May 1, 2008
NU Game Notes vs. Illinois
EVANSTON, Ill. -
This weekend's Big Ten baseball series between Northwestern and Illinois in Champaign has been pushed back a day due to the threat of inclement weather Friday. The teams will now play a single game at 3 p.m. Saturday, a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. and Monday's finale slated for 6:05 p.m.
This weekend's series is crucial for both teams as Illinois enters with an 11-9 conference record, good for third place. Ohio State is a half-game back at 10-9, while the Wildcats are tied with Penn State for fifth place with a 10-10 record.
Series History: Illinois leads, 148-78-1.
Last Season: The Fighting Illini won three of four games April 13-15 in Evanston. Illinois won the first three games before the Wildcats took the finale.
Odds 'n Ends
Northwestern's opponents have combined to commit 11 errors in the last two games. Ohio State had six miscues in a 14-8 loss Sunday to the Wildcats, while UW-Milwaukee had five errors but held on for a 6-5 victory Wednesday.
Jake Goebbert and Jake Owens are the first NU teammates this decade to each post hitting streaks of at least 13 games in the same season. Goebbert has hit safely in 15 straight games, while Owens is in the midst of his second 13-game streak this year.
The Fighting Illini (25-17, 11-9) is coming off a 3-2 home loss to Southern Illinois on Tuesday. The Salukis tallied the winning run in the top of the 11th inning. Illinois split a four-game series with Penn State at home last weekend, scoring a combined 37 runs in its two wins (20-11, 17-6). The squad has scored at least 15 runs in a game eight times this season.
Illinois leads the Big Ten with a .341 team batting average. Kyle Hudson paces the Illini with a .417 average and a conference-best 32 stolen bases, while Daniel Webb is second at .410 with team highs of six homers and 40 RBI. The team has eight regular starters who are batting over .300.
On the mound, reliever Ben Reeser leads the way with a 2.20 ERA. Kevin Manson sports at team-best 5-1 record.
Northwestern returns home Tuesday to play its final non-conference game of the regular season when it takes on Elmhurst (Ill.) at 3:30 p.m. The Wildcats then host Indiana in a four-game series beginning next Friday.