No. 8 Illinois keeps win streak alive with 8-1 win against No. 26 Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a Top-30 showdown at Bill Davis Stadium, No. 8 Illinois dominated No. 26 Ohio State 8-1 to continue its school-record 19-game win streak. Friday night starter Kevin Duchene struck out seven while only allowing three hits and one run over eight quality innings. The Illini offense raced to a 4-0 lead after two innings and put the game away with a four-run sixth.
"It was a great team win, that's all you can say," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "Kevin was outstanding and very efficient then Doug came in with a good inning. We had production from one through nine in the lineup. The difference in the game was that we had a bunch of two-strike, two-out hits early and were able to cruise from there."
Illinois' 19-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the NCAA and second-longest this season behind Texas A&M (24). The NCAA-record win streak (34) is owned by Texas (1977) and Florida Atlantic (1999).
UI also won a school-record 13 in a row Big Ten contests and remained in first place atop the standings at 14-1. The Orange and Blue earned that mark for just the second time in school history, as they finished the 1911 Big Ten campaign 14-1.
The Illini continued their best start in program history (38-6-1) and maintained the No. 1 winning percentage in the NCAA (.856). The 38 wins already rank seventh on the school's all-time list, while Hartleb tied George Huff for third in the school's record book with career win No. 314.
Duchene dealt a gem to improve to 8-1 this year and 21-3 in his career, including a 9-0 mark in Big Ten tilts. He faced the minimum in six of eight innings and totaled 96 pitches with 67 strikes. OSU managed its first hit with a single in the fourth and only other two knocks off Duchene in the fifth with a two-out single followed by an RBI triple for its lone run.
Illinois roughed up Tanner Tully for a career-high eight runs allowed, bouncing the OSU starter in the sixth inning. Every Illini starter recorded a hit, led by Adam Walton, Ryan Nagle, David Kerian and Ryne Roper each with two. The Orange and Blue pounded out 13 hits, marking the 28th double-digit hit performance this season.
Senior Casey Fletcher produced the first blow with a two-out, two-run single on an 0-2 count in the first that plated Reid Roper and Jason Goldstein.
With two outs in the second, Walton hit an opposite field triple to the right field corner that scored Krug followed by an RBI single from Nagle.
After loading the bases in the sixth, Ryne Roper connected on a two-run single that forced OSU to go to the bullpen. An out later, Nagle made it 8-1 with a two-run double to left, giving him three RBI on the night.
Reliever Doug Hayes worked a scoreless ninth, improving Illinois' road record to 15-2-1 and snapping Ohio State's seven-game win streak.