CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois’ Reid Roper singled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Illini a 5-4 win over Penn State on Sunday and a sweep of the three-game weekend series.
Penn State (12-34, 3-18 Big Ten) held a 4-0 lead through three innings, and Nittany Lion starter Nick Hedge was cruising with five shutout innings, allowing only one hit and two walks while striking out two. Five relievers let the Illini back into the game, with Ian Parvin, the final pitcher, taking the loss.
Drasen Johnson pitched one inning of relief for the win and Bryan Roberts gave up a walk and a hit in the ninth but kept Penn State from tying the game for the save.
Tyler Kendall and Alex Farkes each delivered with the bases loaded in the second and third innings, respectively, with two-run singles to account for the Penn State runs. Farkes finished 2-for-3 while Elliot Searer and James Coates also had two hits.
Jason Goldstein had a single and double, and Roper also had a pair of hits for the Illini (31-15, 12-9), who are still in the hunt to make the six-team conference tournament field.
The Nittany Lions will host Villanova on Tuesday before closing the season with a three-game weekend series against Michigan State.