Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2013 Week Seven

What happened this week in Big ten baseball????

I'd like to be more creative than just repeat myself, but it bears saying again that the Big Ten right now is Indiana and then everyone else. The Hoosiers are at the top of the league in team batting (.361) and third in team pitching with an overall ERA of 2.83.


Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

Indiana

6-0

1.000

22-3

.880

Nebraska

5-1

.833

11-15

.423

Minnesota

2-1

.667

17-12

.586

Ohio State

4-2

.667

16-8

.667

Michigan State

2-1

.667

15-8

.652

Purdue

3-3

.500

10-14

.417

Illinois

1-2

.333

17-7

.708

Michigan

1-2

.333

11-14

.440

Northwestern

2-4

.333

10-9

.526

Iowa

1-5

.167

9-13

.409

Penn State

0-6

.000

5-18

.217

Can Nebraska contend? If they develop more consistency. The offense has improved quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, although that may be because they're playing Big Ten teams instead of some of the best in the nation on the road.

Who else is there? I can't figure out what's going on with Ohio State, but Michigan State taking a series from them at home makes Sparty look like more of a contender. Remember that back in February we projected Ohio State to finish second to Nebraska.

Illinois

3-1

vs Illinois State, postponed

Illinois 4, Oakland 0

Illinois 21, Oakland 8

Illinois 3, Oakland 2

Oakland 6, Illinois 3

Illinois took a series from Oakland, dropping them to 3-18 (pseudo-RPI 265). Illini pitcher Kevin Johnson threw another complete game, holding the Grizzlies to only three hits in the shutout.

The first game of Saturday's doubleheader saw Illinois bang out 18 hits. Grizzly Jake Paulson gave up 12 hits and 12 runs in the first two innings while teammate Doug Beath lasted only .1 innings, giving up a hit and five unearned runs while walking six. 21 runs were the most ever in a game under head coach Dan Hartleb. This is his eighth season.

Illini pitcher John Kravetz went 7.1 innings in the second game, giving up three hits and two runs. It was just enough as Bryan Roberts gave up two hits in 1.2 scoreless innings.

Sunday Illini starter Nick Blackburn lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up three hits and three runs. J.D. Nielsen came in in relief, lasting .2 innings, giving up a HBP, a hit, and two runs.

So, Illinois takes three from a bad team, but couldn't complete the sweep.

Indiana

4-0

Indiana 6, Louisville 4

Indiana 16, Iowa 5

Indiana 9, Iowa 6

Indiana 6, Iowa 4

Another great week for Indiana. Their winning streak stands at 15, a school record. Midweek they knocked off #10 Louisville. Indiana is now 3-0 against UL on the season. Impressive.

The first game of the Iowa series, the Hoosers banged out 23 hits. Iowa's Matt Dermody gave up 15 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in five innings. Normally reliable Hoosier Joey DeNato lasted only two innings, however, giving up five runs (four earned) and four hits.

The teams played a doubleheader Sunday. Iowa had a four-run fifth inning partially because of two Hoosier errors, but committed three errors while Indiana scored in five of the innings. The game was tied in the sixth, but Indiana scored two in the eighth and another in the ninth to pull out the win.

Indiana scored five runs in the first three innings in the finale, something in which they excel. They have outscored their opposition 27-4 in the first inning this season. Hoosier Aaron Siegers went seven innings giving up six hits and two runs.

Iowa

0-3

vs Creighton, postponed

Indiana 16, Iowa 5

Indiana 9, Iowa 6

Indiana 6, Iowa 4

See Indiana.

Bottom line is what Iowa coach Jake Dahm had to say:

"The game of baseball is very hard for us right now," said UI head coachJack Dahm. "There are no moral victories, we gave them three games this weekend. The disappointing thing is that we had our opportunities, but made too many mistakes."

Michigan

1-3

vs Yale, canceled

Western Michigan 7, Michigan 3

Minnesota 3, Michigan 1

Michigan 11, Minnesota 3

Minnesota 2, Michigan 1

Michigan didn't get swept, but lost their home opening conference series to Minnesota.

In their sole win against the Gophers, the Wolverines banged out 16 hits, while Evan Hill went seven innings, giving up six hits but only two runs. Minnesota used four pitchers with starter Ben Meyer lasting only 4.2 innings.

Michigan's Trent Szkutnik did well enough, going 6.2 innings giving up nine hits and two runs, but got no help from his offense in the 2-1 loss.

Michigan State

2-1

vs Central Michigan, postponed

Michigan State 8, Ohio State 7

Ohio State 8, Michigan State 3

Michigan State 7, Ohio State 2

In the first game, the Spartans scored four runs in the eighth inning, stretching their winning streak to eight games and winning their conference opener on the road. The four runs came when Spartan Cam Gibson hit a two RBI double with two outs, as Michigan HBP one batter and walked another after starting the eighth with a double play. Two wild pitches plated two more runs.

In the second game, Ohio State jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two, and this time the Spartans couldn't come back.

On Sunday, Spartan hurler Mick VanVossen threw his first complete game, holding the Buckeyes to seven hits and two runs. Ohio State didn't score until getting two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

A fairly impressive weekend from Sparty. The Spartans have the second-best overall record in the conference and an ISR of 53, which, along with their pseudo RPI of 34 is pretty darned good. Can they contend? I want to say no, but they sure seem like they might make things interesting.

Minnesota

2-1

Minnesota 3, Michigan 1

Michigan 11, Minnesota 3

Minnesota 2, Michigan 1

Gopher pitcher Tom Windle threw another complete game, giving up four hits and a run while the offense managed five hits and three runs, one each in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.

Minnesota pitchers Alec Crawford and DJ Snelten combined to hold Michigan to just six hits and a run in the rubber match to take the series. The Gophers got a run in the first inning, while Michigan could only score once in the second. The second Gopher run came in the seventh when Andy Henkemeyer doubled in a run with two outs.

Nebraska

3-1

Kansas State 10, Nebraska 8

Nebraska 10, Northwestern 9 (16 innings)

Nebraska 8, Northwestern 5

Nebraska 8, Northwestern 6

The most amazing statistic this week isn't that Nebraska swept Northwestern. It's that one week ago, Nebraska was second to last in the conference in team batting. This week the Huskers are second in team batting to Indiana, having improved to .350 (Indiana is at .361). BUT WAIT THIS IS WRONG BECAUSE BIGTEN.ORG is showing conference only statistics instead of overall stats. Still somewhat impressive, but not the huge leap that I initially thought. Overall Nebraska is hitting .271, still better but dang. The Huskers are leading the conference in hits with Pat Kelly and Chad Christensen leading the way with 15 and 12, respectively.

Friday's 16-inning game was wonderful. The broadcast on BTN was well done and makes you WONDER WHY THE HELL BTN CAN'T BROADCAST MORE BASEBALL GAMES except that the conference mostly doesn't give a flying crap. It was the longest game of Wildcat coach Paul Stevens' 26-year tenure at the other NU.

Something surprising - all 10 of Nebraska's runs on Friday night came with two outs. MENTAL TOUGHNESS!

Saturday, Northwestern lead 4-0 until the seventh inning when they committed two errors that allowed the Huskers to score five runs. The Wildcats would come back to tie the game at 5-5, but the Huskers pulled away, scoring three more in the eighth.

Sunday, the Wildcats again would tie the game in the fifth, but throw it away on mistakes.

Northwestern's mistakes didn't come out of the blue. They occurred (mostly) due to Nebraska's aggressive base running as the small ball was going all weekend.

Nebraska's offense has gotten going, and the fielding has been doing pretty well. The pitching is still iffy, still inconsistent, but if the Huskers can keep two of the three going in every game they play they can contend for a Big Ten title.

Northwestern

1-3

Northwestern 3, Chicago State 1

Nebraska 10, Northwestern 9 (16 innings)

Nebraska 8, Northwestern 5

Nebraska 8, Northwestern 6

Northwestern got their share of runs against Nebraska but had problems with pressure, as "UNEARNED RUNS" were the theme of their weekend.

Friday they allowed one, and on Saturday and Sunday they allowed five in each game. That's unearned runs I'm talking about. Sunday's game included seven Wildcat errors as they committed 12 errors in the series.

Zach Morton lasted only one inning on Friday, leaving the game due to injury, although Nebraska gouged him for four hits and three runs (two earned). Morton would return to pitch on Sunday, so the injury wasn't so serious it will keep him out for weeks.

Do you believe that a Friday night win can set the tone for an entire weekend?

I'm not 100% sold on that idea, but I'm not a coach nor manager. I am sold that losing a 16-inning game would certainly dampen your spirits.

Ohio State

1-3

vs Toledo, canceled

vs Ohio, canceled

Michigan State 8, Ohio State 7

Ohio State 8, Michigan State 3

Michigan State 7, Ohio State 2

Ohio State leads the conference in fielding. The Buckeyes couldn't overcome their own mistakes this as noted in the Michigan State section above.

Penn State

0-4

Pittsburgh 10, Penn State 8

Purdue 6, Penn State 1

Purdue 5, Penn State 4 (10 innings)

Purdue 7, Penn State 5

Penn State is bad. They're near the bottom of the conference in fielding, eighth in pitching, and ninth in batting. Honestly, they appear lifeless. This is their second straight weekend sweep loss. Last week was Indiana, which is understandable. This week, Purdue, OUCH!

Still, head coach Robbie Wine to chose to focus on positive things.

Purdue

3-0

vs IPFW, canceled

Purdue 6, Penn State 1

Purdue 5, Penn State 4 (10 innings)

Purdue 7, Penn State 5

If there's something that Purdue needed, it was Penn State.

Friday, Boiler Jordan Minch went eight innings giving up five hits and a run.

Saturday, Penn State scored two in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings but then Nittany pitcher David Walking retired the first two batters in the top of the tenth in two pitches. He then proceeded to walk the next, then HBP the next. Then Boiler Sean McHugh hit a single, winning the Boilers' first extra innings game this weekend. Robert Ramer went seven innings, giving up seven hits and two runs.

Sunday, both teams committed three errors, but Boiler pitcher Brad Schreiber struck out a career-high nine batters, then was relieved after 4.2 innings by Mike Lutz who allowed only four hits and no runs.

The Boilers earned their first-ever sweep of Penn State at Happy Valley, and have won 17 of the last 22 against PSU.

Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue Take Home Big Ten Weekly Baseball Awards
Hoosiers' Travis and Boilermakers' Johnson share Player of the Week honors, Gophers' Windle named Pitcher of the Week, Boilermakers' Johnson tabbed Freshman of the Week

Co-Player of the Week
Sam Travis, Indiana
1B - So. - Orland Park, Ill. - Providence Catholic


· Hit .462 (6-for-13) with one home run, one triple, one double, eight RBI and four runs scored as Indiana went 3-0 against Iowa
· Recorded two hits in each game, driving in five runs in the series opener and three in the second game
· Reached base at a .533 clip and slugged .923 in the series
· Drew a walk and scored a run in a 6-2 mid-week victory against No. 10 Louisville
· Earns his third career Player of the Week award and sixth weekly award overall
· Last Indiana Player of the Week: Kyle Schwarber (March 11, 2013)

Co-Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week
Kyle Johnson, Purdue
CF - San Diego, Calif. - Torrey Pines


· Hit .545 (6-for-11) with two doubles, four RBI, two runs scored and three walks in a 3-0 series sweep of Penn State
· Went 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position, posting an RBI double in each of the first two games of the series and a 3-for-3 outing with one RBI in the finale
· Reached base at a .623 clip and slugged .727 against the Hawkeyes
· Earns the first weekly awards of his career
· Last Purdue Player of the Week: David Miller (May 7, 2012)
· Last Purdue Freshman of the Week: Jordan Minch (March 18, 2013)

Pitcher of the Week
Tom Windle, Minnesota
LHP - Jr. - Maple Grove, Minn. - Osseo


· Threw his fourth-straight complete game to lead Minnesota to a 3-1 win over Michigan
· Recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts versus one walk, allowing four hits against the Wolverines
· Holds a 0.75 ERA in his last four starts, surrendering just three runs over 36 innings
· Earns his second career Pitcher of the Week award
· Last Minnesota Pitcher of the Week: Ben Meyer (March 18, 2013)

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