Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2014 Week Five

This week was a good week for Nebraska, winning a series against (now formerly) ranked UC Irvine; a sad week for Indiana, losing a series to Long Beach State with all  games one-run games tied at the ninth inning; and a really bad week for Northwestern (0-4 against mostly bad teams) and Purdue (bludgeoned badly by San Diego State).

Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

Iowa

0-0

.000

11-5

.688

Ohio State

0-0

.000

11-6

.647

Nebraska

0-0

.000

11-7

.611

Minnesota

0-0

.000

9-6

.600

Michigan State

0-0

.000

9-7

.562

Indiana

0-0

.000

9-8

.529

Illinois

0-0

.000

7-9

.438

Michigan

0-0

.000

8-12-1

.405

Penn State

0-0

.000

5-12

.294

Northwestern

0-0

.000

3-14

.176

Purdue

0-0

.000

1-13

.071

Through games of March 16

Conference play will start next weekend, with the following schedule:

Nebraska at Iowa

Michigan at Indiana

Michigan State at Ohio State (moved to Columbus due to field conditions)

Minnesota at Northwestern

Illinois

1-2

Illinois 5, Southern Illinois 1

Southern Illinois 6, Illinois 5

Southern Illinois 3, Illinois 2

Illinois played the first series ever at SIU's new Itchy Jones Stadium. While they won the first game, they dropped both games in a double header on Saturday.

Illini pitcher Kevin Duchene threw a complete game in their win, giving up 4 hits and one earned run while striking out 6.

Illinois jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on Saturday, but gave up 3 runs in the second and fourth innings as the Salukis had 16 hits. In the second, the Salukis took a 3-0 lead, with the Illini rally coming up short.

Indiana

2-2

Indiana 7, Kentucky 2

Long Beach State 4, Indiana 3

Indiana 2, Long Beach State 1 (11 innings)

Long Beach State 2, Indiana 1

Indiana had a decent week, considering. They never trailed against ranked Kentucky and Kyle Hart went 8 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and struck out 8.

Then the Hoosiers went to Long Beach State to take on the Dirtbag, losing a series in which all three games were one-run games that were tied in the ninth inning. That is one helluva series.

The opener was lost because of a passed ball with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The second game Indiana won when Dustin DeMuth hit a sacfly to score the winning run. The Dirtbags won the third when Cameron Pong hit a pinch-hit single with bases loaded and two outs to score the final run.

Indiana's strength of schedule stands at fifth, but the Hoosiers dropped out of the Baseball America poll. The biggest concern - their inability to score runs this past weekend.

Iowa

2-1

Iowa 13, Georgetown 1

Iowa 9, St Joseph's 7

Georgetown 10, Iowa 1 (5 innings)

Head coach Rick Heller picked up his 700th win this weekend as the Hawkeyes stomped Georgetown in their opening game at the Snowbird Classic. Calvin Matthews went 8 innings, giving up 3 hits and striking out 9 as Iowa's offense pounded out 15 hits.

Against St Jo's, Iowa scored 6 runs in the 6th inning to take that one.

The last game was called (mercifully) after five innings for a travel curfew. Iowa's Andrew Hedrick had a tough outing, lasting only 1.1 innings, giving up 8 hits, and 6 earned runs. Georgetown would finish with 16 hits.

Michigan

2-2

Michigan 4, Appalachian State 3

College of Charleston 3, Michigan 2

College of Charleston 4, Michigan 3

Michigan 3, Kent State 2

Honestly, I haven't figured out Michigan. They appear to have some good things going, but have had a rough go of it in the non-conference so far (College of Charleston doesn't completely suck, BTW, 15-4, ISR of 62, but a SOS of 246).

Michigan State

2-1

Michigan State 1, Harvard 0

Michigan State 4, Harvard 0

Harvard 7, Michigan State 3

Last week, Sparty knocked TCU from the rankings. This week they gave Harvard their second win of the season (2-9), but did win the series against them. Two shutouts, even, but losing that last game, ugh.

Minnesota

2-1

Minnesota 2, Sacramento State 1

Sacramento State 6, Minnesota 2

Minnesota 5, Sacramento State 3 (10 innings)

Minnesota used to play a lot of their early season home games in the Metro Dome. Now that that's gone, they won't play a home game this season until March 26th.

In the rubber match, the Gophers scored 3 runs in the 10th inning to take the series.

The Gophers have a respectable fourth-place in team pitching at a 3.33 ERA. They're still second to last in team batting (.239) and 7th in fielding (.967).

Nebraska

3-2

Nebraska 10, Northern Colorado 2

Northern Colorado 9, Nebraska 2

UC Irvine 7, Nebraska 6

Nebraska 13, UC Irvine 4

Nebraska 7, UC Irvine 4

Nebraska had a somewhat weird week. They pounded Northern Colorado, then turned around midweek and gave them their first road win in 11 tries. Then on the weekend, they took a series from ranked UC Irvine.

The key here is that the Anteaters came into Lincoln with a very impressive pitching staff and the nation's best team ERA at 1.49.  UCI's ERA is now at 2.67.

Unfortunately, Friday Michael Pritchard had his on-base streak snapped and he was ejected from the game, which disqualified him from game two.

The Huskers are playing like a conference contender. They're first in conference in team batting (.322), team fielding (.973) and 7th in team pitching (4.39 ERA).

Northwestern

0-4

Evansville 6, Northwestern 4

Long Island 9, Northwestern 4

Maine 8, Northwestern 4

Bucknell 6, Northwestern 5

The Wildcats went winless against a group of teams that, other than Evansville, were not a great group of teams to be playing. Maine's RPI is 202. Bucknell is at 196. Long Island isn't a Division I team.

Right now, Northwestern's RPI sits at 235. They are third in the Big Ten in team batting average at .281, but they are second to last in team pitching (5.53 ERA) and dead last in team fielding (.945 percentage, 37 errors).

Ohio State

3-1

Oregon State 4, Ohio State 3

Ohio State 8, Siena 5

Ohio State 7, Siena 3

Ohio State 7, Siena 1

Ohio State lost a close mid-week game to 18-3 and fourth-ranked Oregon State, and then swept lowly Siena at Columbus for their home opening series. Siena is 0-17 with a RPI of 296 out of 298 teams.

Head coach Greg Beals stated that his team wasn't that sharp this week. With Michigan State coming to town next week - it's time to find out where these two teams stand.

More extensive coverage here.

Penn State

1-4

Fresno State 13, Penn State 3

Fresno State 12, Penn State 3

Penn State 6, Santa Clara 5

Santa Clara 10, Penn State 5

Santa Clara 6, Penn State 3

Penn State didn't fare well, but at least played a decent opponent in Fresno State.

Purdue

0-4

San Diego State 8, Purdue 7

San Diego State 11, Purdue 2

San Diego State 18, Purdue 3

San Diego State 6, Purdue 5

Purdue continues to struggle, last week getting swept by LSU, and this week getting pounded pretty badly by San Diego State. Their ERA continues to be awful (9.16) and they are last in team batting (.211).

They have played the second toughest schedule in the nation, however, according to Boyd's World's ISR rating.

Player of the Week

Tanner Lubach, Nebraska

Jr., C, Lincoln, Neb./Southwest

  • Finished with eight RBI, five runs scored and batted .500 against Northern Colorado and nationally ranked UC Irvine last week
  • Went 4-for-5 in the Huskers' two-game set against Northern Colorado, including a three-hit effort in the opener in which he drove in two runs on two doubles and a triple
  • Drove in at least one run in each of Nebraska's three games against UC Irvine, highlighted by a 3-for-4 outing that included a two-run home run in the series' second game
  • Wins his first Big Ten Player of the Week honor
  • Last Nebraska Big Ten Player of the Week: Michael Pritchford (Feb. 18, 2014)

Pitcher of the Week

Kyle Hart, Indiana

Jr., LHP, Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore

  • Pitched 8.1 innings against two opponents last week, allowing just one earned run in eight innings of work against nationally ranked Kentucky
  • Earned a mid-week win over the Wildcats after scattering five hits and matching his career high with eight strikeouts in the Hoosiers' 7-2 victory
  • Came on in relief in the bottom of the eighth with the game tied against Long Beach State on Saturday, striking out the only batter he faced in Indiana's 2-1 victory in 11 innings
  • Wins his first Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor
  • Last Indiana Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Joey DeNato (Feb. 18, 2014)

Freshman of the Week

Travis Lakins, Ohio State

RHP, Franklin, Ohio/Franklin

  • Pitched 5.1 innings of scoreless relief in games against Siena and nationally ranked Oregon State, allowing just two hits and striking out six
  • Against the Beavers, allowed just two hits in 3.2 innings and struck out five batters, shutting down Oregon State in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings
  • Threw 1.2 innings in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against Siena, inducing an inning-ending double-play in the sixth before retiring the side in order in the seventh
  • Wins his first career weekly honor
  • Last Ohio State Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Jacob Bosiokovic (March 11, 2013)
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