CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois junior Riley Gowens is the co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after throwing seven scoreless innings of no hit ball in a win at Purdue on Sunday. Ryan O’Hara and Cole Kirschsieper followed with two more hitless innings to combine to throw the Illini’s 11th no-hitter in the program’s 142-year history and the first one since 1985.
“That’s a crazy stat, and just to be a part of that is awesome,” Gowens said. “I think reflecting on it, seeing how cool it is, and how important it is for a lot of people makes it way better for me.”
“It’s rare to start with and then you add to the odds when you have multiple guys,” Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. “The fact that Riley did what he did, and the amount of pitches, and for those guys to come in and shut the door, it was a special day.”
Gowens has missed the past two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Libertyville native got the victory on Sunday, his first of the season. This year, Gowens is 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA (31.1 IP, 16 ER) in seven starts.
The 1-0 victory over the Boilermakers Sunday was the third straight win at Purdue for the Illini, who climbed back to a game of .500 on the season at 13-14.