Student-Athletes Honored for Earning GPAs of 3.7 or Higher, Including Seven 4.0 GPAs at Illinois
Athletes from Eight Spring Sports Honored for Excellence in the Classroom
Offense Produces 15 Hits as Duchene Earns Fourth Win and Jay Collects 10th Save
Illinois Moves Back into Tie for Second in Big Ten at 17-5 Behind Duchene, Walton
Illini Notch School-Record Fourth Big Ten Series Sweep, Improve to 9-0 in Conference Road Games
2013 Illinois Baseball Cards
Photos from Illinois vs. Oakland baseball doubleheader
Photos of the Illini playing Mizzou at Busch Stadium in St. Louis
Photos from Illinois vs. Nebraska baseball
Photos from Illinois' Honor and Serve Day and 8-6 win over Michigan State.
2014 - Redshirt-Junior: Tied for the team lead with 33 RBI, including a team-best eight multi-RBI games ... Ranked second on the Illini with a career-high five home runs, which was tied for sixth in the Big Ten ... Started all 53 games, with the first six at third base and the final 47 at second base while hitting .250 with 21 runs scored ... Was hit by a pitch a career-high 15 times, which ranked as the second-most in the Big Ten ... Kept comeback alive against Michigan State (5/4) with an RBI single in the ninth before scoring the game-winning run on Casey Fletcher's walk-off hit ... Equaled a career-high with three hits vs. Indiana State (3/18) ... Opening Day starter at third base against Georgia State (2/14) and homered in the season opener for the second time in his career (also homered in his first career game as an Illini against Notre Dame on Feb. 17, 2012) ... Homered for the second-straight game to start the season and equaled a career-high four RBI along with scoring a career-best three runs at Georgia State (2/16) ... Smacked third home run vs. Xavier (3/21) ... Hit his fourth home run of the season at Northwestern (4/4) ... Fifth home run came against Indiana (4/25) ... Had a triple vs. George Mason (2/21) and Southern Illinois (3/14) ... Also went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and two saves in six appearances ... Only allowed two hits and totaled eight strikeouts with zero walks ... Notched second save with a scoreless inning at Penn State (4/18) ... Picked up only win vs. Xavier (3/23) ... Earned his first save of the season with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning vs. FGCU (2/28) ... Tied for eighth in school history with 10 career saves ... Played for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League along with Illini teammates Casey Fletcher and Ryne Roper during the summer and was named Honker of the Year ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. | Game-by-Game Stats
2013 - Redshirt-Sophomore: Played in 49 games and hit .266 with three home runs, 21 runs and 22 RBI ... Multi-position player who started 47 games at second base, one at third base and split time as closer with Bryan Roberts ... Had two game-winning hits in the eighth inning, with an RBI single vs. Penn State (5/12) and a two-run home run vs. Purdue (4/13) ... Knocked in game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth in Illinois' 5-4 comeback win vs. Penn State (5/12) ... Hit a home run in each game during sweep of Purdue, finishing the series 7-for-14 (.500) with three home runs, five runs & eight RBI while slugging 1.214 ... Belted game-winning home run with a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth in the 6-4 win over Purdue (4/13) ... Went 3-for-5 with a career-high four RBI in the series finale vs. Purdue (4/14) ... Matched season high with two runs four times ... Pitched in 11 games, posted a 2.53 ERA, the lowest on the Illini, and had five saves ... Had eight strikeouts in 10.2 IP while only allowing eight hits, three earned runs and two walks ... Saved the final two games against Southern Illinois (3/16, 3/18), giving him five saves in five chances for the season, which was tied for ninth in the Big Ten ... Picked up back-to-back saves during the Baylor series (3/8-9), closing out a pair of one-run victories in Waco ... Recorded first save of the season vs. New Mexico State (2/23), pitching a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts ... Named to NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List ... Played for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League during the summer ... Academic All-Big Ten | Game-by-Game Stats
2012 - Redshirt-Freshman: Named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball as a multiple-position player ... Named to the John Olerud Award watch list, which is given to the nation's top two-way player ... Played in and started 52 games on the season: 48 at second base, three at shortstop and one at pitcher ... Ranked seventh in the Big Ten in fielding double plays with 43 ... His 0.98 WHIP led all Illini pitchers with more than five innings pitched ... Allowed only two base runners in 5 1/3 innings during Big Ten play ... Opposing batters hit only .196 against him, .154 as a reliever ... He didn't allow a hit with two outs on the season ... He allowed only 2-of-13 leadoff hitters he faced to reach base ... The only earned run he allowed as a reliever came at Bradley (3/28) ... Made only three errors in Illinois' last 31 games ... Doubled and homered in his first two career at bats, respectively, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs, two runs and two walks in the season-opener against Notre Dame (2/17) ... Pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts against No. 27 St. John's (2/19), his first collegiate pitching appearance ... Earned the win at Lamar (2/26) with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief ... Went 6-for-14 (.429) on Spring Trip with one RBI and four runs ... Was 4-for-8 with two RBIs and four runs in the two games he played of the Mississippi Valley State series ... Named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on 4/9 after hitting .467 (7-for-15) over previous four games ... Went 4-for-7 in the first two games of the Purdue series ... Recorded his first career three-hit game against Illinois State (4/17), going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run ... Notched his first collegiate save against Michigan State (5/6) with a perfect ninth inning ... Struck out one in a perfect ninth inning against Minnesota (5/17) to earn a save ... Notched a save against Minnesota (5/18), keeping Illinois' postseason hopes alive ... Played for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League along with former Illini teammates Kevin Johnson, Jordan Parr and Justin Parr during the summer ... Academic All-Big Ten.
2011 - Freshman: Redshirted the 2011 season following a knee injury suffered during 2010 fall practice ... Played for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League along with former Illini teammate Kevin Johnson during the summer.
Drafted in the 29th round as a catcher by the Atlanta Braves in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft ... Ranked the No. 5 overall prospect in the state by Prep Baseball Report ... PBR lists him as the No. 2 defensive infielder and No. 6 hitter in the state ... Four-year starter hit .504 with 10 home runs in 2010 while going 12-0 on the mound with a 0.84 ERA ... Led Harrisburg to an IHSA Class 2A state runner-up finish in 2010 ... Named a Louisville Slugger All-American in 2010 ... Earned first-team All-State honors from the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association, the Chicago Tribune and Prep Baseball Report ... Hit .412 in 2007, .478 with six home runs and 13 doubles in 2008, and .425 with 46 walks in 2009 ... Four-time All-Southern Illinois selection by the Southern Illinois Baseball Coaches Association ... Four-time All-Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference selection ... Led Harrisburg to three consecutive SIRR conference championships from 2008-10 ... Member of Team Illinois ... In football, quarterbacked Harrisburg to SIRR (Ohio) conference championships and playoff appearances in 2008 and 2009 ... Led the Harrisburg basketball team to a regional title in 2008 as he made 73 three-pointers that season ... Also guided the Bulldogs to a basketball regional title in 2010 ... Earned 10 high school letters - four in baseball and three each in basketball and football.
Born Feb. 14, 1992 ... Parents are Jeff and Diana Roper ... Has one younger brother, Ryne, who is his teammate on the Illini ... Majoring in elementary education ... Father, Jeff, played baseball at Southeastern Illinois Junior College in 1984 ... Lists playing in the 2013 NCAA Nashville Regional as his biggest thrill in sports ... Honor roll student at Harrisburg H.S. ... Great-uncle Larry "Moose" Calufetti played baseball at Southern Illinois from 1970-73 for former SIU and Illinois head coach Richard "Itch" Jones ... Earned first place in the chemistry division at the WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering) competition ... Was an academic peer tutor for math, chemistry and physics at Harrisburg ... Led Benton Junior High School to a state championship in eighth grade, striking out 17 in the title game ... Finished in the top five in the nation in the Elks "Hoop Shoot" free throw contest in 2005 ... Favorite athlete is Derek Jeter.
Updated September 2014