The Illinois baseball team equaled its school record for victories in a season and moved within one win of becoming a regional champion Sunday while Iowa saw its historic year come to an end.
The Fighting Illini got a three-hit complete game shutout from Drasen Johnson in a 3-0 victory over Notre Dame to advance to today’s championship game of the Champaign regional. They will play Wright State at 1 p.m. at Illini Field where they have won 18 straight games, the longest current streak in the NCAA.
Illinois (49-8-1) scored all of its runs in the fifth inning and handed Ryan Smoyer (9-1) his first loss of the year for the Irish (37-22).
In the regional played in Springfield, Mo., Iowa extended its season with a dramatic 2-1 win over Oregon in an elimination game that went 11 innings Sunday afternoon before falling to host Missouri State 3-2 Sunday night.
Trailing 3-0 to Missouri State through seven innings, the Hawkeyes (41-18) scored a pair of runs in the eighth and had the tying run on second in the ninth inning but had a fly out to end the game and Iowa’s first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1990.
Iowa’s Calvin Mathews, Luke Vandermaten and Nick Hibbing combined to hold Oregon to three hits in the Hawkeyes’ 2-1 win earlier in the day.
Hibbing came on with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth and got a strikeout and double play to force extras, then shut down Oregon in the next two innings to earn the win.
Iowa catcher Daniel Aaron Moriel drove in the winning run for Iowa with a two-out single in the top of the 11th after a balk moved the eventual winning run to second base.