Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2012 Week 1

The Big Ten didn't do so well in the opening weekend, going a combined 15-18.

Four teams ended up with winning weekends.

All the Big Ten teams but Nebraska competed in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in St. Petersburg, Florida. It's a whole gob of baseball in one spot between mostly cold-weather teams.

I've already stated the BT/BE Challenge needs to die and be replaced by something such as a Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge as the B1G has already cuddled up with those mostly West Coastie dudes. The B1G would probably get mashed in baseball, but if they want to be big boys, they need to play the big boys.

The Challenge ended up in a 15-15 tie.

I hope to get these out on Monday, but I'm figuring out the new conference as we go. One thing already - the B1G doesn't update their statistics nearly as quickly as the Big 12 did. As of this morning, the stats have only been updated to include the first two games of last weekend. It's friggin' Tuesday. That would have been blasphemy in the Big 12.

They'll also get better over time as I figure out who's who and make the formatting prettier.

Illinois

1-2

Notre Dame 13, Illinois 12

Louisville 4, Illinois 3

Illinois 9, St John's 4

It's not good when you open the season hitting six batters and walking six more, but that's what happened to the Illini vs Notre Dame. Even with that, the game was tied 12-12 into the ninth when Notre Dame won it with a homer.

The Illini were down 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh against Louisville, then scored three runs. The rally fell short, however.

Freshman John Kravetz won B1G co-Freshman of the week honors for throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the Illini knocked off St. John's.

Indiana

2-1

Connecticut 8, Indiana 0

Indiana 7, Cincinnati 4

Indiana 12, Pittsburgh 7

UConn's Brian Ward pitched 7.1 innings of a shutout in the Hoosier's season opener, while against Cincinnati it was Indiana's turn as Joey DeNato threw six shutout innings and Chris Sujka drove in four runs. Against Pittsburgh, Micah Johnson launched the first pitch of the game over the wall as Indiana never looked back.

Iowa

1-2

Iowa 7, Pittsburgh 5

Notre Dame 5, Iowa 2

West Virginia 4, Iowa 3

Iowa's lone win came against a Pittsburgh team that finished 1-3 on the weekend. Notre Dame rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to take that game. The Hawkeyes started freshman pitcher Sasha Kuebel against the Mountaineers, but couldn't generate enough offense even while outhitting their opponent 8-7.

Michigan

2-1

Pittsburgh 9, Michigan 8

Michigan 2, Seton Hall 1

Michigan 14, West Virginia 3

Bobby Brosnahan allowed four hits and a run in seven innings in the Wolverines nice win over Seton Hall. Michigan held the Mountaineers to just five hits while racking up 13 of their own in a 14-3 win on Sunday.

Michigan State

1-2

Michigan State 11, St John's 4

South Florida 2, Michigan State 1

Louisville 7, Michigan State 6

Nice win over St. John's, and while the Spartans ended up 1-2, they played the toughest draw of any Big Ten team, playing South Florida (3-0 this weekend), Louisville (2-1), and St John's (3-1).

Minnesota

1-2

Minnesota 7, Louisville 1 (8 innings, rain)

St John's 6, Minnesota 1

South Florida 4, Minnesota 3

Minnesota's first game of the season ended on a filed protest - read it all here. Against St John's, pitcher Sean Hagen held the Gophers to one hit and scoreless over six innings.

If the protested game wasn't enough, Minnesota was rallying against South Florida, with a double and a single in the eighth when the game was called due to NCAA travel constraints, so the game reverted back to seven innings. What a weird weekend for the Gophers.

Nebraska

0-3

Gonzaga 7, Nebraska 4

Gonzaga 10, Nebraska 8

Gonzaga 5, Nebraska 4

Nebraska lead going into the last two innings of all three games then choked them away with insufficient pitching and timely mistakes. The Huskers have to find pitchers if they're going to contend for a B1G title. Wow, went out on a limb there, didn't I?

You might be a Husker apologist if you point out that Nebraska played tougher competition than everyone else this weekend. For one, I'm not sure that's entirely true. For two, getting swept still sucks no matter who you're playing.

Northwestern

1-2

West Virginia 7, Northwestern 3

Northwestern 12, Pittsburgh 11 (10 innings)

Seton Hall 6, Northwestern 3

The Wildcats just couldn't score despite outhitting the Mountaineers 13-9. NU stayed in the game early and finally gave up three runs in the ninth inning,. The win against Pittsburgh came as the Wildcats got a single, advanced on a wild pitch, then singled again for the winning run.

Against Seton Hall, once again the Wildcats couldn't score after getting 10 hits.

Ohio State

2-1

South Florida 5, Ohio State 3

Ohio State 14, Seton Hall 7

Ohio State 9, Connecticut 5

The Buckeyes put up some nice wins behind the performance of one of the BIG's top MLB prospects, Josh Desze, who won Player of the Week honors. The game against Seton Hall featured 14 hits by both teams, who also combined for seven errors (4 OSU, 3 SH).

The Connecticut game was shortened to six innings because of travel constraints, but still featured 16 hits and 14 total runs. 28 runs over three games for Ohio State. Hmmmmm.

Penn State

1-2

Seton Hall 6, Penn State 3

West Virginia 4, Penn State 1

Penn State 5, Cincinnati 3

The Nitts managed only three hits in their opener against Seton Hall, and five errors didn't help matters. Against West Virginia, Penn State scored just one run off seven hits (three doubles) and the pitching staff combined for 15 strikeouts.

PSU finally picked up a win n Sunday after playing an error-free game, and getting five runs off eleven hits.

Purdue

3-0

Purdue 9, Connecticut 4

Purdue 6, Cincinnati 0

Purdue 15, Notre Dame 8

Purdue went undefeated against what have might have been the easiest draw, missing St John's, Seton Hall, Louisville and South Florida.

They shredded Notre Dame for nine runs in the sixth inning of that outing, and overall put up 30 runs in three games. Not bad.

Big Ten Players of the Week:

Player of the Week

Josh Dezse, Ohio State

1B/RHP - So. - Powell, Ohio - Olentangy Liberty

  • Hit .500 (7-for-14), reached base at a .533 clip and slugged .714 as Ohio State went 2-1 in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge with wins over Seton Hall and Connecticut
  • Recorded multiple hits in all three contests, including a 3-for-5 performance against USF in the season-opener
  • Combined to drive in five runs and scored four times over the weekend
  • Earns his second career Player of the Week award
  • Last Ohio State Player of the Week: Josh Dezse (May 2, 2011)

Co-Pitcher of the Week

Tony Bucciferro, Michigan State

RHP - Sr. - Joliet, Ill. - Minooka Community

  • Tossed six shutout innings to lead Michigan State to an opening day win over nationally ranked St. John's on Friday at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge
  • Allowed just one hit and struck out six in the outing, retiring the first 13 batters he faced
  • Picked up his 21st career victory, moving into a tie for sixth in program history
  • Earns his second career Pitcher of the Week honor
  • Last Michigan State Pitcher of the Week: Tony Bucciferro (April 11, 2011)

Lance Breedlove, Purdue

RHP - Sr. - Long Beach, Calif. - Los Alamitos

  • Threw seven scoreless innings to lead Purdue to a win over Cincinnati on Saturday in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge
  • Struck out 11 batters and allowed just two base hits in the start
  • Eleven strikeouts marks a career high and is the highest total by a Purdue pitcher since March of 2010
  • Picks up his first career Pitcher of the Week accolade
  • Last Purdue Pitcher of the Week: Joe Haase (April 4, 2011)

Co-Freshman of the Week

John Kravetz, Illinois

RHP - Lansing, Ill. - Mount Carmel

  • Threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball to lead Illinois to a win over nationally ranked St. John's in the team's closing game of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge
  • Allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out six in a relief appearance
  • Entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the first and induced an inning-ending double play with his first pitch
  • Earns his first career weekly honor
  • Last Illinois Freshman of the Week: Thomas Lindauer (March 21, 2011)

Luke Dauch, Northwestern

OF - Bloomfield Hills, Mich. - Lahser

  • Hit .714 (5-for-7), reached base at a .778 clip and slugged 1.286 to combine for an OPS of 2.064 over three games at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge
  • Hit safely in each of his first three collegiate games, recording multiple hits in each of his first two contests
  • Slugged a double and a triple in Northwestern's win over Pittsburgh, scoring two runs and driving in a pair
  • Collects his first weekly conference award
  • Last Northwestern Freshman of the Week: Ethan Bramschreiber (April 11, 2011)

2012 Big Ten Baseball Players of the Week

Feb. 20

Pl: Josh Dezse, So., OSU

Pi: Tony Bucciferro, Sr., MSU

Pi: Lance Breedlove, Sr., PUR

F: John Kravetz, ILL

F: Luke Dauch, NU

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