Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2013 Week Eight

Nebraska's Josh Roeder at Iowa - Shane Gehring

Who's the best in Big Ten baseball this week? Corn Nation gives you a rundown of the entire conference.

Indiana's reign of terror ended this week as Illinois was able to win the third game of their series. The Hoosiers had the nation's longest winning streak at 18 until Sunday when Illinois took a game in their series.

Two teams, Indiana and Michigan State, saw the largest crowds in their school's history this week. Indiana had 2,757 and Michigan State had 3,018. The Hoosiers played their first night game, ever. Minnesota celebrated the opening of new facilities at Siebert Field.

You know what that is? PROGRESS.

Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

Indiana

8-1

.889

25-4

.862

Nebraska

7-2

.778

13-17

.433

Minnesota

4-2

.667

19-13

.594

Michigan

4-2

.667

16-14

.533

Ohio State

5-4

.556

19-10

.655

Northwestern

4-5

.444

14-10

.583

Purdue

4-5

.444

11-18

.379

Michigan State

2-4

.333

19-9

.679

Illinois

2-4

.333

17-11

.607

Iowa

2-7

.222

11-15

.423

Penn State

0-6

.000

6-21

.222

Illinois has played both Nebraska and Indiana, losing both series. They lost to the Huskers at home, but Indiana on the road. I'm not sure that really means anything yet, just thought I'd mention it.

The Big Ten press release celebrating the players of the week had Minnesota's DJ Snelten's name spelled as Snelton. I doubt anyone even noticed.

Illinois

2-2

Illinois 6, Missouri 2

Indiana 3, Illinois 2

Indiana 7, Illinois 3

Illinois 3, Indiana 2

Illinois played Indiana pretty close in their series.

Illini pitcher Kevin Johnson threw a complete game in the opener, giving up only four hits and three runs (two earned). Two of those runs were solo home runs in the second inning.

The Illini doomed themselves in the second game when Indiana scored four runs in the fifth inning after being handed four walks. Indiana outhit Illinois 11-10, but Illinois was 1-for-6 (.167) with runners in scoring position while Indiana was 5-for-12 (.417).

The streak-breaker came when Illinois started freshman Ryan Castellanos, who went six innings, giving up five hits and two runs. Castellanos earned his first career win.

Illinois' Justin Parr extended his hitting streak to 16, going 8-for-12 for the weekend. His 52 hits are top in the Big Ten.

Illinois drops to 2-4 in conference, but one should get the feeling they're a lot better than their record. They started the season against Nebraska and Indiana, the two best teams in the conference.

Indiana

3-1

Indiana 9, Xavier 5

Indiana 3, Illinois 2

Indiana 7, Illinois 3

Illinois 3, Indiana 2

Indiana moved to #12 this week, up from #16 last week. That's the Baseball America poll anyway; expect other polls to be about the same.

Friday's game was the first night game in Indiana's history, and it occurred in front of the largest crowd in school history as 2,757 fans showed up to watch a helluva game.

What happened that Indiana finally lost? They didn't score until the fifth inning. No, it's true. The Hoosiers normally jump on top of teams early and force them to fight back. You want to beat Indiana? Don't let them do that.

Why is Indiana so good?

They have seven regulars hitting over .300, lead by Kyle Schwarber at .420.

Here's the main thing, though - the Hoosiers pitching staff has four pitchers under a 2.0 ERA. Regular starters: Joey DeNato (3.12 ERA, 40.1 IP), Kyle Hart (2.12, 46.2), Aaron Slegers (1.41, 38.1), Scott Effross (1.02, 35.1).

Even if someone is having an off day, Indiana has the depth to cover it.

Iowa

2-2

Iowa 10, Western Illinois 6

Nebraska 12, Iowa 5

Nebraska 12, Iowa 8

Iowa 6, Nebraska 5

Iowa took a game from Nebraska in the finale and did a decent job against Husker pitching, but made a lot of mistakes while allowing Nebraska's offense to beat them around, at least in the first two games.

13, 14, 11. Those are the number of hits Iowa had in each game - pretty good tallies.

Iowa has the most errors of any team in the conference.

Michigan

5-0

Michigan 2, Bowling Green 0

Michigan 7, Central Michigan 0

Michigan 6, Michigan State 3

Michigan 5, Michigan State 1

Michigan 6, Michigan State 2

A surprisingly good week from the Wolverines.

Wolverine hurler Trent Szkutnik went seven innings in the opener giving up three runs and three hits, while SS Travis Maezes was 3-for-5 with 2 runs and 3 RBIs.

Michigan's Evan Hill was stellar in the second game, throwing eight innings giving up only four hits and an unearned run, while Maezes was 1-for-3 with a run. Sparty had the bases loaded with no outs in the third, but could plate only one run.

Mick VanVossen had another good outing in the finale, going 7.1 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs. LF Zach Zott went 2-for-4, with 2 runs and 2 RBIs.

Michigan State

Michigan 6, Michigan State 3

Michigan 5, Michigan State 1

Michigan 6, Michigan State 2

Michigan State's Big Ten home opener saw the largest crowd in McClane Stadium's history as 3,018 people watched the home team lose to Michigan. That had to hurt, but not as much as getting swept.

Six runs over three games against Wolverine pitching.

Minnesota

Vs South Dakota State, postponed

Minnesota 7, Ohio State 0

Ohio State 5, Minnesota 2

Minnesota 1, Ohio State 0

Minnesota officially opened the new Siebert Field this week, and in honor of playing in Minnesota, Friday's game had to be postponed due to heavy snowfall.

Ohio State could manage only three hits in the first game, while the Gophers pounded out 14.

The second game was suspended as well, and completed on Sunday as Ohio State scored all their runs in the first four innings. Four Buckeye pitchers combined to hold Minnesota to six hits and two runs.

Gopher DJ Snelten threw a complete game in the finale, giving up only a single hit in a pitcher's duel. Teammate Tony Skjefte hit a home run to provide the only score of the game, ruining a decent performance by Ohio State's Brian King who went seven innings, giving up three hits and one hit, a home run.

Nebraska

2-2

Kansas State 9, Nebraska 1

Nebraska 12, Iowa 5

Nebraska 12, Iowa 8

Iowa 6, Nebraska 5

The Huskers' midweek performance against Kansas State might have been their worst of the season with lackluster play and horrible offense.

They bounced back to take the series from Iowa, but could have had a sweep and made up a game against Indiana, but they failed to play all three games at a championship level.

The Friday night win ended Hawkeye pitcher Sasha Kuebel's perfect record as he took the loss, going five innings giving up eight hits and eight runs. Christian DeLeon had a decent outing for Nebraska, going six innings, giving up 10 hits and three runs.

Nebraska scored four runs of five hits in the first inning as all nine batters got to the plate in the first inning.

In the second, Husker starter Ryan Hander struggled, going only 2.1 innings giving up seven hits and six runs, including five in the third inning. The Huskers scored three in the fourth and three in the seventh as the two teams combined for 31 hits. Nebraska's Dylan Vogt pitched the final three innings, giving up three hits.

Husker Tyler Niederklein started the third, game going 2.2 innings, giving up two hits and two runs, but struggled in the third inning, giving up his two runs while walking three. Iowa's Andrew Hanse had a good start for Iowa, going 6.2 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs (two earned).

13, 17, 13 - the number of hits in each game for Nebraska. The offense seems to be in decent shape. The fielding is still tops in the Big Ten despite a lack of focus at times.

The pitching, however - ugh. DeLeon is the most reliable starter Nebraska has, and he has a 3.93 ERA. If the Huskers expect to win the conference and get into postseason play, still definite possibilities, the pitching has to come around.

CALLING KYLE KUBAT!!!!

Northwestern

4-1

Northwestern 14, St Francis (Ill) 12

Northwestern 3, UIC 1

Purdue 13, Northwestern 4

Northwestern 10, Purdue 6

Northwestern 13, Purdue 4

The Wildcats gave up six unearned runs in the third inning of the opener and Zach Morton had an uncharacteristically bad outing, going four innings giving up nine runs (three earned). Fielding errors were a problem as NU committed four errors in the game.

The Wildcats mustered 14 hits in the second game and scored four runs with two outs in the top of the ninth to win.

Ohio State

3-2

Ohio State 3, Youngstown State 0

Ohio State 1, Miami (OH) 0

Minnesota 7, Ohio State 0

Ohio State 5, Minnesota 2

Minnesota 1, Ohio State 0

Maybe it was two of the three games being suspended that threw the Buckeyes off their game. I'm sure somewhere someone is making that excuse.

Actually, what it was is Minnesota pitching.

3, 7, 1 - the hits in each of the games against Minnesota.

Penn State

1-3

Kent State 10, Penn State 0

Wright State 7, Penn State 4 (11 innings)

Wright State 6, Penn State 2

Penn State 11, Wright State 3

Wright State is a 12-15 team with a pseudo-RPI of 261. Penn State's current pseudo-RPI is 240.

Purdue

1-4

Butler 8, Purdue 4

Indiana State 4, Purdue 3

Purdue 13, Northwestern 4

Northwestern 10, Purdue 6

Northwestern 13, Purdue 4

Butler snapped the Boilers' 17-game midweek win streak and beat Purdue for the first time since 1995 - if that gives you an idea of what type of year Purdue is having.

It's clearly a rebuilding year for Doug Schreiber's team, but they have a new facility and they have a lot of freshmen who are playing in key roles. Check out the video report from Hammer & Rails for a look a their new baseball facility.

Purdue nearly won this series, but in the second game the Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Again, that's the type of year they're having.

Player of the Week

Jake Straub, Northwestern

C - Jr. - Fishers, Ind. - Hamilton Southeastern

 Hit .727 (8-for-11) with five RBI and four runs scored as Northwestern went 2-1 against Purdue last weekend

 Went 4-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in the second game of the series

 Posted three hits, drove in two runs and scored twice in the series finale

 Reached base at a .688 clip and slugged .727 in the series

 Earns his first career Player of the Week award

 Last Northwestern Player of the Week: Paul Snieder (May 16, 2011)

Pitcher of the Week

DJ Snelten, Minnesota

LHP - Jr. - Ingelside, Ill. - The Lakes

 Threw a complete-game one-hitter to lead Minnesota to a 1-0 win over Ohio State in the series finale

 Recorded a career-high seven strikeouts versus one walk, allowing one infield hit in only 86 pitches

 Posted the second complete game of his career

 Earns his first career Pitcher of the Week award

 Last Minnesota Pitcher of the Week: Tom Windle (April 1, 2013)

Co-Freshman of the Week

Evan Hill, Michigan

LHP - Mt. Pleasant, Mich. - Mt. Pleasant

 Went a career-high eight innings and struck out four batters in Michigan's 5-1 win over Michigan State in Game 2 of the series

 Scattered four hits against the Spartans, allowing just one unearned run

 Earns his third Freshman of the Week award

 Last Michigan Freshman of the Week: Evan Hill (March 25, 2013)

Zach Jones, Northwestern

1B - Glenview, Ill. - Glenbrook South

Hit .522 (8-for-15) with one double, four RBI and two runs scored as Northwestern went 2-1 against Purdue

Went 3-for-5 with three RBI in Game 2 of the series and 4-for-6 with one RBI and two runs scored in the rubber match

 Earns the first weekly award of his career

 Last Northwestern Freshman of the Week: Brandon Magallones (March 26, 2012)

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