Illinois got back into the win column in a big way on Tuesday night, scoring 16 runs on 17 hits in a 16-5 victory over Illinois State (10-17) at Duffy Bass Field. The programs split the season series, with the road team coming away victorious in each contest.
The run and hit totals both are season-high marks, as was the 11-run margin of victory. Eleven different Illini recorded a hit, with five picking up multi-hit efforts.
Illinois opened the scoring in the first, with Camden Janik doing deep for the sixth time this season with a solo blast to left. Jack Crowder, making his first start since March 4, began his outing with a 1-2-3 first and then kept the Redbirds off the board in the second, setting the table for the onslaught.
The Illini then put up back-to-back three spots in the third and fourth, starting with a three-run blast from Drake Westcott, his team-leading eighth of the season to make it 4-0. Cam McDonald drew a walk with the bases loaded to start the scoring in the fourth and Westcott brought his RBI total to five with a two-run single.
Crowder cruised through the final two innings of his start, allowing just one hit to go along with a strikeout. His 4.0 innings was his longest outing since March 4, and he also marked his first scoreless start of the season.
Jacob Schroeder picked up an RBI, scoring Brody Harding with a groundout, before Illinois State would get on the board in the bottom half to make it 8-1. The Illini grabbed that run right back when Ryan Moerman collected RBI No. 30 with a solo shot to left to make it 9-1.
Illinois continued to pour it on in the seventh when Janik scored two on a triple with two outs and then scored on a single from McDonald.
Sophomore JT Sokolove drove in the Redbirds' first run in the 5th inning.
Illinois State (10-17 overall) stranded 11 runners despite four Redbirds recording multiple hits.
Junior Auggie Rasmussen recorded three hits while juniors Shaydon Kubo and Greg Nichols each had two hits to join sophomore Noah Rabin also tallied two knocks.
But the Illini continued to be relentless, with Schroeder picking up his second RBI of the contest with a single in the eighth, and scoring three more times in the ninth on a bases-clearing three-run double from Gavin Bennett.
Westcott finished 2-for-5 with a run, home run, five RBI and a walk. His five RBIs marks a career high and has nine RBI in his last six games. His home run was his team-leading eighth home run of the season.
Doligale went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double and a walk extending his hitting streak to a season-high five games. He is batting .381 (8-for-21) during that span.
ISUs Kubo recorded his team-leading 11th multi-hit game of the season.
Illinois State is scheduled to host Murray State April 14-16. April 15 is "Bark in the Park" and fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to Duffy Bass Field. Get more information about registering your dog at goredbirds.com/sports/baseball.
The Fighting Illini will begin a season-long seven-game homestand on Friday, beginning a three-game set against Big Ten foe Indiana.