MO State HS Sports

Illinois Uses Early Surge to Claim Braggin’ Rights from Baseball

Jackson Beaman

SAUGET, Ill. – Illinois scored in five of the first seven innings to build a nine-run cushion, stopping University of Missouri baseball’s two-game win streak in the Braggin’ Rights series with an 11-3 victory over the Tigers Tuesday evening at Grizzlies Ballpark.

The Illini (11-12) tallied five of their first nine runs on a pair of swings of the bat — a three-run homer by Ryan Moerman in the third inning and a two-run shot from Drake Westcott in the sixth — and rode a strong pitching performance from Jake Rons and three relievers to victory.

Rons held the Tigers (10-15) to a single run on three hits, striking out seven hitters over the first 4.0 innings, before Korey Bunselmeyer (2-0) and Ben Plumley each contributed two-inning relief stints.

Illinois set the tone in the first inning, striking for the first run of the night on a Camden Janik one-out single, after Cameron Chee-Aloy singled and moved to second on a wild pitch to start the game.

The Tigers responded with a big hit from their leadoff man, as Jackson Beaman drove his fourth home run of the season over the left-center field wall to knot the score at 1-1.

But UI struck for two runs in the second, using an RBI single by Coltin Quagliano and a run-scoring ground out by Chee-Aloy to seize the lead for good. Moerman’s three-run blast to left doubled the Illini run total in the third, making it a 6-1 contest.

Mizzou threatened in the fifth, with Beaman’s two-out single chasing home the second MU run of the game.

But a Cal Hejza run-scoring single, followed by Westcott’s seventh homer of the season put the game out of reach in the sixth. Illinois tacked on two more runs in the seventh, thanks to back-to-back run-scoring hits by Quagliano and Chee-Aloy.

Beaman (3-for-4) and Kaden Peer (2-for-4) sparked the Mizzou offense with multi-hit performances, while Ben Smith’s two hitless innings highlighted the Tigers’ mound efforts.


  • Missouri fell to 16-15-1 all-time vs. Illinois, but maintains a 10-5 edge in Braggin’ Rights series games on neutral fields.
  • Beaman logged his third three-hit performance and his first-inning homer marked his fourth of the season.
  • Freshman Jack Holubowski made his first collegiate appearance in the game, starting at first base.
  • Jacob Peaden registered a pair of strikeouts in 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief.
  • Peer’s fourth-inning single extended the center fielder’s hitting streak to four games, marking a new career high.
  • Victor Quinn recorded a scoreless inning of work in relief, including two punch outs.
  • Despite the loss, Mizzou still leads the all-time series with Illinois 16-15-1. The loss snaps a Tiger two-game winning streak.
  • In just his second career appearance, Smith recorded two scoreless innings in relief, including three strikeouts.

The Tigers continue their four-game road swing Thursday (March 28) when they open a three-game Southeastern Conference series with Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics