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Illini Open Fall Practice with Familiar Faces

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Tuesday Interviews: Coach Hartleb | Kevin Johnson

The Fighting Illini opened 2012 fall practice Tuesday under sweltering conditions but with many familiar faces. Illinois welcomes back 17 letter winners, including seven starters in the field and all three pitchers who formed the weekend rotation over the last half of the 2012 Big Ten season.

Illini Deliver Food, Funds to Harrisburg

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After the Illini beat Northern Illinois 7-2 on Saturday, they returned to their hotel, showered and changed into their travel sweats and re-boarded the bus to head to Harrisburg to deliver the food and funds that were donated during Wednesday's fundraiser. Once the Peoria Charter bus turned into the Arrowhead Shopping Center and headed for the building that formerly housed the Mad Pricer grocery store, a group of people including Harrisburg mayor Eric Gregg, other community leaders and the Harrisburg High School baseball team came into view. 


Breaking Down the Schedule

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After overcoming a 12-21 start to win a share of the 2011 Big Ten regular-season championship, sweep through the Big Ten Tournament and advance to the championship game of the NCAA Fullerton Regional last season, the Illini head into 2012 with a new blend of talent and a much more difficult schedule. While Coach Hartleb anticipated last year's slate to result in a solid Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rating, many non-conference foes underachieved and Illinois ended with a ranking of 118 in one of the key tools that the NCAA selection committee uses.

Scout Day Draws a Crowd

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Illinois hosted its annual Scout Day on Wednesday, bringing approximately 20-25 scouts from Major League teams to Illinois Field. The event is one of the high points of fall practice, giving the Illini players exposure to these professional scouts after the summer season and before the spring.

Illini in Midst of Fall Practice

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Tuesday Interviews: CF Willie Argo | 3B Brandon Hohl

The Fighting Illini opened fall practice on Sept. 5 and are approximately halfway through their fall season after Tuesday's practice. Illinois has begun the process of integrating 11 newcomers into the remainder of last season's team that won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships, and advanced to the title game of the NCAA Fullerton Regional.