BOONEVILLE, Miss. — Fighting Illini baseball (8-6) opened up the series over Southern Illinois (8-11) with a 3-2 win at The Plex.

With two outs and the game tied 2-2 in the eighth, Branden Comia singled home Cal Hejza for what would be the winning run in the ballgame.

Joe Glassey earned his first save of the season by working around lead-off double and keeping the Salukis off the board to give the Illini the victory.

It was Comia that started the action in the bottom of the first, when he went the opposite way for his third home run of the season, a two-run shot off the video board in right, after Danny Doligale led off with a walk.

The long ball was Comia’s 200th hit of his Illini career.

Illinois starter Riley Gowens was stellar in his start, retiring the first six batters he faced, three via the strikeout, but Southern Illinois cut the lead in half in the third with a pair of doubles in the frame to make it 2-1.

The Salukis tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth, but Gowens faced just one batter over the minimum over the final three innings of his start, racking up five strikeouts during that span. The Libertyville, Ill., native, struck out the side in the eighth to reach a career-high in innings pitched to go along with 10 strikeouts. It’s the second time this season he has fanned double-digit batters in an outing.

The Fighting Illini will be back in action tomorrow, with first pitch against Southern Illinois from The Plex slated for 1:00 p.m. CT.


» Head coach Dan Hartleb picked up career win 515 and is just four wins away from passing Lee Eilbracht (518) for the most in program history.

» Riley Gowens earned his first win of the season, working a career-high 8.0 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits.    

    » Gowens struck out 10 Salukis hitters and issued no walks..

        » Second double-digit strikeout effort of the season.

» Branden Comia extended his on-base streak to 54 games after going 2-for-4 with a run, home run and three RBI.

    » He is just nine games away from matching Cam McDonald’s program record of 63 games, which was set last season.

» Camden Janik has now hit safely in 13 of 14 games this season.

    » One of two Illini (B. Comia) to have reached base safely in all 14 games this season.

» Cam McDonald and Branden Comia each had multi-hit games for the Illini.

» Danny Doligale drew two walks in the ballgame.

    » Doligale has drawn at least one walk in six-straight games, including three multi-walk games during that span.

        » Leads the Illini with 17 walks this season.

» Illinois went 2-for-5 (.400) with runners in scoring position.

» Illinois pitchers limited Southern Illinois to just 2-for-12 (.167) with runners in scoring position.

» Illinois pitchers faced 35 Southern Illinois hitters in the game, allowing nine ground balls and six fly balls while striking out 11.

    » Issued just one walk, which was an intentional walk in ninth.

» The game was played in just 1:59.

This story created through content automation technology from Data Skrive.

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