Illinois playing MSU for Big Ten Tourney rights

The victory celebration after an Indiana game: I’m hoping to see four more of these

Forget what I said before. This weekend is the big one. The Spartans are coming into town and the these games really matter.

The Illini need to win at least two out of four against Michigan State in order for them to advance to the Big Ten Tournament. If they only win one, Penn State would need to sweep Ohio State. Michigan State has their own agenda, too. They’re only a game and half back so they’re playing for their lives.

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Eric Roof

And if there aren’t enough storylines, Illini shortstop Shawn Roof will be playing against his brother Eric, who is a catcher/thirdbaseman for the Spartans. Eric is a sophomore and isn’t seeing a lot of playing time… yet.

Shawn Roof is breaking records left and right and it’s hard to keep ’em straight. Last weekend, he broke the single season steals record as well as the single season HBP record. Right now, he is tied for the career HBP record with 43. C’mon, Shawn! Stick that elbow in there. ;-)

Catcher Lars Davis goes into this weekend’s series hitting .419. He’s striving to be the first Illini starter to hit .400 since Craig Marquie and Josh Klimek did so in 1996. Davis’ accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed. He’s been named a semi-finalist for the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award.

By the way, I did a fair job breaking the Big Ten standings down but it doesn’t compare to what Brian did over at Big Ten Hardball. He’s got it all worked out so you don’t have to.

So if you want to see some good college baseball, make way to Illinois Field this weekend. Here are the times:

May 18 // 6:05 pm
May 19 // 1:05 pm (DH)
May 20 // 1:05 pm

See you at Illinois Field and Go Illini!!

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