.


The Illini won two out of three in the series and have now won back-to-back series on the road. Illini southpaw Nathan Lavender dominated on Saturday afternoon in Illinois' 14-1 victory. Lavender struck out the side in the first, third and fifth innings, striking out 13 for the game and earned his team-best sixth win of the season and is now tied for the second-most victories in the Big Ten.


Jackson Raper (2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R), Nathan Aide (1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Jacob Campbell (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R) led the Illini offense. 


Illinois lost Friday 5-4.


Illinois (18-19) will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, on Tuesday to play a makeup game against the Indiana Hoosiers at 2 p.m. CT.

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