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2017 Illinois Baseball

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Old Feb 16, 2017, 01:02 PM   #1
illinifaninwi
Posts: 183
The 2017 Illinois baseball season is just a day away! Two games against Milwaukee and then two with Lamar over four days in Texas.

Concerning is not seeing Doug Hayes in the opening weekend probables. Sophomore Luke Shilling has big-time stuff but is still raw as a college starter, especially to be an "ace." Fellow sophomores Quinten Sefcik and Cole Bellair and freshman Ty Weber round out the rotation. This group is talented but equally inexperienced. Shilling and Weber were drafted out of high school.

The Illini should be solid in the lineup and on the field. Power numbers won't be eye-popping but the team should hit for average and field the ball well. The player I expect to really take off is outfielder Doran Turchin. Good speed, pop, and glove. Senior first baseman Pat McInerney will also be critical to this team's success.

Without knowing the extent of Hayes' first week absence, I feel 28-30 wins and a .500 Big Ten record is reasonable. Next year is when the Illini should again join the ranks of the Top 25. Top recruit Ryan Kutt likely will join Hayes, Shilling, and Weber in the starting rotation. I could also see Hartleb making Shilling, with his 95 MPH heater, the closer and Bellair in the rotation.

Go Illini!
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Old Feb 16, 2017, 01:49 PM   #2
WesterveltVictoryCigar
Posts: 13,341
Yeah, surprised not to see Hayes starting. If nothing else, we have some imposing size in that rotation. Schilling, Bellair and Weber are all 225+ lbs.
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Old Feb 20, 2017, 08:57 AM   #3
MGR95
Posts: 124
1-3 Record over the weekend to start the season...

W 10-2 vs. Milwaukee
L 4-2 vs. Milwaukee
L 15-9 vs. Lamar
L 2-1 vs. Lamar (F/10)

Next up: Texas A&M Corpus Christi (2/24), Houston (2/25), Mizzou (2/26) all in Corpus Christi, TX.
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Old Mar 19, 2017, 05:37 PM   #4
GoIllini40
Posts: 223
Was 2015 a fluke? Just lost 2 to SIU.
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Old Mar 19, 2017, 06:00 PM   #5
ilphotog
The camera never lies
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Location: Champaign
Posts: 5,262
Nope, just a really young team, they will take their licks this year, and next year should be pretty good again. Nearly all of our pitchers are freshmen and sophomores,.the Outfield is 2 soph's and a freshman. Our shortstop and 2nd baseman are both freshmen. And our catcher is a sophomore. Defensively they are pretty good, but the young pitchers are struggling with control. In short, this is a growth season.
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Old Mar 19, 2017, 06:27 PM   #6
Firet92
Location: Gurnee, IL
Posts: 269
Would agree, very very young. Very talented as well. Yalowitz looks like a stud. Also, the ace Hayes is out. That doesn't help.
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Old Mar 20, 2017, 10:23 AM   #7
illinifaninwi
Posts: 183
Tough start for sure! Doug Hayes out definitely hurts but this team's starting staff has really under performed with far too many walks issued.

I'm confident in the defense and hitting should keep improving. The Illini need Shilling to throw strikes consistently because he has ace stuff.
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