June 5, 2011; Fullerton, CA, USA; A detailed view of a baseball and the shadow of the neck of a bat before the start of a game between the Cal State Fullerton Titans and the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Fullerton regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Goodwin Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Baseball: Eastern Illinois Game Preview

The Illinois Fighting Illini will play a one game series against the Eastern Illinois Panthers at Peterson Park in Mattoon, Illinois on Tuesday.

After pushing their win streak to five games, the Fighting Illini lost their final two games to the Ohio State Buckeyes this past weekend. They are now 6-4 in their last ten games.

The Eastern Illinois Panthers come into this game with an overall record of 14-22 and an Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) record of 5-12. In their last game against the Illini this season, the Panthers were able to quiet a late rally by Illinois to win the game, 8-4.

June 5, 2011; Fullerton, CA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini pitcher Corey Kimes (31) pitches against the Cal State Fullerton Titans during the first inning of the Fullerton regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Goodwin Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The three players that caused the most havoc in the last meeting between the Panthers and the Illini were Caleb Howell, Treysen Vavra, and Cameron Berra.

Howell and Vavra had similar numbers by scoring one run and driving in a run, but the only different was one extra hit by Vavra. Berra went 2-for-4 and scored a run. However, he was able to drive in two of the Panthers’ eight runs with a single to left field.

Offensively, Illinois is led by senior Justin Parr.

Parr is currently riding a 24-game hit streak heading into Tuesday’s game against EIU.

With a hit on Tuesday, he would tie the school record set by Ryan Snowden at 25 games in 2007.

This hitting streak is also ranks as the longest active streak in the country and the fourth-longest in the nation this season.

Here’s the pitching match-up for Tuesday:

Illinois: J.D. Nielsen (LHP, Fr., 0-0, 6.75 ERA)
Eastern Illinois: Jaden Widdersheim (RHP, Jr., 3-3, 6.66 ERA)

If Illinois has proven one thing this season, it is that “hits equal wins.” They are 20-2 on the season when out-hitting their opponents compared to 2-9 when gettting out-hit by an opponent.

It doesn’t matter what the pitching does for Illinois. If the offense is on, the Illini will win. In their last meeting against the Panthers, Illinois was out hit 12 to 5. Expect the offense to be more alive and that should lead to a Fighting Illini win.

Prediction: Illinois wins Tuesday’s game.

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Tags: Baseball Caleb Howell Cameron Berra Eastern Illinois Panthers Illinois Fighting Illini Justin Parr Treysen Vavra

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