Illini to Play Georgia Tech in Nashville Regional Opener
May 29, 2013
...playing in its second NCAA Regional in three years
...making its 10th NCAA appearance in school history
...facing Georgia Tech for the first time since 1930
...starting a freshman in the opening round
...1 of 2 Big Ten teams (Indiana) in the NCAA Tournament
...averaging over 6 runs and 10 hits per game
...28-0 when leading after eight innings
...25-1 when leading after seven innings
...21-2 when scoring 6 or more runs
...27-6 when holding opponents to 5 runs or fewer
...26-4 when out-hitting opponent
...26-8 when scoring first
UI Earns NCAA Regional At-Large Bid
Illinois will face No. 2-seed Georgia Tech (34-25) in the first game of the regional, while host No. 1-seed Vanderbilt (51-9) and No. 4-seed East Tennessee State (36-22) also will square off in the first round of double-elimination regional play. The Illini will face the Yellow Jackets in the first game at Hawkins Field on Friday, May 31, at 1:05 p.m. CT, which will be broadcast on ESPN3.
The Illini's appearance in the NCAA Tournament will be their 10th in school history and first since 2011. UI is one of two Big Ten teams to qualify for a regional along with Indiana. This is head coach Dan Hartleb's second regional appearance as a head coach, as he led the team to the regional title game at the NCAA Fullerton Regional. He also was an assistant coach on Illinois' NCAA Tournament teams in 1998 and 2000 and was a graduate assistant coach on Southern Illinois' NCAA Tournament team in 1990.
The opening weekend of the NCAA Championship features 16 four-team regionals playing in a double-elimination format. Regional play runs from May 31-June 3, with the 16 winners advancing to super-regional play. The eight two-team Super Regional sites will be determined on Monday, June 3, with play scheduled to begin Friday, June 7, in a best-of-three series. The College World Series will take place June 15-26, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
Illinois at the NCAA Tournament
Year, Tournament, Site, Record
Illinois Against Regional Field
Illinois Against NCAA Field
Illini Team Notes
Big Ten Tournament Recap: Illinois finished 1-2 at the Big Ten Tournament, falling twice to Minnesota and topping Michigan at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. The Illini pitching staff turned in a 2.84 ERA, while UI's offense struggled, scoring only six runs in the three games. Illinois fell 3-2 to the Gophers in the opening round, but bounced back with a 3-2 win in its next game against the Wolverines, improving to 10-8 in one-run games this season. The Illini were knocked out of the tournament with a 3-2 to Minnesota, ending a 10-day stay in Minneapolis.
Making the Big Ten Tournament: Illinois clinched a berth into the Big Ten Tournament by taking two out of three from Minnesota at Siebert Field in the final series of the year. The Illini, who won five of their final six games, tied for fifth in the Big Ten with Michigan at 14-10.
Defense Keeps It Clean: Illinois has not committed an error over the past six games and has been perfect in the field in eight of the last nine contests. The Illini boosted their fielding percentage to .971, which is ranked fourth in the Big Ten.
Hartleb Matches Top Win Total: With its 3-2 win over Michigan (5/23) in the Big Ten Tournament, the Illini garnered their 34th victory, equaling the top win total under head coach Dan Hartleb, which came in 2009 when the club finished 34-20. The Illini also reached at least 30 wins for the fifth time in eight season under Hartleb.
Hits Translate to Wins: Illinois is 26-4 on the season when out-hitting its opponent and just 4-13 when getting out-hit by an opponent (also 4-1 when hits are equal). The Illini have recorded double-digit hits in 26 games this season and are averaging over 10 hits per game. UI ranks third in the Big Ten with 547 hits and second with a .298 batting average, which ranks 38th in the NCAA.
Illini Dig the Long Ball: After Justin Parr hit his career-high sixth home run against Penn State (5/10), Illinois is up to 29 homers on the year, which is ranked second in the Big Ten and matched its total from 2011 when it qualified for the NCAA Fullerton Regional. The Illini have hit a dry spell at the end of the season, going homerless over the past eight games.
Big Ten Stolen Base Leaders: The Illini led the Big Ten with 106 stolen bases in 131 attempts, which is ranked in 18th in the NCAA. Redshirt-junior Jordan Parr leads the team and is tied for first in the Big Ten with 23 steals, while sophomore David Kerian is tied for fifth in the conference with 20 stolen bases. Eleven different Illini have at least one stolen base, and the Orange and Blue boast four players in double figures (also Justin Parr: 15 & Thomas Lindauer: 13).
Early Offense Key for Illini: The Illini are 15-6 when scoring in the first inning and 26-8 when scoring before their opponent. Illinois is outscoring its opponents 49-29 in the first frame, which is its highest-scoring inning. UI ranked third in the Big Ten with 323 runs and outscored its opponents (223 runs) in every inning. The Illini are averaging 6.2 runs per game in 2013 and have reached double figures in nine games.