Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2014 Week 11

Jon Johnston

As expected, Indiana took the series with Illinois (although did not sweep them) and Nebraska took the series against Michigan (although did not sweep them), so the conference standings have Indiana still walking away with the regular season title while Nebraska and Illinois fight over second place.

Indiana has series against Purdue, Penn State and Minnesota left. One has to wonder if they'll lose another conference game.

You've got a bunch of teams stuck around the middle, and then your bottom three of Purdue, Penn State and Northwestern.  Michigan State and Minnesota both did themselves many favors this weekend by sweeping Northwestern and Penn State, respectively.

Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

1. Indiana

13-2

.867

28-12

.700

2. Nebraska

10-5

.667

28-17

.622

Illinois

10-5

.667

23-17

.575

4. Michigan State

8-7

.533

24-17

.585

5. Minnesota

9-9

.500

22-16

.579

Michigan

9-9

.500

19-24-1

.443

7. Iowa

7-8

.467

25-15

.625

8. Ohio State

6-9

.400

25-19

.568

9. Penn State

5-9

.357

17-23

.425

10. Purdue

5-10

.333

11-29

.275

11. Northwestern

4-13

.235

12-28

.300

Through games of April 27

NCAA Tourney

Indiana's RPI is at 2 (!), Nebraska stands at 42, and Illinois is at 81. Obviously Indiana will make the NCAA tourney, but Nebraska really needs to keep winning to stay within an at-large bid.

Illinois

2-3

Illinois 3, Eastern Illinois 2

Missouri 5, Illinois 2

Indiana 9, Illinois 3

Illinois 2, Indiana 1

Indiana  11, Illinois 3

Illinois made it look closer than it really was. When you total it up, they were outscored 22-7. Don't take that as an indictment of Illinois being bad, take it as Indiana still being that far ahead of everyone else in the Big Ten.

The Illini held their sixth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue and had the fifth-best crowd in school history with 3,185 fans at Illinois Field.

(More below)

Indiana

3-1

Indiana 10, Ball State 1

Indiana 9, Illinois 3

Illinois 2, Indiana 1

Indiana  11, Illinois 3

Joey DeNato turned in another great outing in the opener, going 8 innings, allowing 11 hits and 3 runs and extending his record to 9-1. The Hoosiers outhit Illinois 13-12, but as you know it's all about "timely hitting".

In the second, starter Christian Morris went 7.2 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 runs, but Illinois starter John Kravetz was just a little better at 7.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and one run.

In the third, Illinois lead 3-2 early, but ended up allowing 15 hits and 11 runs between four Illlini pitchers. The Illini also committed three errors. The game was called at 5:00 pm after a long rain delay. One pitch was thrown in the 9th inning.

Indiana remains at the top of the conference in team pitching with a 2.51 ERA. They're third in team batting at .283, and second in fielding at .974.

We're probably not too far away from the "how far can this team go" conversation for Indiana. I think the key with them is that they are so well-rounded. Seven different players have won Big Ten weekly honors.

Iowa

3-0

Iowa 2, South Dakota State 1

Iowa 4, South Dakota State 3

Iowa 12, South Dakota State 3

Iowa swept South Dakota State.

In the interest of time we will ignore Iowa, at least this week.

Michigan

Bowling Green State 7, Michigan 4

Nebraska 6, Michigan 4

Nebraska 3, Michigan 1

Michigan 7, Nebraska 5

Brian covered this series yesterday.

Michigan State

4-0

Michigan State 4, Toledo 2

Michigan State 3, Northwestern 2

Michigan State 7, Northwestern 1

Michigan State 15, Northwestern 3

A really good week for the Spartns, who are currently at 91st in RPI.

They held on to win game one, then got progressively better while the Wildcats got worse.

Michigan State is second in team pitching with a 2.85 ERA. This weekend:

Game 1 - Mick VanVossen - 7.1 IP, 9H, 3ER

Game 2 - Justin Alleman - 7.2 IP, 4H, 1ER

Game 3 - Cam Vieaux - 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER

Minnesota

3-0

Minnesota 2, Penn State 1

Minnesota 4, Penn State 0

Minnesota 12, Penn State 0

The Gophers pulled themselves up to .500 with a sweep over Penn State, giving up one run over three games in the process.

Minnesota pitchers were incredible.

Game 1 - Alec Crawford - 8 IP, 6H, 1ER, 9 SO

Game 2 - Ben Meyer - 8 IP, 8H, 0R, 8 SO

Game 3 - Neal Kunik - 7 IP, 3H, 0R, 9 SO

The Gophers had 19 hits in game three, scored 7 runs in the first inning.

Minnesota had their first night game at the new Siebert Field on Friday.

Nebraska

2-1

Nebraska 6, Michigan 4

Nebraska 3, Michigan 1

Michigan 7, Nebraska 5

I wanted a sweep in Ann Arbor. You wanted a sweep in Ann Arbor. We didn't get one. Maybe we're greedy?

Brian covered this series yesterday.

Northwestern

1-3

Northwestern 7, Wheaton  5

Northwestern 7, Chicago State  6

Michigan State 3, Northwestern 2

Michigan State 7, Northwestern 1

Michigan State 15, Northwestern 3

Wheaton is not a Div I school, so they really don't count.

One week after taking a series at Nebraska, Northwestern gets pounded by Sparty.

I mean, maybe they lost hope after losing the first game after being down 3-1, scoring a run in the ninth, loading the bases and then hitting into a double play. Then things just got worse.

Ohio State

2-1

Purdue 4, Ohio State 3 (13 innings)

Ohio State 2, Purdue 0

Ohio State 11, Purdue 2

The Buckeyes are going to have to fight their way back into the mix if they expect to make the Big Ten tourney.

This series kind of mirrored the Michigan State-Northwestern series except that Sparty didn't lose a game to the worst team in the conference. Ohio State started slow, got progressively better.

Buckeye pitchers did pretty well during the series:

Game 1 - Tanner Tully - 7 IP, 4H 3ER

Game 2 - Ryan Riga - 7.2 IP, 3H, OR, 9 SO

Game 3 - Greg Greve - 7 IP, 4H, 1R

Ohio State seems to have a decent set of starters, it's just... I don't know. It's like Nebraska - inconsistent, sometimes progressed, sometimes you wonder what the heck they're doing.

LandGrantHolyland has a take on the series.

Penn State

0-4

Kent State 4, Penn State 1

Minnesota 2, Penn State 1

Minnesota 4, Penn State 0

Minnesota 12, Penn State 0

One friggin' run over three games.

What bugs me more about the Nittany Lions is that their strength of schedule is at 169.  Northwestern is at 106th.

It's like they're not even trying.

Purdue

2-3

Indiana State 10, Purdue 3

Purdue 5, Illinois-Chicago 3

Purdue 4, Ohio State 3 (13 innings)

Ohio State 2, Purdue 0

Ohio State 11, Purdue 2

Purdue took that first game from the Buckeyes, and I thought "uh, oh, what's going on in Columbus?"

Where's Purdue's strength of schedule, you might wonder? It's 27th.

Player of the Week

Brad Hartong, Indiana

Jr., OF/C, Long Beach, Calif./Cypress College

  • Drove in 10 runs and recorded multiple hits in all four games this week, leading Indiana to a midweek win over Ball State and a series victory against Illinois
  • Hit .500 or better in each of the Hoosiers' three games against the Illini, driving in three runs in the series opener before recording two RBI in the finale
  • Went 2-for-5 in a midweek win over Ball State, accounting for five RBI on the strength of a three-run home run and a two-run single
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award
  • Last Indiana Big Ten Player of the Week: Sam Travis (April 8, 2014)

Co-Pitchers of the Week

Neal Kunik, Minnesota

Jr., RHP, Eagan, Minn./Eagan

  • Pitched seven shutout innings to earn the win in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against Penn State, striking out a career-high nine batters
  • Earned his second victory of the season after scattering just three hits in his second career start
  • Boasts a 1.27 ERA in eight appearances this season
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor
  • Last Minnesota Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: DJ Snelten (May 20, 2013)

Ryan Riga, Ohio State

Jr., LHP, Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield

  • Threw 7.2 scoreless innings to earn the win on Saturday against Purdue, helping the Buckeyes to a 2-0 victory
  • Struck out nine batters and scattered just three hits
  • Lowered his ERA to 3.02 and notched his fourth victory of the season
  • Claims his third career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award and third this season
  • Last Ohio State Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Greg Greve (April 14, 2014)

Freshman of the Week

Ryan Boldt, Nebraska

OF, Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing

  • Scored four runs and had two multi-hit games in a three-game set against Michigan, helping the Huskers take two of three on the road
  • Went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored in the opener before going 2-for-4 with a run in the series' second game, both Nebraska wins
  • Recorded his fourth triple of the season and scored twice in the series finale
  • Wins his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor
  • Last Nebraska Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Ryan Boldt (March 10, 2014)
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Corn Nation

You must be a member of Corn Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Corn Nation. You should read them.

Join Corn Nation

You must be a member of Corn Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Corn Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker