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Illinois Finishes 2021 Campaign with Doubleheader Split

The Illinois baseball team closed out their season with a doubleheader split at Rutgers. The Illini ended the season at 22-22. Illinois has now finished at or above .500 in 15-of-16 seasons under head coach Dan Hartleb.


llinois came out in game one swinging. Jackson Raper was the second batter of the game and gave the Illini a 1-0 lead on a solo home run. The Illini never trailed in the contest.


Jacob Campbell (3-for-4, 2B, HR, career-high 5 RBI, 2 R) led the way offensively. In the second inning, Campbell hit a double that barely missed being a home run. Then, in the third Campbell had a bases-loaded two-run single. He would cap off his game with a three-run home run in the sixth to left field.


Brody Harding also added his first career home run in the fourth inning. Justin Janas went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Nathan Aide and Cam McDonald each contributed a pair of RBIs too.


LHP Nathan Lavender (W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 SO) had one of his best starts of the season. Lavender was in control for the entire game. His only run allowed was a solo home run in the fourth inning.


The second game got off to a good start for the Illini. They built a 2-0 lead from a Justin Janas RBI fielder's choice in the first and a Kellen Sarver solo homer in the second.


Rutgers (21-23) responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second to take the lead. The Scarlet Knights held that lead for the remainder of the game.


Jacob Campbell hit his second home run of the day in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 4-3, but that was as close as the Illini would get.


RHP Riley Gowens (L, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) suffered the loss despite some misfortune in the second inning that allowed three unearned runs to score after a two-out fielding error.

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