Mike Rohde is tied for the Big Ten lead in doubles with 11 in conference play.
April 19, 2007
Games 31-34 // Iowa
April 20 // 6 pm
April 21 (DH) // 2 pm
April 22 // 1 pm
Duane Banks Field // Iowa City, Iowa
Illinois (16-14 // 6-4) at Iowa (15-14 // 4-7)
Live Stats: Gametracker on fightingillini.com
Radio: WDWS AM-1400; Live streaming on fightingillini.com
(Dave Loane, play-by-play; Ben Taylor, analyst)
Series: Illinois leads 120-74-2 in overall series // Illinois leads 52-39-1 in games played in Iowa City
Last Year: Illinois won series 3-1
Game 1 Probables
Illinois: Tanner Roark (RHP, 3-1, 5.87 ERA)
Iowa: Steve Turnbull (RHP, 2-1, 4.64 ERA)
Game 2 Probables
Illinois: Mike Stankiewicz (RHP, 3-3, 5.68 ERA)
Iowa: Danny Bales (LHP, 0-1, 9.75 ERA)
Game 3 Probables
Illinois: Billy Barrett (RHP, 1-1, 5.40 ERA)
Iowa: Casey O'Rourke (RHP, 2-1, 8.49 ERA)
Game 4 Probables
Illinois: Aaron Martin (RHP, 1-1, 5.40 ERA)
Iowa: Nick Erdman (RHP, 3-2, 4.75 ERA)
Illini Line Drives
Mike Stankiewicz was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday after one-hitting Northwestern last Saturday, the first Illini one-hitter since Brett Weber one-hit the Wildcats on April 4, 1998. Stankiewicz did not allow a base runner after the third inning and allowed just one batter past second base. He struck out the side in the seventh, finishing with a career-high seven strikeouts.
Ryan Hastings earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors on April 10 after going 6-for-7 in two games with Ohio State. The redshirt-junior scored four runs and drove in one in the double-dip.
Lars Davis continues his torrid hitting, going 6-for-11 (.545) with three runs and three RBI since losing his career-best 19-game hitting streak in the doubleheader nightcap at Northwestern. Davis bounced back from that oh-fer by going 4-for-5 in the series finale, then hitting an inside-the-park home run at Illinois State, the first Illini to do so since Brady Ballard circled them all at Indiana in 2000.
Ryan Snowden saw his school-record hitting streak end at 25 games as he went 0-for-4 against Northwestern on April 15. He hasn't let that faze him, though, as he has hit 4-for-6 with three runs, a double and an RBI in two games since losing the streak.
The Illini pitching staff has been strong lately, giving up just 19 earned runs in the past six games (3.2 runs/game) and lowering the team ERA to 5.96, the first time all season it has dipped below 6.00.
In addition to Stankiewicz's stellar start on Saturday, Tanner Roark recorded a career-high nine strikeouts in a career-high seven innings while tying career bests with two runs and one walk allowed. On Sunday, freshman Billy Barrett tossed a career-high six innings, giving up two runs on four hits, leaving the game with the lead.
Closer Jake Toohey is rounding back into form, picking up a pair of saves in extended duty last weekend at Northwestern. The right-hander earned a five-out save on Friday against the 'Cats, then recorded a two-inning save in the doubleheader nightcap. In the series, Toohey didn't give up a run, allowing just one hit and three walks with three strikeouts. Toohey hasn't given up an earned run since March 27, a streak of 9 2/3 innings because he gave up a homer to the first Indiana State batter he faced before retiring the side.
Shawn Roof clearly likes the number four. Wearing No. 44, Roof was hit by a pitch four times in the second game against Ohio State, breaking the single-game school record. He also tied the single-game steals record on March 4 against Stephen F. Austin, swiping four bags.
Through Wednesday's games, the Fighting Illini are tied for the conference lead in hitting with a .333 team average in all games and fifth in conference games at .314. Michigan's .33 overall mark is tied with the Illini and the Wolverine's .352 average in conference leads the league. Illinois is first in the league in hits (360), second in runs scored (221), has the second-fewest strikeouts (134) and leads the league with 64-of-81 steals.
Davis leads the Big Ten in hitting in all games at .456 and Kyle Hudson's .422 mark is tied for second. Davis also leads the league in hits (57), total bases (87), slugging percentage (.696), home runs (7) and runners caught stealing (13). He's fourth in RBI (29), runs (32), on-base percentage (.489) and triples (2). Hudson is third in the Big Ten in on-base percentage (.495).
Shawn Roof leads the Big Ten in stolen bases (24) steal attempts (28) and hit by pitch (13) in all games, Mike Rohde is third in doubles (12) and sacrifice flies (3), and Ryan Snowden is tied for fifth in the league in hits (44) and hit by pitch (6).
Davis leads Illinois with 16 multiple-hit games (9 two-hit, 1 three-hit, 6 four-hit) and his nine multiple-RBI games (6 two-RBI, 3 three-RBI) are best on the squad. For comparison's sake, in 2006, Illinois had only nine four-hit games as a team.
March 27's crowd of 1,060 Illini fans broke the Illinois Field record for a home opener, eclipsing last season's 1,012 fans at the home opener against Purdue on March 31, 2006.
Illini Visit Iowa City
Illinois travels to Iowa's Duane Banks Field in Iowa City for a four-game set this weekend. It is the first time the Illini have visited the Hawkeyes since 2004, when the teams split a series on the final weekend of conference play. Illinois is 8-8 over the last four series with Iowa, winning the 2006 series, losing the set in 2005 and splitting the meetings in 2003 and 2004.
Last Year vs. Iowa
The Illini won the first three games of the series by a combined score of 26-8, with a 4-3 win in game two serving as the only contested game of the series. The finale, however, was all Iowa as closer-turned-starter Tim Gudex stymied the Illini bats as the Hawkeyes won, 17-3. Tanner Roark and Ben Reeser became the first freshman duo to sweep a conference doubleheader since 1989, and Dave Schultz hit .400 with a homer and seven RBI. Mike Rohde also hit well in the series, going 5-for-12 (.417) with a homer, five RBI and two runs. Jake Toohey recorded a save against the Hawkeyes as well.
Current Illini vs. Iowa
Just three Illini have more than one year's worth of experience against Iowa, with Mike Rohde hitting a team-best .391 versus the Hawkeyes with six RBI and three runs. Ryan Hastings has swung it at a .375 clip against the Gold and Black, with four RBI, four runs and a .542 slugging percentage, while Shawn Roof is hitting .304 lifetime vs. Iowa with four RBI, two runs and four steals. Jake Toohey is the only current Illini pitcher to face two different Iowa teams, not allowing a hit or a run in 1 2/3 innings of work
Last Time Out: Northwestern, ISU, Robert Morris
Illinois went 5-1 in the last week, winning the four-game series at Northwestern as well as mid-week contests at Illinois State and against Robert Morris. On Friday, Tanner Roark tossed a career-high seven innings and struck out a career-high nine hitters as the Illini downed Northwestern 6-2. In the first game on Saturday, Mike Stankiewicz was masterful, tossing the first Illini one-hitter since 1998 and striking out a career-high seven. In the second game, Illinois needed a four-run sixth inning to come from behind and win, 8-7. The Wildcats got their revenge on Sunday with a 6-5 win in 10 innings after Illinois had two outs in the ninth with a two-run lead.
The Illini took their hitting shoes to Normal on Tuesday, pounding out a season-high 23 hits and whipping the Redbirds 18-4. Craig Lutes went 3-for-6 with a double and a triple in his homecoming, and Brandon Wikoff hit 3-for-5 with his first career home run. Wednesday was more of a nail-biter, but the Illini pulled out a 4-3 win over a feisty Robert Morris squad. Shawn Roof scored the winning run in the eighth inning after he was hit by a pitch and stole both second and third bases. Roof scored on a wild pitch and Brian Long closed the door in the ninth for his second save of the year.
Illini in National Stat Rankings
In the official NCAA statistical rankings released on Wednesday and taking stats through Sunday's games, Illinois ranks 16th in the nation in batting average (.327), 14th in stolen bases per game (2.07), 21st in double plays per game (1.07) and 58th in scoring (7.1 runs/gm). Below are where Illinois players rank nationwide (note: SB/gm and HBP/gm were updated manually through Wednesday's games):
Batting Avg. 4. Lars Davis .462 28. Kyle Hudson .422 Stolen Bases/game 5. Shawn Roof 0.8
Streaks End, Rank Among Illini Best
Leftfielder Ryan Snowden lost his 25-game hitting streak ended on Sunday at Northwestern when he went 0-for-4, but his hit in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader with the Wildcats broke the school record. Catcher Lars Davis also broke a lengthy streak when he went hitless in the second game of the double-dip, ending a 19-game streak. Here is where both hitters rank on the all-time hitting streak chart:
Player Dates of Streak # of Games 1. Ryan Snowden 2/25/07-4/14/07 25 2. Tom Sinak 4/17/94-3/5/95 23 3. Andy Schutzenhofer 5/21/00-3/17/01 20 4. Lars Davis 3/10/07-4/14/07 19 Danny Rhodes 5/3/97-3/14/98 19
Lars Davis, Canadian Hitting Machine
Catcher Lars Davis is having an All-American-caliber season with his eye-popping .456 average along with 29 RBI, 32 runs and a .696 slugging percentage. He recently had a 19-game hitting streak, which ranks fourth-best in Illinois history, snapped at Northwestern, but he responded by going 4-for-5 with a double and two runs. The next game, at Illinois State, Davis hit his first career inside-the-park home run, his seventh dinger of the year. Davis ranks fourth in the nation in average, 43rd in slugging percentage and 83rd in runs per game (1.11) through Sunday's games. He also is among Big Ten leaders in most offensive categories.
Roof at it Again
Shawn Roof continues to be a thorn in the side of opponents despite his .284 batting average. Roof owns a .383 on-base percentage thanks to a team-high 13 HBP and also leads the team with 24-of-28 stolen bases. He is now tied for third on the career HBP record list, matching Brian Roberts' 36. His 49 career steals sit even with Brian White for eighth on the all-time chart. Roof currently leads the Big Ten in steals in all games and is tied for fourth in conference games.
Roof opened the season with 11 straight swipes and also has two six-steal streaks this year, including his current six-steal string.
Roof now has seven multiple-steal games on the season and 11 in his career. His back-to-back multiple-steal games against Illinois State and Robert Morris mark the first time he has ever accomplished that feat.
Some Like It Cold
One thing is for sure: the cold weather so far this spring hasn't fazed Illini starting pitcher Mike Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz, who held an 8.61 ERA after returning from Spring Trip, has baffled Big Ten hitters, allowing just two runs in 15 innings. He one-hit Northwestern in a seven-inning complete game and gave up just two runs on six hits in a complete-game outing at Purdue, in which he was saddled with a 2-1 loss. Stankiewicz has lowered his ERA nearly a full run in three Big Ten outings and is currently ranked third in ERA in Big Ten games (1.20 ERA) and second in opponent batting average (.164) in conference games.
"Stock Car" Knocks Off Restrictor Plate
Redshirt-sophomore Nick Stockwell, or "Stock Car" as he is known to some Illini fans, has busted out since getting a spot start in center against Western Michigan, hitting 11-for-19 with eight RBI and five runs in his first five games in the starting lineup. He DH'ed in the opener against Ohio State, then has moved into right field for seven games before getting a day off against Robert Morris. He had a career day in the opener at Northwestern, going 4-for-4 with two RBI.
*Complete game notes in attached PDF file.