This afternoon when his baseball team takes the field at Purdue, Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said he will tell his players the same thing he's told them all season.
"Play hard," Hartleb said. "We've talked about playing at an even keel at all year. They know what's at stake, we're not going to do anything different or special. We've done the same thing basically every week, every game. They know what's on the line, I don't have to say special things."
What's on the line when the Illini conclude their regular season this weekend with a three-game series in West Lafayette, Ind., is a Big Ten title. Illinois (32-16) currently sits in a second-place tie in the Big Ten at 15-6, one-half game back of conference leader Minnesota, which is 15-5. Ohio State is also 15-6 in conference play, and Indiana is in the hunt as well at 14-6.
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