CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — It’s safe to say Cam McDonald is seeing the ball well. The Illinois outfielder is in the middle of a 48-game on-base streak, second longest in program history.
“I feel good, just trying to keep it day-by-day,” McDonald said. “If I have a day where I don’t feel that good, the next day’s a new day. Or if I have a day where I feel good, the next day’s still new.”
McDonald is nine games away from tying the program record for consecutive games reaching base, currently held by Ben Troike, but the current Illini leftfielder says his main focus is the team.
“I try to keep it just on winning, and finding a way to help us win,” McDonald said.
“Quality at-bats, driving in runs,” Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said about McDonald’s role. “He’s played with great confidence and has been a big part of our success.”
After a slow start to the season, the Illini bats have started to catch up with McDonald. One of the hitters coming on strong is Justin Janas, coming off a 7-for-9 weekend against Maryland.
“We always have people hitting, picking each other up,” Janas said. “I feel like when we got things rolling like that, our whole lineup gets going and that leads to wins.”
The Illini (20-17, 11-3 B1G) find themselves in a good spot with a month left, holding down second place in the Big Ten standings. And they’re getting there with their offense, batting .286 since conference play started, good for third in the league.
“I think we have a great shot,” Janas said about the Illini’s chance to win a title. “Obviously offensively, we have a team that can compete with anyone in the country I feel like.”
“We want to win the Big Ten Championship and keep winning games, win these last three series,” McDonald added. “To do that we got to take it one game at a time.”
Illinois returns to the field Wednesday visiting Bradley in a non-conference game before heading to Indiana for a three-game series this weekend.