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Jackson Raper hit for the cycle as Illinois came out on top in the first game on Sunday with a final score of 13-7 in seven innings. 

 

Raper led the way for the Illini offense finishing 4-for-5 with seven RBI. In the first inning, Raper connected on a 2-run homer to give Illinois the early lead. Then, he hit a 2-run single in the fourth inning. Next, Raper lined an RBI triple to the gap in right-center field. He would complete the cycle with a 2-run double in the seventh inning. He is the first Illinois batter to hit for the cycle since Justin Parr vs. Purdue on April 14, 2013.

 

Riley Gowens (3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 2 SO) was not as sharp as a week ago when he threw seven hitless innings. Gowens gave up four solo home runs in the game and worked with runners on base a majority of the day.

 

Cole Kirschsieper (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) came on for a second straight day to lock it down late. He extended his scoreless streak to 11.2 innings.

 

Similar to the second game on Saturday, the Illini got an early lead in the first inning. Justin Janas and Sarver each had RBI singles to put the Illini ahead 2-0 but it was all Michigan after that as the Wolverines routed the Illini 19-4. 

 

Michigan (21-11) put up seven runs in the bottom of the first, including a grand slam off the bat of Ted Burton. The Wolverines had 10 unanswered runs after four innings and continued attacking all game. The game concluded with a final score of 19-4 after seven innings.

 

Sarver (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R) hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. The home run was his fourth of the season, matching his 2019 total.

 

Grant Leader (1.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 1 SO) started the contest. Illini pitchers struggled in game two with it being the fourth game in two days.

 

The Illini split two games with Michigan on Saturday winning 5-4 in the first contest and losing 18-8 in the second game. The weekend pod at Northwestern was adjusted as Northwestern paused team activities for at least one week due to health and safety concerns within the program.

 

Illinois (15-16) will return home next weekend to face Maryland in a three-game series at Illinois Field. Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT, Saturday is set for 4 p.m. CT and Sunday will begin at 11 a.m. CT on Big Ten Network.

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