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Acton Breaks Saves Record in 5-2 Win Over Indiana State
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Garrett Acton worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning Tuesday night and the Illinois baseball team topped Indiana State 5-2 at Illinois Field. Acton earned his 15th save and broke the Illinois record for saves in a season previously held by Tyler Jay (2015) and Joey Gerber (2018).
“Garrett has done a great job for us the entire year,” said head coach Dan Hartleb. “Really happy for him and looking forward to a lot more of those saves this year so he can push that record forward.”
Illinois (29-15) put Acton in position with three runs in the bottom of seventh. Ben Troike hit a go-ahead RBI single and Zac Taylor added a two-out, two-RBI triple to give the Illini a cushion.
“I can’t get my job done without the people performing and getting us in position to win,” said Acton. “The record is a credit to the impact those guys have made.”
Taylor led Illinois with two hits and Michael Michalak scored two runs.
Indiana State (32-10) was limited to three hits by four Illini pitchers. Quinn Snarskis started and allowed only one run in the first five innings, before the bullpen took over and kept the Sycamores hitless in the last four frames. Josh Harris (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R), Quinten Sefcik (2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 ER) and Acton (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R) finished the game to help Illinois split the season series with Indiana State.
Illinois is back at Illinois Field this weekend for three games against No. 19 Indiana. It is a full weekend of promotions starting with Friday’s Bleacher Bum BBQ.
Notes
• Illinois has won seven of its last nine games.
• Illinois pitchers kept Indiana State hitless with runners on (0-9).
• Indiana State was 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
• Opponents are hitting .201 with runners in scoring position against Illinois this season (82/408).
• Garrett Acton leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation in saves (15).
• Acton’s 15 saves ranks No. 7 for a career in Illinois history.
• Illinois’ bullpen is 16-10 with a .183 batting average against, 3.73 ERA and 192 strikeouts in 169 innings.
• Illinois played error-free for the seventh time in the last 10 games.
• Illinois leads the Big Ten in fielding percentage at .982, slightly ahead of last year’s single-season program record of .979.
• Illinois is outscoring opponents 36-8 in the first inning. Illinois allowed a run in the first inning to Indiana State, only the fifth earned run allowed in the first inning this year. Illinois has a 1.05 team ERA in the opening frame.
• Jack Yalowitz snapped a career-long-tying reached base streak of 13 games.
• Kellen Sarver snapped a career-long reached base streak of 11 games.
• Reached base streaks: Taylor 16, Massey 12