Trevor Huisinga went 2-for-4 with a double in last year's wooden bat game with Missouri.
May 17, 2006
Game 52: Missouri T.R. Hughes Ballpark
Wednesday, May 17 6:30 pm
Luke Obukowicz (RHP) vs. TBA
Live Audio: Streaming on KTGR.com
Live Stats: Gametracker on fightingillini.com
Series: Series tied 9-9-1
Last Season: Missouri 6, Illinois 2 (5/18/05)
Streak: Missouri, 2
...14-5 when scoring first
...23-3 when ahead through 7 innings (5 in DH games)
...18-6 when out-hitting its opponent
...12-6 when the bullpen gets the decision
...12-4 when making fewer errors than its opponent
...24-10 when scoring four or more runs
...9-3 when the final margin is two runs
...9-3 when not making an error
...9-2 when hitting a triple
Hastings Heats Up: In the last 10 games, Ryan Hastings has been Illinois' hottest hitter with a .500 batting average and a .588 slugging percentage. He has scored six runs and driven in five in that span while compiling a .553 OBP and stealing 2-of-3 bases.
And They're Off: Through 47 games, Illinois has averaged 1.6 steals per game. Illinois has averaged 6.3 steals per Big Ten series, and has been successful on 73 percent of steal attempts in conference action. Shawn Roof is the somewhat-surprising steals leader for the Illini, taking 23 bases in 30 tries. In Big Ten play, Roof is 15-for-17 on the basepaths and has a shot at breaking the league record of 18 steals with three conference series left. He is currently tied for ninth on the Illinois single-season steals list.
Impact Frosh: Three freshmen pitchers have made their presence felt with the Illini this season, Tanner Roark, Ben Reeser and Aaron Martin. Reeser threw a complete-game five-hitter against Michigan, but allowed a solo homer that was the difference in a tough 1-0 loss. Roark followed with five solid innings in the nightcap against Michigan, picking up the win, 7-4. Roark and Reeser also combined to win both games of the Saturday doubleheader against Iowa. Martin is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in nine appearances - and three starts - and has a save.
Rohde Goes Five-Hole: Since moving to the No. 5 spot in the batting order in the April 14 game against Northwestern, Mike Rohde has caught fire. Rohde is hitting .359 (23-for-64) in 20 games since being moved down in the order, with 13 RBI and 15 runs. He has also rediscovered his pop, blasting a pair of two homers and slugging .500 with a .453 OBP in that span.
Hudson Back in Form: After missing most of the first half of the Big Ten season, Kyle Hudson hasn't missed a beat, hitting .500 or better in series at Minnesota and against Michigan. He hit .500 at the Metrodome and went .600 against the Wolverines. In the last 10 games, Hudson is hitting .472 (17-for-36) with seven runs, five RBI, three doubles and four steals.
NCAA Leaders: The Illini rank in the top 50 nationally in two different categories as of May 15. As a team, Illinois ranks 37th in batting average at .314 and 45th in stolen bases at 1.61 per game. Ryan Snowden currently ranks 26th in doubles per game with 0.4, and Shawn Roof's 0.32 steals per game is 43rd in the country.
All-time, the series with Mizzou is tied 9-9-1. Last season's meeting was the first between the school since 1988, with Missouri winning 6-2 in a wooden-bat affair at O'Fallon.
Illini Average Among Best
This year's Illinois team has a chance to be the best hitting Illini team of the 21st century. Illinois currently has a .314 team batting average, two points better than last year's squad that hit .312. This year's Illini team has 60 fewer hits than the 2005 group but a slightly higher average with one conference weekend remaining.
Pitching Kicks In for Stretch Run
Illinois' pitching staff has turned it up a notch in the past two weeks, posting the best eight-game stretch of the season. Against Michigan and Indiana, Illini pitchers have compiled a 4.09 ERA and have allowed opponents to hit .285. They have given up 68 hits in 61 2/3 innings and have walked 20 while striking out 28. Two Illini have thrown complete games in this stretch as well.
Hastings Finds His Better Half
After struggling in the first half of the Big Ten season, Ryan Hastings has heated up in the last 13 games. He has also thrived on Friday nights all year long.
He has hit .475 in that span (19-for-40), scored seven runs, driven in five, slugged .600 and reached base at a .543 clip while stealing 3-of-4 bases. He has also picked up his defense, making only one error in 63 chances at second base.
Hastings is hitting a whopping .571 on Fridays, driving in a team-best 12 runs while scoring eight and slugging .914. He is reaching base at a .610 rate and has not made an error in 40 Friday chances. He is even better on Big Ten Fridays, hitting .632 with an incredible 1.053 slugging percentage, driving in nine runs and scoring five. He has only two strikeouts, reaching base at a .667 rate.
Roof is on Fire
After coming into the season without a stolen base, Shawn Roof has shocked opponents by taking 23 bags in 29 attempts. After going 7-for-8 in a week against Illinois State and Iowa, Roof has slowed down a bit, stealing 4-of-6 in the past two weeks. Roof stole a career-high three bases at ISU and is tied for the Big Ten steals lead in conference games with 15-of-17, with a chance of breaking Charlie Nelson's Big Ten record of 18 steals set in 1994. He has also stolen 13-of-17 bases since moving to the No. 2 hole in the batting order in the first game against Northwestern. Roof had a streak of seven steals without being caught from March 24-April 9 and currently is tied for ninth on Illinois' single-season steals list.
* Complete game notes available in the PDF file at the top of the page.