Illini Sweep Ohio State, Extend Winning Streak to 21

 COLUMBUS, Ohio  (via - No. 6 Illinois extended the nation's longest active winning streak to 21 straight and earned its fifth consecutive Big Ten series sweep with a 6-2 comeback win at No. 23 Ohio State on Sunday. The Illini overcame an early 2-0 deficit for the second straight day and scored six unanswered runs to clinch their 40th win.

The Fighting Illini continued their best start in program history (40-6-1) and maintained the No. 1 winning percentage in the NCAA (.862). It is the fastest Illinois has ever reached 40 wins, which is already the seventh-most victories on the school's all-time list.

UI won a program-record 15 straight Big Ten tilts and remained ahead of Iowa (15-3) in first place atop the conference standings at 16-1, marking Illinois' best Big Ten record through 17 games in school history. Five Big Ten series sweeps also broke the school record of four from last season.

Illinois' school-record 21-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the NCAA and second-longest this season behind Texas A&M (24). The NCAA record winning streak (34) is owned by Texas (1977) and Florida Atlantic (1999).

The Buckeyes grabbed their 2-0 advantage with an RBI single in the first and sacrifice fly in the second. Senior David Kerian, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, started the Illini's 19th comeback win with a leadoff homer in the third.

Kerian connected on a go-ahead two-run single in the fourth that plated junior Jason Goldstein and senior Casey Fletcher for a 3-2 lead. The Illini first baseman hit a team-high .636 (7-for-11) with five runs and three RBI on the weekend.

The Orange and Blue's three-run sixth provided the cushion and wrapped up the scoring at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. Senior Will Krug brought home Fletcher on a squeeze play, while shortstop Adam Walton added a two-run single through the left side that drove in Kerian and Krug.

Starter John Kravetz, who had his seventh no decision of the season, allowed four hits and two runs in his four innings of work. He fanned a pair of Buckeyes, which moved him into 10th on the school's all-time list with 179 career strikeouts.

Redshirt-senior Rob McDonnell took over in the fifth and did not allow a run while fanning four over four frames. He improved to a career-best 7-1 after picking up his second win on the week. Third baseman Ryne Roper turned a key double play in the seventh that halted the OSU threat.

Closer Tyler Jay finished off the game for the second day in a row, breezing through a perfect ninth on eight pitches.

Up Next: No. 6 Illinois will play its final six games of the regular season at Illinois Field, beginning with a series against Rutgers next weekend (May 8-10). The Illini end the Big Ten campaign with a home series against Nebraska (May 14-16).

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