Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2013 Week Ten

The weather played a huge role in Big Ten baseball this week, which saw a key series between Minnesota and Michigan State canceled.

The weather is the biggest story in Big Ten baseball this week. There were numerous cancellations, postponements and rearrangements made, along with a key series between Michigan State and Minnesota canceled (it will not be made up).

In a clarification from the Big Ten, seeding for the conference tournament is determined by winning percentage, not overall wins, so Minnesota is in first place.

If I had to pick a top three, it'd be Indiana, Nebraska, and Ohio State, probably in that order. Indiana has the complete team, Nebraska has ace pitcher Kyle Kubat back to compliment good offense and great fielding, while Ohio State is all-around good.

Minnesota - I don't trust their hitting although they did win head-to-head against Ohio State. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm disgusted that the Michigan State series was canceled and won't be made up. This from a conference that wants everyone to take its baseball more seriously?

Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

Minnesota

7-2

.778

23-13

.639

Nebraska

11-4

.733

19-19

.500

Indiana

8-4

.667

29-8

.784

Michigan

8-4

.667

22-16

.579

Ohio State

9-6

.600

25-13

.658

Michigan State

5-4

.556

22-11

.667

Illinois

6-6

.500

24-12

.667

Northwestern

6-9

.400

17-14

.548

Purdue

4-11

.267

11-25

.306

Iowa

3-9

.250

14-20

.412

Penn State

2-10

.167

10-25

.286

Purdue, Iowa and Penn State have solidified themselves as the conference cellar dwellers. The top eight teams make the Big Ten conference tournament, and these are the three that won't be making it.

Illinois

2-2

Illinois 12, Illinois State 1 (8 innings)

Illinois 9, Ohio State 2

Ohio State 7, Illinois 6 (10 innings)

Ohio State 7, Illinois 3

Illinois is a decent team as far as Big Ten standards go, but they just have that extra player to get them up the hill.

Illini pitcher Kevin Johnson set a school record for innings pitched with 333, going 6.2 innings Friday, allowing two hits and two runs (one earned) as the Buckeyes were held to just two hits.

Saturday the Illini tied the game 6-6 in the seventh, but a double in the 10th doomed them after the lead off Buckeye batter advanced to base on a hit by pitch, then was sacrifice-bunted to second.

Sunday, a six-run second inning lead to an insurmountable lead as Buckeye pitcher King went 6.2 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs.

CF Justin Parr extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the second-longest streak in school history and one away from tying the school record. Parr's streak is currently the longest in the NCAA. He has had 20 multi-hit games.

Justin Parr's series:

Friday: 3-for-4, 3 RBI, 1R

Saturday: 2-for-5 with a walk

Sunday: 2-for-4, 1 RBI

Indiana

3-1

Ball State 5, Indiana 3

Indiana 12, Butler 2

Indiana 5, Butler 2

Indiana 10, Butler 3

Indiana dropped to #19 after being swept last week by Michigan State. They responded by losing midweek to Ball State (16-18 overall, RPI: 209), then sweeping Butler (16-17, RPI: 154) in a weekend series.

First game: 12R, 17H

Second game: 5R, 6H

Third game: 10R, 16H

Pitching:

Joey DeNato: 7 IP, 2H, 2R, 6K

Kyle Hart: 6 IP, 4H, 2R, 6K

Aaron Slegers: 6 IP, 8H, 3R

Indiana remains at the top of the league in pitching and hitting.

Iowa

2-2

Iowa 3, Nebraska-Omaha 0

Penn State 8, Iowa 7

Iowa 5, Penn State 2

Penn State 7, Iowa 4

Iowa lost a series to Penn State. Granted, it was AT Penn State, but still.

Here's the thing - Iowa had a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth in the first game, then allowed Penn State to come back as the Nittany Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win it.

I suppose that sucked the life out of the Hawkeyes. Other than them being a really bad team for which nothing much is going right, I have little explanation.

Michigan

2-2

Michigan 8, Notre Dame 2

vs Eastern Michigan postponed

Northwestern 6, Michigan 0

Michigan 5, Northwestern 0

Northwestern 3, Michigan 2 (10 innings)

Michigan climbed all the way to the conference lead last week, apparently became afraid of the heights and fall all the way back down the hill.

The first game of the series with NU was played at Wrigley Field. The Wolverines came into it with a 10-game winning streak.

Trent Szkutnik went seven innings, giving up four hits and three runs, but the Wolverines could do nothing against the Wildcats' Luke Farrell who threw a complete game while giving up only three hits.

In the second game of the series, Wolverine pitcher Evan Hill went seven innings, giving up four hits as Northwestern was shut out despite a complete game from Wildcat Brandon Magallones, who gave up nine hits and five runs.

In the rubber match (second game of a double header Saturday), Michigan held a 2-0 lead going to the bottom of the eighth went Northwestern scored two runs to tie the game.

The loss ruined a good outing by Wolverine Logan McAnallen who went seven innings, giving up only four hits. Wildcat pitcher Zach Morton also went seven innings, giving up nine hits and two runs, but Kyle Ruchim shut down the Wolverines for three innings, allowing only two hits while his Michigan counterpart Jacob Cronenworth gave up three hits and three runs in only 2.1 innings. Michigan made three errors in the game, two by Cronenworth in the 10th.

Kind of a lousy way to lose a series, especially when you're first in the conference.

Michigan State

1-0

Michigan State 7, Toledo 6 (12 innings)

vs Central Michigan, postponed

Minnesota series canceled

Toledo - 13-23, RPI: 198

The fact that this series was canceled really sucks for the rest of us. The Spartans are a tough team to figure out and this series would have at least cause some separation in the conference were Minnesota to have won it.

Minnesota

0-0

Minnesota 4, Augsburg 1

Michigan State series canceled

Augsburg is not a Division I opponent, so the Gophers really didn't play anyone this week. They're set to play North Dakota State midweek if the weather doesn't screw it up, and then go to Iowa next week, and Penn State the week after that. Don't expect them to lose the conference lead anytime soon.

Nebraska

5-0

Nebraska 3, Arkansas 0

Nebraska 4, Arkansas 2

Nebraska 10, Purdue 2

Nebraska 10, Purdue 4

Nebraska 12, Purdue 2

Nebraska had an incredible week, finally. Midweek the Huskers saw the return of ace pitcher Kyle Kubat who'd been out all season with a sore arm. The Huskers responded by sweeping a double-header from #10 Arkansas.

The weekend saw the Husker bats explode, scoring 32 runs in three games, which is what happens when good hitting encounters bad pitching.

Conference series openers aren't a problem for the Huskers, who improved to 5-0, this week behind the pitching of Christian DeLeon who went seven innings, giving up six hits and a run.

Purdue hurler Jordan Minch was good through seven innings in game two, holding the Husker bats to four hits and a run while striking out eight. He was relieved by Brad Schreiber, who lasted only .1 inning, giving up three hits and four runs (three earned) as the Huskers scored nine runs over the final two frames.

The third game saw Kyle Kubat finally pitch in a conference game, as he went five innings giving up four hits and two runs. Purdue would use eight pitchers, who collectively gave up 16 hits and allowed the Huskers to score in six innings.

Chad Christensen leads the Husker bats, hitting .389 on the season, with 33 runs and 25 RBIs. Kash Kalkowski leads the way in RBIs with 28, gathering six more this weekend. Pat Kelly has the second-most hits with 54, batting .327 so far this year.

Christensen has 58 hits, second behind Justin Parr at 67, and two spots ahead of Pat Kelly.

Northwestern

2-1

Northwestern 6, Wheaton College 0

vs Western Michigan, postponed

Northwestern 6, Michigan 0

Michigan 5, Northwestern 0

Northwestern 3, Michigan 2 (10 innings)

Wheaton College is not a Division I team, so the Wildcat win against them doesn't count.

Otherwise, see the Michigan section.

Ohio State

2-2

vs Akron, canceled

Cincinnati 5, Ohio State 3

Illinois 9, Ohio State 2

Ohio State 7, Illinois 6 (10 innings)

Ohio State 7, Illinois 3

Ohio State is a tough team to gauge. Their pitching is solid, but not exceptional, especially since their ace, Josh Desee, has been out for the year so far with back problems.

Their fielding/defense is good, but not great. Their hitting is all-around good, but they don't have that "guy".

If you want a telling stat about Ohio State it's that they're 24-4 when scoring more than three runs. Maybe "that guy" is closer Trace Dempsey who has now pitched 23.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

Penn State

3-1

Penn State 7, Bucknell 6

Penn State 8, Iowa 7

Iowa 5, Penn State 2

Penn State 7, Iowa 4

A winning week for the Nittany Lions, including their first Big Ten win and their first conference series win!

Purdue

0-3

Nebraska 10, Purdue 2

Nebraska 10, Purdue 4

Nebraska 12, Purdue 2

It was the second straight conference sweep against Purdue, a team that's really down.

Purdue gave up a boatload of runs and committed 10 errors in the series.

It was a very bloody weekend for them as they saw their chances of making the Big Ten conference go down the drain this weekend against Nebraska.

Player of the Week

Michael Pritchard, Nebraska

OF/DH - Jr. - Omaha, Neb. - Creighton Prep

  • Hit .538 (7-for-13) with two doubles, four runs scored and two RBI as Nebraska went 3-0 against Purdue last weekend
  • Recorded multiple hits in each game, including a 3-for-4 outing with two runs scored in Game 2
  • Posted one double, two RBI and a run scored in the series finale
  • Went 3-for-7 with a run scored in a midweek sweep of Arkansas
  • Earns his first career Player of the Week award
  • Last Nebraska Player of the Week: Josh Sheffert (April 16, 2012)

Pitcher of the Week

Luke Farrell, Northwestern

RHP - Sr. - Westlake, Ohio - St. Ignatius

  • Tossed a complete-game shutout, needing only 89 pitches to lead Northwestern to a 6-0 victory over Michigan
  • Recorded nine strikeouts versus one walk, scattering three hits in the win
  • Earns his second career Pitcher of the Week award and first this season
  • Last Northwestern Pitcher of the Week: Luke Farrell (April 25, 2011)

Freshman of the Week

Jordan Minch, Purdue

LHP - Highland, Ind. - Highland

  • Worked seven innings of one-run ball in Game 2 against Nebraska, scattering just four hits
  • Fanned a season-high eight batters, including six of the first 10 he faced
  • Earns the second weekly award of his career
  • Last Purdue Freshman of the Week: Kyle Johnson (April 1, 2013)
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