The Fighting Illini baseball (2-2) team fell to No. 6 Wake Forest (4-0), 10-1 Sunday afternoon at David F. Couch Ballpark.
Illinois went 2-2 in its four-game season-opening series, with both wins coming against Youngstown State and both losses coming against Wake Forest.
Wake Forest put runs on the board in both the first and second innings with a pair of solo home runs to open an early 2-0 lead, but Cam McDonald led off the fourth inning with an opposite-field solo shot of his own to halve the deficit.
The Demon Deacons extended their lead back to two runs in the fourth, before beginning to pull away in fifth, scoring twice to make it 5-1.
Illinois threatened to get back into the game by placing two runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to cash in any runs. The Illini offense stranded a season-high 10 runners in the ballgame.
Wake Forest would go on to add two runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to cap the scoring in the contest.
Julius Sanchez got the start for the Illini, making his collegiate debut. He struck out the first batter that he faced before conceding the first of his two home runs allowed. He ended his outing with 4.1 innings of work and allowed five runs on six hits to go along with four strikeouts and two walks.
Danny Doligale went 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot for his second-straight multi-hit game and Branden Comia went 1-for-3 to extend his on-base streak to 44 games.
Camden Janik went 1-for-3 with a walk and extends his hitting streak to four games.
Illinois begins a three-game set in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Friday, where they will face the No. 18 Southern Miss Golden Eagles.