I’m back and so is Illinois’ offense

I took a five day hiatus from the blog and the sports world in general as the family and I went to Chicago for an extended weekend.  The only remotely sports related things I encountered was breezing by the Friendly Confines countless times on the Red Line and seeing a couple Chicago Blackhawks who were signing autographs near the ice rink at Millennium Park.  My thought:  get them out on the rink and get them to show their moves. 

But now I’m back.  My first order of business was to check the University of Illinois results so far at Bradenton.  I held my breath and clicked… whew!  So far this week, they are 3-1!

They have won all three at the IMG’s Academy Park in Bradenton, Florida.  Their one loss is to Miami of Ohio which was played at Cincinnati Reds’ spring training digs, Ed Smith Stadium. 

No doubt, the Illini have found their hitting shoes.  After averaging a little over four runs a game for the first six games, they average 8 for these four games thanks in part to a 15-11 win over Akron on Sunday. 

The Illini saw some good pitching too most definitely from Aaron Martin who yesterday pitched a 5-0 complete game shutout. 

Back on Friday, Kyle Hudson saw his six game hitting streak come to an end.  Despite that, he did contribute to the cause with a run, an rbi and his 4th stolen base of the year.

But dang, I wish I was there for Sunday’s 15-11 slugfest over Akron.  Despite the high score, it was a close one and it came down to the ninth.  DH Daniel Webb, who was oh for 4, hit a walk-off grand slam to win it.  What was it I said last week about knowing that these guys could hit the long ball??  I was right.  Dom Altobelli and Ryan Hastings also hit taters in this game. 

By the way, team manager Mike Schroeder has some fun stuff to write about in this week’s edition of Diamond Notes

Three more games left in Illinois’ intense spring break schedule including today’s game against Kansas. 


Go Illini!!

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