After cold and wet weather knocked a few holes in the Illinois baseball schedule, the Illini added three games to the non-conference home schedule. All three opponents come from the Springfield area.
CHAMPAIGN -- After cold and wet weather knocked a few holes in the Illinois baseball schedule, the Illini added three games to the non-conference home schedule. All three opponents come from the Springfield area.
Illinois hosts Benedictine on April 6 (4:05 p.m.) before games against Illinois-Springfield on April 26 (6:05) and Illinois College on May 4 (6:05).
Located in Springfield, Benedictine is an NAIA program in its first year after Springfield College in Illinois merged with Benedictine University. Illinois-Springfield is an NCAA Division II member also in its first season. Illinois College, in Jacksonville, plays as a Division III program.
Division I programs are allowed four games each season against non-Division I opponents without affecting their RPI. Just like college basketball, the RPI is used as one factor in determining at-large bids to the NCAA tournament, which culminates in the College World Series in Omaha.
Illinois' non-conference schedule is peppered with local rivalries in Division I. The Illini already played Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois, and Illinois will face Southern Illinois again later this season. The Illini also have a home-and-homes series with Illinois State and Bradley, and Illinois will meet Eastern Illinois in Mattoon.
John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com.