In Champaign, Illinois on Tuesday, Branden Comia homered and the Illinois baseball team’s bullpen threw five shutout innings to lead the Illini to a 4-2 win over No. 19 Coastal Carolina.
The game was played in front of a national television audience on Big Ten Network. Illinois and Coastal have split two games this year ahead of Wednesday’s season rubber match.
Illinois, now (18-8) on the season, came alive in the first inning with four runs, including Comia’s homer.
Jack Yalowitz added an RBI groundout and Grant Van Scoy singled home a run with two outs and that was enough run support for the Illini.
Coastal Carolina is now (20-9-1) on the season after the setback. The team out of Conway, South Carolina was shut down by five Illini bullpen arms, each throwing one inning.
Josh Harris (1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 SO), Sean Leland (1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 SO), Quinten Sefcik (1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 SO), Ryan Schmitt (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO) and Garrett Acton (1.0 IP, 0 H) combined to finish the
game and strike out eight in five innings. Harris gave Illinois its biggest inning on the mound after relieving starter Aidan Maldonado (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R) with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Harris got a weak lineout followed by two strikeouts to end Coastal’s threat and keep the game 4-2. Garrett Acton worked the ninth for his ninth save of the season.
Illinois pitching limited Coastal to 3-21 (.143) with runners on and 0-9 (.000) with runners in scoring position. The Chanticleers left 11 runners on base.
The teams are back Wednesday at Illinois Field to finish the two-game midweek series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.
• Illinois hosted Coastal Carolina for the first time ever.
• Illinois is 6-8 all-time against Coastal Carolina.
• Illinois pitcher Quinten Sefcik’s father, Jeff Sefcik, played first and third base for Coastal Carolina.
• Hitting streaks: Massey 11, Troike 6, Van Scoy 6
• Reached base streaks: Massey 11, Van Scoy 9
• Cam McDonald had two hits, the only Illini with multiple hits.
• Kellen Sarver snapped a 13-game hitting streak and seven-game reached base streak.
• The Illini Slugger, a foot long bacon wrapped hot dog, sold out in the first inning. More Illini Sluggers will be available Wednesday.