In route to their fourth Big Ten series sweep, the Illinois Fighting Illini were able to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes in their final game of their three-game series in Iowa City.
The game featured nearly a three hour rain delay, but the Illini were still able to beat the Hawkeyes, 4-2. With the win, the Fighting Illini have improved to 30-17 overall and 16-5 in the Big Ten.
Illinois was able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the first after Will Krug blasted the first pitch of the game for his first career home run. However, Iowa tied the game up in the bottom half of the inning.
Illini starter Kevin Duchene pitched three solid innings before being pulled in the fourth. He beaned the first two Hawkeyes of the innings and walked the bases loaded before being relieved.
With the game tied at two, Illinois was able to add a total of two runs in the fifth and sixth off of a Ryne Roper ground out and a Kelly Norris-Jones sacrifice fly.
Even with a rain delay, the Illini were able to give head coach Dan Hartleb his sixth 30-win season.
Per fightingillini.com, Hartleb had this to say after the game:
“It was worth the wait. We had the long rain delay, but remained focused. We played well all weekend, and I was pleased with the effort and production. Our pitching staff was outstanding this weekend with only giving up four runs and we got timely hitting on the offensive side.”
The Fighting Illini will start up a three-game series with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on May 15th to finish out the regular season.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.