(From University of Illinois Sports Information Office)
(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)
April 2nd, 2023
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Fighting Illini baseball head coach Dan Hartleb earned his 519th win at Illinois today, becoming the winningest coach in program history, as the Illini slugged their way to an 11-1 victory over Michigan (15-12, 5-1) in Sunday's series finale.
Illinois (12-12, 2-4) scored early and often in the ballgame, which was kickstarted by a two-run second. Drake Westcott started the frame with a solo shot, his team-leading seventh of the year, and Brody Harding followed three batters late with an RBI-single to make it 2-0.
Jack Wenninger faced the minimum through the first three innings of the game, picking up a pair of strikeouts along the way, as well as inducing one double play.
The Orange and Blue broke the game wide open in the third, with Ryan Moerman crushing a lead-off home run and Jacob Schroeder going yard with a three-run blast of his own to make it 6-0.
The Wolverines would pull one back in the fourth, making it 6-1, but that's all the visitors would get, as Wenninger closed out his outing by facing just one batter over the minimum over the final 4.0 innings of his day, allowing no runs and no hits in his career-high 8.0 innings of work. The junior also retired 10-straight to cap his start.
Illinois continued the onslaught when Harding slugged his first home run of the season, a two-run blast, in the fifth and he would later collect his career-high fourth RBI of the game with a run-scoring single in the seventh, making it 9-1.
The Illini then added two more runs in eighth, with Zak Hartleb drawing a pinch-hit bases-loaded walk and Schroeder also picking up his fourth RBI of the ballgame with a single.
Payton Hutchings made his season debut in the ninth, working a scoreless inning and picking up one strikeout to close out the contest, giving coach Hartleb the milestone victory.
» Dan Hartleb is now Illinois baseball's winningest coach in program history.
» Passes Lee Eilbracht, who finished his Illini career with 518 wins.
» Ryan Moerman went 2-for-5 with two runs, a home run and one RBI.
» Has multi-hit games in four of his last six, including two three-hit performances.
» Has raised his average from .284 to .330 over his last seven games.
» Tied for second on the team with six home runs this season.
» Has homered in four of his last five games.
» Has a team-high 28 RBI.
» Brody Harding went 3-for-4 with a run, home run and four RBI.
» The four RBI sets a new career-high mark.
» Extended his hitting streak to a career-high six games.
» Has gone 10-for-16 (.625) during that span, with a double, home run, six RBI and three walks.
» Drake Westcott slugged his team-leading seventh home run of the season.
» Went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run and an RBI.
» First three-hit game of his collegiate career.
» Jacob Schroeder went 3-for-5 with two runs, a home run and four RBI.
» His three hits and four RBI are Illini career highs.
» Has six home runs in 47 at bats...tied for second-highest total on team.
» Has six multi-RBI games on the season.
» Zak Hartleb picked up his first RBI of the season with his bases-loaded walk.
» Illinois got three-hit games from three different hitters.
» Five Fighting Illini had multiple hits in the ballgame.
» Illinois hitters hit four home runs in the ballgame.
» The Fighting Illini out-hit the Wolverines at a 14-3 clip.
» Illinois went 4-for-10 (.400) with runners in scoring position.
» Illinois pitchers faced 31 Michigan hitters in the game, allowing seven ground balls and 11 fly balls while striking out six.
» The Fighting Illini drew five walks from Michigan pitching.
» Illinois Field drew a season-high 1,253 fans to the ballpark.
» Illinois scored two runs during the first kid announcer inning of the season, which featured Brody Harding's home run.
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