Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2012 Week 5

Nebraska is doing better than most expected early in the season, but Purdue remains the top team in the conference.

Purdue continues to be ranked - for the first time in school history they're ranked in all four polls after earning a #24 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll.

The Boilermakers are the Big Ten's only ranked team. So far, pollsters have not taken notice of Nebraska, and given that conference play will begin next week it will be difficult for any one to move up in rankings.


Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

Purdue

0-0

.000

14-3

.824

Nebraska

0-0

.000

14-7

.667

Michigan State

0-0

.000

10-7

.588

Ohio State

0-0

.000

10-7

.588

Illinois

0-0

.000

10-7

.588

Michigan

0-0

.000

9-11

.450

Minnesota

0-0

.000

8-11

.421

Iowa

0-0

.000

6-10

.375

Northwestern

0-0

.000

6-11

.353

Indiana

0-0

.000

6-13

.316

Penn State

0-0

.000

3-14

.176

This week's review is abbreviated due to a death in my family. I most likely will not be posting for the remainder of this week.

Before conference play starts, let's take a look back at how the coaches picked the teams to finish and where they're at now. Michigan State was picked to finish first, and they're not doing bad, with an ISR of 69. Right now, Purdue remains the cream of the crop, and their schedule has placed them at fourth in ISR (Boyds World). Nebraska, picked fourth, is doing a lot better than I think anyone expected (biased? me? maybe), and their offense is better than most expected. Minnesota was picked third and they're not living up to that billing so far. The Gophers continue to have problems with offense, although they're second in team pitching with an ERA of 3.59.

Illinois

3-1

Illinois 8, Southern Illinois 2

Illinois, Northern Illinois 2

Northern Illinois 3, Illinois 0

Illinois 13, Southern Illinois 5

The Illini went 3-1 against fairly mediocre competition, their only loss coming when Northern Illinois pitcher Taylor Nawrocki threw 8.1 innings, giving up only six hits.

Up Next - The start of Big Ten Conference play at Nebraska.

Indiana

2-3

San Diego 9, Indiana 3

Indiana 7, San Diego 6 (11 innings)

Indiana 3, Loyola Marymount 1

Loyola Marymount 7, Indiana 4

Loyola Marymount 9, Indiana 0

The Hoosiers lost the series with Loyola Marymount, but split a mid-week series with San Diego. They continue to have problems with fielding, having 42 errors already this season.

Up Next - Two mid-week games vs. Eastern Kentucky, then conference play at Penn State

Iowa

2-2

Iowa 8, Bucknell 6

Long Island 5, Iowa 3

Iowa 6, Jacksonville State 3

Army 5, Iowa 1

Up Next - conference play vs Northwestern.

Michigan

2-2

Coastal Carolina 7, Michigan 3

Michigan 3, UAB 1

Coastal Carolina 6, Michigan 2

Michigan 7, Connecticut 5

Michigan lost two to Coastal Carolina, not bad competition, but you'd like have seen the Wolverines win one of those games although I should mention that the Chanticleers have the top ERA in the nation at 1.94. That's pretty tough.

Up Next - A three-game series with IUPU-Fort Wayne.

Michigan State

3-0

MSU 4, Cincinnati 3

MSU 5, Cincinnati 4

MSU 9, Cincinnati 4

The Spartans swept Cincinnati, a team ranked at #275 in Boyd's World pseudo RPI. Not very good competition, but they took care of business to move to 10-7 on the season. MSU leads the Big Ten in team pitching, with a 3.03 ERA. They currently have the top three pitchers in the Big Ten, so their win-loss total may not tell the whole story. Bottom line - don't count them out of the Big Ten race because of early season results.

Up Next - A three-game series with Oakland.

Minnesota

2-3

Kansas State 9, Minnesota 4

Kansas State 8, Minnesota 4

Cal Poly 4, Minnesota 3

Minnesota 4, Cal Poly 1

Minnesota 4, Cal Poly 3

Minnesota lost two games mid-week to a decent Kansas State squad, and then managed to pull out a series win against a decent Cal Poly team (ISR: 30).

Up Next - a two-game mid-week series against North Dakota State, then a series against the Citadel.

Nebraska

4-1

Nebraska 12, South Dakota State 3

Nebraska 9, La Tech 2

Nebraska 22, La Tech 3

Nebraska 11, La Tech 4

La Tech 6, Nebraska 5

The Huskers had a good week, although against some light competition. They mostly took care of business and their offense continues to learn how to score. The Huskers lead the Big Ten in team fielding. As of March 18th, the Huskers had 250 hits, good for second in the nation.

Up Next - A two-game mid-week series with Northern Colorado, then conference play begins next week against Illinois.

Northwestern

2-3

Northwestern 1, Eastern Illinois 0

Navy 6, Northwestern 5

Bucknell 10, Northwestern 6

Northwestern 9, Long Island 4

Jacksonville State 6, Northwestern 5

Up Next - A midweek game versus Nebraska - Omaha, then conference play begins at Iowa.

Ohio State

2-1

OSU 4, Austin Peay State 2 (13 innings)

Austin Peay State 7, OSU 2 (10 innings)

OSU 7, Austin Peay State 3

Austin Peay plated five runs in the top of the 10th inning; otherwise, it would have been a good weekend for the Buckeyes.

Up Next - midweek games against Louisville and Dayton, then conference play vs. Purdue

Penn State

0-3

East Carolina 5, PSU 4

East Carolina 6, PSU 5 (10 innings)

East Carolina 7, PSU 4

Ugh. The Nittany Lions continue to be bad. They're last in conference in both team batting at .222 and in team pitching with a 5.48 ERA. This with an ISR of 235. Ouch.

Up Next- midweek vs Pittsburgh, then conference play begins against Indiana.

Purdue

2-2

Purdue 8, Wichita State 3

Purdue 10, Wichita State 5

Wichita State 8, Purdue 2

Wichita State 5, Purdue 3

Like I said earlier, Purdue is still the cream of the crop for the conference. This is the first time in school history that the Boilermakers have been ranked in all polls.

The loss at Wichita State snapped a 10-game winning streak, and the double-header loss was the first time the Boilers lost both games of a double header since May 2010. That's not a bad streak.

Purdue continues to lead the conference in team batting at .350, and they're fourth in team pitching with a ERA of 3.85. Tyler Spillner and Cameron Perkins lead the conference in runs scored with 22 and 20, respectively.

Purdue's .350 batting is currently second in the nation.

Up Next- Big Ten Conference play at Ohio State.

Player of the Week

Josh Scheffert, Nebraska

3B/1B - Jr. - Lincoln, Neb. - Southeast

 Hit .650 with 10 RBI and nine runs scored as Nebraska went 5-1 last week, including a victory over No. 18 California

 Slugged 1.200 on the strength of two doubles and three home runs and reached base at a .682 clip to combine for an OPS of 1.882 on the week

 Went a career-best 5-for-5 against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, scoring three runs and driving in a pair

 Earns his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award and the first for Nebraska as a member of the conference

 Last Nebraska Player of the Week: N/A

Pitcher of the Week

Joey DeNato, Indiana

LHP - So. - San Diego, Calif. - Torrey Pines

 Tossed a complete-game three-hitter to lead Indiana to a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount on Thursday

 Gave up just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out five

 Retired 24 of the last 26 hitters he faced, including 15 consecutive from the second through sixth innings, needing just 101 pitches in the outing

 Earns his second career Pitcher of the Week award

 Last Indiana Pitcher of the Week: Joey DeNato (May 9, 2011)

Freshman of the Week

Pat Kelly, Nebraska

2B - Red Wing, Minn. - Red Wing

 Hit .571 and recorded two hits in each of the four games he played last week

 Scored five runs and drove in seven, including a three-run triple with the bases loaded against No. 18 California

 Hit two home runs, including the first of his collegiate career, to slug 1.143 and combine for a 1.768 OPS on the week

 Collects his first career honor

 Last Nebraska Freshman of the Week: N/A

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