CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois senior Jackson Raper had a feeling he could do it. The third baseman was a double away from hitting for the cycle in the first game of the Illini’s doubleheader against Michigan over the weekend. The North Carolina stepped to the plate in the seventh inning of the seven inning game and became the first Illini since 2013 to hit a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.
“I don’t hit too many triples, that’s why in the back of my mind I was like, ‘Maybe, maybe I’ve got this,'” Raper said during a Zoom call with media on Tuesday. “Maybe two out of the four, but I don’t think I’ve gotten three before. It was definitely a pretty special game.”
Raper is only the fourth Illinois batter in the last 32 seasons (since 1990) to hit for the cycle. He had 7 RBI in the game, fueled by a 2-run home run in the first inning.