“Statement Weekend” awaits Illinois baseball


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — With three weekends left in the regular season, the Illinois baseball team is in position to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. The Illini (29-15, 8-7 B1G) have an RPI of 21 and are in the projected field of 64, according to Baseball America’s latest release, but the team knows there’s still a lot yet to prove. That starts this weekend with No. 19 Indiana coming to Champaign for a three-game series starting Friday night at 6 p.m.

“This is definitely a statement weekend for us,” Illinois junior closer Garrett Acton said. “Indiana has an unbelievable program, they have for several years, and they’re ranked on the national stage. These are the types of teams that we have to beat to put ourselves on the map.”

The Hoosiers (30-14, 11-4 B1G) sit at 29 in the RPI and second in the Big Ten Conference standings, just a half game behind Michigan.

“You know it’s a series that if you can find a way to win it, it really does give you a great boost from a resume standpoint for the NCAA tournament and it’ll help your RPI as well,” Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said.

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