Illinois win streak reaches 23 games with doubleheader sweep of Rutgers
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- In Game 2 of the doubleheader at Illinois Field, the No. 3 Fighting Illini wrappeded up a 23-game win streak and sealed the Saturday sweep of Rutgers with a 6-2 win. Starter Drasen Johnson (8-2) did not allow a walk and gave up one run in seven quality innings before junior J.D. Nielsen notched the final six outs for his second save.
Eight of the nine Illini starters had a hit, as the Illini posted 11 knocks in their 20th comeback win of the season under head coach Dan Hartleb.
Rutgers got on the board with a pair of doubles in the first, but Illinois responded immediately with three runs in the bottom half. Redshirt sophomore Adam Walton, who went 2-for-3 with two runs, two walks and an RBI, crossed home in the first when junior Ryan Nagle singled to second base.
Junior Jason Goldstein drilled his seventh homer that left the yard in a hurry and gave UI a 3-1 edge after one. He totaled five RBIs on the day.
Senior David Kerian connected on his second two-out RBI single of the doubleheader when he drove in senior Casey Fletcher in the third.
Four scoreless innings followed before the Illini tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth. Walton tripled home sophomore Ryne Roper, who walked, and Nagle brought home Walton with a sacrifice fly.
Nielsen worked a perfect eighth on 10 pitches and allowed an unearned run in the ninth before sealing the doubleheader sweep.
Johnson moved into 10th place on the UI all-time list with 258.1 career innings pitched. He currently leads the Big Ten with 94 innings pitched in 2015.