Illini Extend Streak to 18 in Win at SIU

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CARBONDALE -- The Illinois baseball team capped off a perfect April -- with a rare chance at revenge -- in a 7-5 win at Southern Illinois.

Sophomore Matthew James hit his 4th HR of the season, helping the Illini build a 7-0 lead.  The Salukis charged late with runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th, but Illinois hung on.

The Illini won their 18th-straight game - a single-season school record - and they did so against one of just six teams who've managed to find a way to beat the 6th-ranked Illini 2-0 on March 13.

Illinois starter Rob McDonnell threw 6 innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out six to improve to 6-1 on the season.

The win for Illinois capped off a perfect April (16-0), a perfect record in mid-week games (9-0), and kept Illinois in front of the race for the best record in college baseball (37-6-1).

Just nine games remain in the regular season, with their two toughest Big Ten tests ahead.

Illinois begins a series against Ohio State Friday.  The Buckeyes rank 12th in college baseball RPI.

The Illini will then come home to finish the year against Rutgers and Nebraska (another top-20 RPI team).

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