Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2013 Week Six

A round up of what happened in Big Ten baseball this week. Indiana is separating itself as the best team in the Big Ten.. and it doesn't appear to be close.

B1G Conference play started this week, with Indiana sweeping Penn State while Ohio State swept Purdue. A few teams had their home openers this weekend, which is ridiculous given that we're into the 20th game of the season for most of the teams.

Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

Indiana

3-0

.000

18-3

.857

Ohio State

3-0

.000

15-6

.714

Northwestern

2-1

.000

9-6

.600

Nebraska

2-1

.000

8-14

.364

Illinois

1-2

.000

14-6

.700

Iowa

1-2

.000

9-10

.474

Minnesota

0-0

.000

14-11

.560

Michigan State

0-0

.000

13-7

.650

Michigan

0-0

.000

10-11

.476

Purdue

0-3

.000

7-14

.333

Penn State

0-3

.000

5-14

.263

Are we seeing any separation? Yeah, there's Indiana, and then there's everyone else, really. Indiana's current pseudo-RPI is 14, with Ohio State far behind at 67 and Nebraska at 71, despite a 8-14 overall record.

Here's the week that was, minus the players of the week which I'll fill in later.

Illinois

2-2

Illinois 2, Southern Illinois 1 (10 innings)

Nebraska 9, Illinois 5

Illinois 8, Nebraska 7

Nebraska 6, Illinois 4

Illinois was on a tear heading into this series and it was not only their conference opening series, but also their home opener. The Friday loss broke a six-game Illini win streak, with Illini pitchers giving up 16 hits to the Huskers (Illinois had 13). The Huskers scored four in the third inning because of two Illinois errors.

The Illinois won the second game on a suicide squeeze as the bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

In the third, the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, the Illini scored four runs in the first three innings (game tied at four through three) but couldn't get another run as Nebraska added two more.

There were plenty of hits by both teams in all three games (Illinois 13, 11,12 - Nebraska 16, 15, 12) with pitchers getting roughed up all over. In the end, Illinois succumbed to the Huskers' superior defense, as Illinois had 13 LOBs in each of the first two games.

Indiana

5-0

Indiana 11, Miami (OH) 2

Indiana 15, Miami (OH) 1

Indiana 9, Penn State 3

Indiana 2, Penn State 0

Indiana 11, Penn State 3

Second undefeated week in a row for Indiana. Granted, not great competition, but Indiana is on a tear. The Hoosiers opened their new facility, Bart Kaufman Field, this past week against Miami (OH) with a BOOM as they banged out 19 hits and 15 runs, a day after they blasted the Redhawks at their home field. Miami outhit Indiana 12 to nine, but could manage only a run.

Hoosier pitcher Joey DeNato was great again in the conference series opener, going 7.1 innings, giving up five hits, one run and striking out 10.

Not to be outdone, Kyle Hart went eight innings, giving up only three hits as Will Nolden went 3-for-3 with a RBI.

Dustin Demuth was 3-for-3 with a run and two RBI to assist in the series sweep.

Indiana still leads the conference in team batting at .315, and in pitching with a 2.05 ERA.

Indiana now have an 11-game winning streak, and at 18-3 overall is off to their best start since the 1999 team went 20-3.

Iowa

1-3

Nebraska-Omaha 7, Iowa 6

Northwestern 2, Iowa 1 (13 innings)

Iowa 2, Northwestern 1

Northwestern 5, Iowa 1

Iowa... lost a game to Nebraska-Omaha at the beginning of the week, and then lost a series on the road to Northwestern.

In the opener, the Hawkeyes couldn't get going against Northwestern's Zach Morton, finally giving up a run in the bottom of the 13th. Hawkeye Nick Hibbing pitched well, going six innings giving up six hits and a run.

Hawkeye senior Matt Dermody threw a complete game in the win, giving up just seven hits and a run as Iowa scored in the eighth to get the win. Dermody moved to 5-0 on the season.

In the rubber match, again, Iowa's offense was shut down by Northwestern pitching as Wildcat Brandon Magallones went 8.1 innings, giving up four hits and a run. The Hawkeyes committed five errors in the final game. Iowa is last in the Big Ten in errors (33) and second to last to Penn State in fielding.

Michigan

1-2

v. Eastern Michigan cancelled

Western Illinois 5, Michigan 3

Michigan 6, Western Illinois 1 (7 innings)

Western Illinois 2, Michigan 1

Western Illinois is 6-14 this season with two of those wins coming in this weekend's series against Michigan.

Leatherneck pitcher John White went seven innings giving up eight hits and three runs to spoil the Wolverines home opener. Wolverine hurler Evan Hill went the distance in Michigan's win, going seven innings while giving up a hit and a run while striking out seven.

In the finale, Michigan outhit Western Illinois 10-7, but could only muster one run in the bottom of the ninth inning as they lost the series.

Michigan State

4-0

Michigan State 5, Oakland 2

Michigan State 2, Oakland 1

Michigan State 3, Oakland 2

Michigan State 7, Oakland 0

Michigan State went undefeated for the second week in a row, taking four from an Oakland team that's 3-14 on the season with a RPI of 267.

Still, Spartan pitcher Andrew Waszak threw a complete game on Friday, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out a career-high 10.

The Spartan's Chase Rihtarchik threw a no-hitter in the 3-2 win, the first by a Spartan since 2009. The two runs were unearned as Rihtarchik issued three walks.

Michigan State's streak is now at seven games.

Minnesota

Minnesota 8, Kansas State 3

Kansas State 4, Minnesota 3

Minnesota 5, Texas 1

Texas 5 Minnesota 4 (10 innings)

Texas 6, Minnesota 3

I've been bagging on Minnesota's scheduling the past couple weeks, but this week they went up against two Big 12 teams so I'll give them a break this week. The Gophers split with Kansas State, scoring four runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings in game one, but then giving up a 3-0 lead allowing the Wildcats to score one run each in the seventh and eighth innings.

In the Texas opener, Gopher Tom Windle threw his third straight complete game as Minnesota scored five runs in the first two innings to get the win. Windle gave up only five hits and a run while striking out a career-high 12.

The Gophers nearly took the series in the second game, taking the Longhorns to extra innings, but giving up a RBI single in the top of the 10th. The Gophers outhit Texas 13-12, but there wasn't a standout pitching performance on either side. Gopher catcher Kurt Schlangen went 4-for-5, with two runs and a RBI.

In the finale, Minnesota couldn't score until ripping off three runs in the seventh, but Texas pitcher Corey Knebel closed out the game as he did the day before, killing Minnesota's rally and taking the series.

Nebraska

2-2

Cal State Fullerton 8, Nebraska 7 (11 innings)

Cal State Fullerton 10, Nebraska 4

Nebraska 9, Illinois 5

Illinois 8, Nebraska 7

Nebraska 6, Illinois 4

Nebraska had a rough time in California, going 1-4 against CSF and UC Irvine. Something happened, though, as the Huskers played their best game of the season in the opening loss to the Titans. Although they lost the opening game against CSF in disheartening fashion (walked in a run with bases loaded in extra innings, although it's not like that ump was going to call a third strike in that situation), the Huskers played their best game of the season against one of the best teams in the nation.

They lost the second to CSF as mid-week pitching struggled, but came back and won a series against a hot Illinois team at their home field.

In game one, Nebraska had a season-high 16 hits, breaking Illinois' six-game winning streak. Husker pitcher Christian DeLeon had a decent outing (especially for a guy not expected to be a starter) going seven innings giving up 11 hits and five runs.

Game two was that perfectly executed suicide squeeze that doomed the Huskers. Ryan Hander had a somewhat rough outing, going four innings, giving up seven hits and five runs. If there was one bad spot for the Huskers it was that four Illini runs came with two outs.

Husker pitcher Brandon Pierce had a rough outing on Sunday, going only three innings giving up five hits and four runs, but Zach Hirsch threw for 3.1, giving up only five hits and then Dylan Vogt closed the game out going 2.2 innings giving up only one hit.

The Huskers are no longer at the bottom of the conference in batting, as they've moved ahead of Purdue, moving up to .251 in team batting. Chad Christensen leads the team at .366, followed by Pat Kelly at .318.

Northwestern

2-1

Northwestern 2, Iowa 1 (13 innings)

Iowa 2, Northwestern 1

Northwestern 5, Iowa 1

Covered under Iowa, mostly. It's going to be darned hard to sweep Northwestern with Zach Morton pitching the way he is. His ERA is at 0.74.

Ohio State

3-0

Ohio State 10, Purdue 1

Ohio State 8, Purdue 3

Ohio State 7, Purdue 0

Ohio State's Jaron Long shut down Purdue in the opener going eight innings, giving up five hits and a run while the Buckeye bats got to Boiler Brad Schreiber, scoring four runs in the sixth inning.

Ohio State pounded out 17 hits in the second game, lead by 1B Brad Hallberg who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs; SS Kirby Pellant, 4-for-4, two runs and a RBI; 2B Ryan Cypret, 3-for-5 and a run; and 3B Jacob Bosiokovic, 3-for-5, 2 runs and a RBI.

Third game, Buckeye Brian King went eight innings giving up three hits.

Penn State

0-3

Indiana 9, Penn State 3

Indiana 2, Penn State 0

Indiana 11, Penn State 3

I covered this under Indiana. Basically, the Nittany Lions couldn't score against Indiana pitching. Steven Hill went 7.1 innings in the first game Saturday, but the offense couldn't get going. Penn State's problem is that they don't do anything particularly well, and they're dead last in the conference in team fielding. We don't see the massive error problems that plagued them a year ago, but... yeah.

Purdue

0-3

Ohio State 10, Purdue 1

Ohio State 8, Purdue 3

Ohio State 7, Purdue 0

I feel bad for Purdue. They win the conference for the first time in a century last season, and that excitement is probably lost on their fans this season as they are really struggling.

They are now last in team batting at .233, and last in team pitching with a 6.66 (OUCH!) ERA. Their top three pitchers (innings pitched anyway) are at 4.82, 5.52 and 6.30. Again, ouch.

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