NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Lincoln - The Nebraska baseball team (17-7 3-0 Big Ten) will look to continue its winning ways on Friday night at Hawks Field when it opens a three-game Big Ten series against the Illinois Fighting Illini (10-12, 2-1 Big Ten). All time the Illini hold a slim 7-6 advantage dating back to 1897.
The Illini have won the last three games of the series. Nebraska ended the 2015 season in Champaign, Ill., and the Illini, who won the Big Ten regular-season title a year ago, took the first two games of a three-game series before game three was rained out and not made up. Illinois then downed the Huskers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, 3-2.
Friday will be the conference home opener for the Huskers after opening league play with a three-game sweep at Purdue last weekend. The Illini opened conference play at home last week with a 2-1 series victory over Penn State.
Following an 8-2 win over Creighton on Tuesday night at Hawks Field, the Huskers have won eight straight games and 14 of their last 15 games after starting the year 3-6. The Illini enter Friday on a two-game losing streak and a 4-6 record over their last 10 games. After taking the first two games against the Nittany Lions last weekend the Illini dropped the finale and then lost on Tuesday at Indiana State.
The Huskers and Illini have met for a league series every year since the Huskers joined the Big Ten. Including a meeting in the Big Ten Tournament, the teams are an even 6-6 since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2012. The only time the teams didn’t meet as Big Ten opponents was in 1897, when Illinois won at home, 14-9. Nebraska is 4-2 against the Illini at Hawks Field, including series victories in 2012 and 2014.
The Husker hosted the Illinois in their first ever Big Ten game on March 23, 2012, and Illinois won 11-3. The Huskers took the series though with victories in the final two games of the weekend, 18-5 and 13-3.
The Illini are one of three teams the Huskers have met or will meet in each of NU’s first five seasons in the Big Ten. Nebraska also played Northwestern and Michigan each of its four years in the league and is schedule to play both teams in 2016.