Illini Welcome EIU to Illinois Field on Tuesday

Freshman Kevin Duchene will start for the Illini against Eastern Illinois on Tuesday.
Freshman Kevin Duchene will start for the Illini against Eastern Illinois on Tuesday.

April 8, 2013

 Illinois (19-9) vs. Eastern Illinois (10-18)
 Game Time Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | 6:05 p.m.
 Location Illinois Field | Champaign, Ill.
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Live Video ($) Fighting Illini All-Access
 Live Audio ($) Online or WDWS AM-1400 (Dave Loane & Ben Taylor)
 Game Notes Illinois | EIU
 Pitching Matchup ILL: Kevin Duchene (LHP, Fr., 4-0, 3.62 ERA)
EIU: Jake Johansmeier (RHP, Fr., 1-2, 3.93 ERA)
 Series History Illinois leads 50-23
 Last Season Illinois swept season series, 2-0
 Streak Won 2
 Social Media @IlliniBaseball   |  Facebook
 Preview Interviews Coach Hartleb

Illinois Is...
...14-0 when leading after 7 innings
...8-0 when having fewer errors than its opponent
...T-1st in the Big Ten & T-18th in the NCAA in steals (63)

Tuesday's Game vs. EIU Panthers
Pre-Game Notes: After snapping Indiana's school-record winning streak, Illinois returns to action on Tuesday, April 9 at 6:05 p.m. for an in-state contest against Eastern Illinois at Illinois Field. The Illini will start freshman Kevin Duchene (4-0, 3.62 ERA) against EIU's Jake Johansmeier (1-2, 3.93 ERA). The Panthers are riding a four-game winning streak after beating Illinois State and sweeping Murray State over the weekend, but sit at 10-18 overall. The Illini have won five of their last eight and have an overall record of 19-9.

Series History vs. EIU: IIllinois has had a great deal of success over the years against Eastern Illinois, holding a 50-23 advantage in the all-time series. The Illini are 32-11 all-time against EIU in Champaign and has won seven of the last nine contests at Illinois Field, including a 10-3 victory last season. The Orange and Blue also defeated the Panthers 5-2 at Peterson Park in Mattoon, Ill., a year ago to sweep the season series.

Illini Team Notes
Streak Stoppers: Illinois snapped No. 16 Indiana's NCAA-best 18-game winning streak and handed the Hoosiers their first Big Ten loss this season with its 3-2 victory in the series finale. Freshman Ryan Castellanos won his first career start, and senior Justin Parr hit a home run and scored the winning run on senior Brandon Hohl's second sac fly, as the Illini defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since March 9, 2012, when they knocked off No. 18 Oregon (2-1). Freshman Tyler Jay held onto the one-run lead by retiring all four batters he faced out of the bullpen, while fifth-year senior Bryan Roberts closed the door for his second save with 1.2 scoreless innings.

First in Steals: The Illini are tied for first in the Big Ten with 63 stolen bases in 72 attempts, which is tied for 18th in the NCAA. David Kerian and Justin Parr are tied for the team lead with 13 stolen bases, which is tied for third in the Big Ten. Jordan Parr is tied for ninth in the conference with 10 SBs. Ten different Illini have at least one stolen base, and the Orange and Blue have been caught stealing only nine times, which is the third fewest in the Big Ten.

Early Offense Key for Illini: The Illini are 9-2 when scoring in the first inning and 16-2 when scoring before their opponent. Illinois is outscoring its opponents 21-9 in the first frame and 22-6 in the second inning, which is Illinois' highest-scoring inning. The Orange and Blue have scored double-digit runs in all but the ninth inning (9) and rank second in the Big Ten with 167 runs.

Illini Player Notes
Hot-Hitting Justin Parr: Senior Justin Parr boasts the third-longest active hitting streak in the nation (16 games), which is a career high and tied for the seventh longest in the NCAA this season. He is hitting .403 (29-for-72) during his current streak and has a hit in 26 of 28 games after also starting the season on a 10-game hitting streak. The Chillicothe, Ill., native leads the Big Ten and ranks 10th in the NCAA in hits (52) along with ranking second in the conference and 10th in the nation in average (.433). He sits among the top-10 Big Ten rankings in nine other offensive categories: 2nd in total bases (71), 3rd in RBI (30), 3rd in slugging (.592), T-3rd in stolen bases (13), 4th in doubles (9), 4th in OBP (.473), 5th in triples (2), T-9th in runs (22) and T-10th in HR (2). He has a career-high tying four four-hit games and recorded multiple hits in a team-high 15 games as the No. 3 hitter in the batting order. He also Leads the Illini with 11 two-out RBI and 21 two-out hits (.420 average).

Johnson Throws Another CG, Nears IP Record: In his last start, senior Kevin Johnson retired 20 of the final 22 Indiana batters in his second-straight complete game (8 IP), but gave up three runs in the first two innings, which the Illini couldn't overcome in a 3-2 loss to the No. 16 Hoosiers (4/5). With his eight quality innings, he moved past Brett Weber (315.2) into second-place on Illinois' career innings pitched list with 322.2 and only trails the all-time leader Mark Dressen (328.2) by six innings. In Illinois' 4-0 victory over Oakland (3/29), he needed just 79 pitches to earn his third career complete-game shutout in which he only allowed three hits. He is in his third season as Illinois' No. 1 starter and leads the staff with a 4-2 record and 1.94 ERA. The Midlothian, Ill., native has not missed a start in his career and owns the most starts on the current Illini staff with 51. His 39 strikeouts in 2013 are tied for third in the Big Ten, while his 203 career strikeouts are ranked fifth on the Illini all-time list.

Castellanos Wins First Collegiate Start: Freshman Ryan Castellanos won his first career start at Indiana (4/7), snapping IU's NCAA-best 18-game winning streak at the time. The Davie, Fla., native pitched six solid innings with only two earned runs against the Hoosiers while scattering five hits and allowing zero walks. He was extremely efficient with 43 of his 55 pitches going for strikes. He has compiled a 2.60 ERA in 17.1 IP and made six appearances out of the bullpen before his first start.

Power Surge for Lindauer: Junior Thomas Lindauer has hit all five of his career home runs this season, which leads the Illini and is second in the Big Ten. Four of his five bombs have been solo shots with one at Indiana (4/7), two on March 30 vs. Oakland (one in each game of the doubleheader) and one at Baylor (3/9, G1). His first career home run was a two-run shot vs. Houston Baptist (3/2).

Resilient Roberts on a Roll: Fifth-year senior Bryan Roberts, the oldest player on the Illini, has three wins and two saves in six appearances on the season thanks to allowing zero earned runs in 10 innings pitched. He notched the Orange and Blue's first Big Ten win this season against Nebraska and picked up back-to-back wins at Southern Illinois, marking his first victories in nearly three years after redshirting the 2011 season following Tommy John surgery and making only three appearances in 2012 due to arm trouble. He also collected his first save since May 8, 2010, after 1.2 scoreless innings vs. Oakland (3/30) and posted his second save with another 1.2 scoreless innings at Indiana (4/7), which gives him 11 career saves, tying him for sixth in school history.

Freshmen in the Rotation: Three freshmen pitchers, left-hander Kevin Duchene and right-handers Nick Blackburn and Ryan Castellanos, have been in the weekend rotation and combined to make 11 starts this season. Castellanos (1-0) won his first career start at Indiana (4/7), snapping IU's NCAA-best 18-game winning streak at the time with six solid innings. Duchene (4-0) is tied for eighth in the Big Ten in wins after picking up victories vs. Missouri at Busch Stadium (4/2), vs. Oakland (3/30, game 1), vs. Ohio (2/22) and vs. Houston Baptist (3/1). Blackburn (2-1) has notched wins over Boston College (2/24) and HBU (3/2), while suffering his only loss vs. Oakland (3/31).

Clutch Two-out Hitting: Illinois is hitting .312 (105-for-337) with two outs in an inning and is led by senior Justin Parr, who is 21-for-50 (.420) with 11 two-out RBI when faced with the situation. Junior Thomas Lindauer also is in double figures with 10 two-out RBI, while the Illini have 62 total two-out RBI, meaning 41 percent (62-of-151) of their RBI have come with two outs. Sophomores David Kerian (13-for-29 - .448) and Will Krug (10-for-25 - .400) are both hitting .400 or higher with two outs.