Illinois extends Dan Hartleb’s contract 5 years

MAIN Primary Orange IA source close to the University of Illinois’ athletic department has informed B1G Baseball the university will extend the contract of head baseball coach Dan Hartleb five years, with an official announcement from the university set for 4 p.m. Central.

During the best season in program history, Hartleb helped Illinois to a No. 6 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, guiding the program host its first ever NCAA regional, advancing to its first super regional. En route to a 50-10-1 season, Illinois enjoyed a nation-best 27-game winning streak and went 21-1 in Big Ten play to capture its second conference championship under Hartleb. The season concluded with nine Illini selected in the MLB Draft, a program record and third-most in the country.

The American Baseball Coaches Association’s Mideast Region Coach of the Year, and 2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Hartleb has 326 career victories in his 10-year Illini tenure, leading to program to Big Ten champions in 2011 and 2015, to the NCAA Tournament in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Further details of Hartleb’s extension will follow as announced.

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Jay, Travis are primed to be who’s next

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Can former first baseman Sam Travis, left, make it four consecutive Futures Game with a former Hoosier?

If the¬†baseball¬†world didn’t know Kyle Schwarber before Sunday, which admittedly is a stretch of the imagination, it certainly does now. In a return to his native Buckeye State, Schwarber received MVP honors in the 2015 All-Star Futures Game, playung in front of upwards of 100 family and friends in attendance, this year’s All-Star Game festivities held at Great American BallPark in downtown Cincinnati, less than 40 minutes from Schwarber’s hometown of Middletown, Ohio.

While Schwarber’s heroics make for a great story and deserved headlines, a participant in the Future Game isn’t foreign to the Indiana nor the Big Ten.

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Programs see past stars shine on MLB stage

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In his native Ohio, former Indiana All-American Kyle Schwarber received Futures Game MVP honors

Three Big Ten programs saw former standouts shine on baseball’s biggest stage. From start to finish, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities was little more than a global spotlight for the trio of players.

Beginning with former Indiana slugger Kyle Schwarber earning MVP honors of Sunday’s Futures Game, continuing Monday with once Rutgers Scarlet Knight Todd Frazier winning the Home Run Derby, capped Tuesday night with Minnesota Twin and former Gopher Glen Perkins closing out the American League’s 5-3 win in the Midsummer Classic, former Big Ten players were shining bookends to three-day gala in Cincinnati.

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Memorable home runs from the 2015 season

Big Ten Player of the Year  David Kerian hit a conference-leading 16 home runs.

Big Ten Player of the Year David Kerian hit a conference-leading 16 home runs.

A new format in the MLB Home Run Derby produced an event which captured the attention of the baseball world Monday night. Won in walk-off style by former Rutgers star Todd Frazier, a banner spring for Big Ten programs has the spotlight on the Scarlet Knights heading into the Midsummer Classic.

But Frazier isn’t the only slugger capable of dialing up the heroics. Here’s a look back at some of the memorable long balls of the 2015 season.

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Jake Kelzer announces return to Indiana

Right-handed pitcher Jake Kelzer announced Tuesday he will return to Indiana for his redshirt-junior season, bypassing an opportunity to enter professional baseball for a second consecutive season.

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Summer Spotlight: Sedlock expected to step up

Sedlock's final 2015 appearance showed the promise for 2016.

Sedlock’s final 2015 outing showed the promise for 2016. (Thomas Nelshoppen/Illini Baseball Report)

A deep and veteran team helped Illinois win a school-record 50 games, capture the 2015 Big Ten championship and earn the program’s first NCAA Tournament national seed en route to hosting regional and super regional action. Though the Illini fell two wins shy of reaching the College World Series, Dan Hartleb’s club finished with a top-10 ranking across several polls, capping one of the best seasons in program history.

A monumental year, Illinois’ depth showed in the days after its season ended, finishing tied for third in the country with nine players selected in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. Add Sunday starter John Kravetz signing a free agent deal, Illinois’ entire weekend rotation and key midweek starter are all pitching professionally.

But the cupboard is far from barren as Illinois looks to defend its crown, with players ready to take their turn in the spotlight, none more promising than right-hander pitcher Cody Sedlock.

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