Third baseman Brandon Hohl and the Illini take on Michigan this weekend in a Big Ten series in Ann Arbor.
April 14, 2011
Illinois at Michigan
April 15 // Wilpon Complex // 3:05 pm // BigTenNetwork.com // Ann Arbor, Mich.
April 16 // Wilpon Complex // 2:05 pm // Ann Arbor, Mich.
April 17 // Wilpon Complex // 12:05 pm // BigTenNetwork.com // Ann Arbor, Mich.
All times Central
Illinois (11-17, 3-3) at Michigan (9-22, 2-4)
Live Video: Friday & Sunday - BigTenNetwork.com
Radio: WDWS AM-1400 (PBP: Dave Loane; Color: Ben Taylor)
Live Audio: Available on fightingillini.com
Live Stats: Gametracker on fightingillini.com
Series: Michigan leads 130-98-2
Games in Ann Arbor: Michigan leads 63-42
Last Year: Michigan won series
Game 1 Starters
Illinois: Kevin Johnson (RHP, 1-3, 3.58 ERA)
Michigan: Bobby Brosnahan (LHP, 1-6, 6.34 ERA)
Game 2 Starters
Illinois: John Anderson (RHP, 3-4, 4.22 ERA)
Michigan: Kyle Clark (RHP, 1-4, 4.36 ERA)
Game 3 Starters
Illinois: Corey Kimes (RHP, 1-3, 5.86 ERA)
...9-3 when out-hitting its opponent
...8-1 when tied or ahead after the 7th inning
...9-1 when scoring 7 or more runs
...7-3 when scoring 4 or more runs in an inning
Illini Line Drives
Illini Look for Second-Straight Series Win: After taking a series victory against Iowa in Champaign last weekend, the Fighting Illini travel to Michigan for another Big Ten weekend set. The Wolverines, picked to finish second in the conference coaches' preseason poll, have struggled mightily in 2011, going 9-22 and 2-4 in the Big Ten.
Bullpen Bolsters Illini: Despite a recent offensive cool-off, the Illini bullpen has been extremely stingy in a pair of mid-week games this week. Six pitchers have combined to allow only one run in seven innings of relief, a 1.29 ERA. Chris Pack, Matt Milroy, Will Strack and Wes Braun all had scoreless outings of one inning or more, while Luke Joyce didn't allow a run in 2/3 of an inning on Wednesday.
Illinois Snapped Skid with Series Victory: The Fighting Illini broke a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over Iowa on April 8 before going on to win the series with a thrilling 11-7 victory on April 10, their first series win this year. But Illinois followed that series win with a pair of mid-week losses to Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois. Illinois has had three losing streaks of three games or more this year and one five-game winning streak.
Justin Playing Above Parr: Justin Parr has thrived after being reinserted into the starting lineup at designated hitter against Illinois State on March 30, hitting a blistering .475 (19-for-40) in the last 11 games with four doubles, a triple, five RBIs and eight runs. He hit ninth in the order at Penn State but was moved up to the No. 7 spot at Bradley on Tuesday, hit sixth on Wednesday and hit second in Illinois' last five games after his brother, Josh, went down with a hyper-extended knee during batting practice on April 8.
Hohl Does it All: Third baseman Brandon Hohl, who saw his batting average dip to .256 after the game against Northern Illinois on March 17, has caught fire in the last 15 games, going 23-for-55 (.418) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, 18 RBIs and seven runs while making only one error, his lone miscue since the March 12 game at Western Kentucky, a string of 17 games.
Illini Travel to Ann Arbor for Michigan Series
Illinois heads on the road for its third Big Ten series of 2011, traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a three-game set against the Wolverines. Michigan, which was picked to finish second in the Big Ten coaches' preseason poll, has struggled mightily this season, going 9-22 and 2-4 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines narrowly avoided sweeps on the first two conference weekends, winning a one-run game to start a Sunday doubleheader against Indiana on April 3, and capturing the final game of last weekend's series at Purdue, 6-5 in 10 innings. UM has lost six of its last eight games and 10 of its last 13 and has never been better than six games below .500 this season after an 0-7 start.
The Illini are trying to shake off mid-week struggles for the second-straight week after dropping games to Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois. Illinois managed only one run on nine hits in those two contests, with it coming on a solo home run by Brandon Hohl against EIU. However, the Illini also dropped two mid-week games last week and fought back to take a Big Ten series from Iowa over the weekend.
Series History Against Michigan
Michigan is one of only three Big Ten foes that Illinois is below .500 against all-time, with the Wolverines holding a 130-98-2 lead in the series. Michigan is up 63-42 in games played in Ann Arbor, but Illinois has won or tied every series with the Wolverines since 1993 except for UM series wins in 2008 and 2010, both of which came in Champaign. Illinois is 16-11 in series played in Ann Arbor since 1995, winning three and splitting four.
*Complete series notes available in the above PDF