Jay Gets Win in Long Relief as Illinois Sweeps PurduePosted:
"It feels great to keep the winning streak and get another sweep in the conference," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We pitched very well in a tight ball game and played very well defensively. Offensively, we took advantage of putting leadoff runners on and found ways to score runners even without getting hits."
Illinois maintained its best start in school history at 29-6-1 and notched its first 10-game winning streak since 2002. The Illini are tied with Iowa for first place in the Big Ten at 8-1, marking the best conference start under Hartleb and since 2005.
Purdue got on the board first for the second day in a row with a one-out solo homer in the second. The resilient Illini picked up their 12th come-from-behind win with a run in the fourth and another in the seventh.
Redshirt-senior Reid Roper legged out a triple for the second straight game to lead off the fourth. Sophomore Pat McInerney plated him with an RBI groundout to the shortstop to even the contest.
In the bottom of the seventh, Goldstein and senior David Kerian each singled to place runners on the corners and force a pitching change. After a strikeout, senior Will Krug put pressure on Purdue with his speed, as the shortstop threw the ball into right field trying to turn the double play. Goldstein touched home which proved to be the winning run.
Starter John Kravetz was solid with four strikeouts in five innings. Jay was dominant in relief, only allowing one base runner who was erased by a double play in the seventh. He punched out the first two in the ninth before ending UI's fifth one-run win with a fly out to center.
Jay lowered his ERA to 0.71, which moved him ahead of teammate Kevin Duchene (0.75 ERA) for second-lowest in the nation. He tallied his 18th scoreless appearance in 19 total outings and has 43 strikeouts with only three walks in 38 innings.
The Orange and Blue have won eight consecutive games at Illinois Field and are 14-2 at home this season. The Illini have 10 more home games scheduled, which would be the most games played (26) at Illinois Field in a season in school history.