Redbirds Play Final Game Ahead of Valley Season
April 4, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. -
The Illinois State baseball team gets one more non-conference tune-up before the Missouri Valley Conference season starts this weekend, as the Redbirds travel to DeKalb, Ill., to play Northern Illinois Tuesday at 3:05 p.m.
"I just want to see us continue to play good baseball," Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "We need to stay on course, because obviously on Friday, it starts to get even more exciting with the start of conference play."
The Redbirds (19-7) have won seven of their last eight games, including four straight against Chicago State last weekend. With victories over the Cougars, Illinois State earned its first four-game sweep since taking four at Bradley in 2003. Northern Illinois (10-14) is on a three-game winning streak after sweeping Buffalo on the road last weekend, improving the Huskies to 10-4 through their last 14 games.
As ISU travels to DeKalb, six Redbirds are hitting above .300. They include Tyler McNeely (.418), Ryan Court (.360), Mike Hollenbeck (.324), Josh Colon (.323), Brock Stewart (.314) and Zach Amrein (.306). The Huskies have five players hitting .300 or better.
JD Learnard (2-2) will again make the midweek start for the Redbirds against Northern's Jake Hermsen (0-1). Illinois State is 73-56-1 against the Huskies, with the Redbirds losing last season's game, 11-4.
Tuesday's matchup is one of two between ISU and NIU this season, as Illinois State will host Northern Illinois Tuesday, April 12.
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