OMAHA, Neb.– For the 10th straight postseason, the Indiana baseball program has reached the Big Ten Tournament, which is the longest active streak in the conference. The No. 2 seeded Hoosiers will begin play at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday (May 23) from Charles Schwab Field.
Indiana (40-16, 16-8) won the season series with Illinois (25-25, 12-12) in early April. The 2-1 series edge was one of three road series victories for IU. The two teams have met in the Big Ten Tournament in three of the last four events, as IU owns the edge in postseason games, 4-3.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | vs. Illinois | 2 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Audio: bit.ly/IUAudio
Live Stats: bit.ly/IUStatbroadcast
Indiana and Illinois will meet for the 212th time overall and eighth in the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois leads the all-time series 121-89-1, but Indiana has won four of seven meetings in the B1G postseason.
Indiana’s 15-straight wins to open the season marks the longest home winning streak in Bart Kaufman Field history and the second-longest streak in program history.
Senior Phillip Glasser saw his 45-game reached base come to an end at Northwestern, which tied for the longest streak in program history since at least 2005.
Glasser is among the top-50 active hitters in a bevy of categories, including No. 5 with 273 career hits.
Senior Peter Serruto has caught 95 percent of Indiana’s innings since April 1 (31 games) and hit .309 during Big Ten play.
Among relief pitchers nationally, sophomore Ryan Kraft’s 54 1/3 innings of relief work is among the most in the country, sitting No. 9 nationally.
Freshman Devin Taylor carried a 32-game reached base streak that spanned Feb. 25-April 28, which is the longest streak for an IU freshman since at least 2005.
Sophomore Josh Pyne was named NCBWA National Player of the Week and B1G Player of the Week after a 10-hit, 14-RBI week versus Xavier and Purdue.
Sophomore Luke Sinnard is the only Big Ten pitcher with multiple double-digit strikeout games this season, which includes a B1G-best 13 punchies versus Morehead State.
Head coach Jeff Mercer became the eighth IU skipper to reach 100 victories in the cream and crimson with a series finale win at Auburn on February 19, 2023. He then won his 200th career game as a head coach at Illinois on April 15.
Big Ten Tournament Notes
Indiana makes its 18th appearance in the Big Ten Tournament since its initial appearance in 1991. The Hoosiers own a 30-28 overall record at the event.
IU is the only Big Ten program to appear in the last 10 Big Ten Tournaments, with a win in eight of the last nine appearances (2019, 0-2).
In 58 overall games played by IU at the Big Ten Tournament, 24 of those have been decided by two-or-fewer runs.
Over the 58 games, IU has been shut out twice and scored double-digit runs on 11 occasions. The Hoosiers average 5.9 runs scored, and 5.6 runs allowed.
After meeting Rutgers in the semifinals of the 2022 event, IU has now played all 12 other Big Ten programs in tournament play.
Scouting the Opponents
Illinois enters the Big Ten Tournament with a 25-25 overall record and 12-12 mark in conference play, which earned them the No. 7 seed.
As a team, Illinois ranks No. 31 nationally with 89 home runs and No. 33 with a .978 fielding percentage. The pitching staff limits free passes, as well, with a 3.81 Walks per Nine Innings to rank No. 44 nationally.
Camden Janik lead the team with a .316 batting average and a .446 on-base percentage thanks to 34 walks and nine hit-by-pitch.
Drake Westcott leads the team with 18 home runs, 47 RBIs and 43 runs scored on the season. He has walked 30 times and struck out 45 times.
Jack Wenninger is the projected starter for the Fighting Illini and owns a 6-3 record and 4.62 ERA. He owns 72 strikeouts to 27 walks over 76 innings of work.
It has been closer by committee for Illinois, as four pitchers have logged multiple saves. TJ Constertina leads the way with four saves and a team-best 22 appearances.
Inside the Series
With the 212th meeting all-time on tap for Tuesday (May 23) at the Big Ten Tournament, the Fighting Illini hold the edge in the all-time series 121-89-1.
The lone tie in the series came in 1945, a 6-6 tie at Indiana on April 28.
Of the 211 previous meetings, 57 of those have been decided by one run. Only 16 of them have been won by double figures, including the series finale earlier this season in Champaign.
In 2022, Indiana won the regular season series 2-1 with wins in the Friday and Sunday games. The two teams also met at the Big Ten Tournament, an 8-1 victory for the Hoosiers.
Over the last 10 Big Ten seasons (2013-present; not counting 2020), Indiana and Illinois have met in nine of those. Indiana has won the series on seven occasions.
Tuesday’s meeting at Charles Schwab Field marks the third time in the last four Big Ten Tournaments that IU and UI will meet, with Illinois winning two of those games.
BIG 10 TOURNEY CENTRAL: https://bigten.org/sports/2023/4/1/BB_0401230050.aspx