Big Ten Baseball Weekly Review - 2014 Week 13

Jon Johnston

Another week of sweeps as the top three teams in the conference swept their opponents. Indiana needs to only win a game against Minnesota to take the conference regular season title, while Nebraska and Illinois will fight it out for second place in Lincoln next weekend. 

Big Ten

Overall

Team

Record

Pct.

Record

Pct.

1. Indiana

19-2

.905

35-12

.745

2. Nebraska

16-5

.762

35-17

.673

   Illinois

16-5

.762

30-17

.638

4. Minnesota

12-9

.571

26-20

.565

5. Michigan

13-11

.542

26-26-1

.500

6. Ohio State

9-12

.429

28-24

.538

7. Iowa

8-13

.381

27-20

.574

   Michigan State

8-13

.381

26-23

.531

9. Penn State

5-15

.250

17-29

.370

10. Northwestern

5-15

.250

17-32

.347

11. Purdue

5-16

.238

12-35

.255

   Through games of May 12

Baseball America has the Hoosiers rated at 9th. If you want some amusement, spend some time on their site and note the comments largely from SEC fans who, weekly go one about "OMG, there's a team ranked that high from the Big Ten and they're a fraud" even though this is basically the same team that made the CWS last season. 

Nebraska is moving up, now ranked in several polls, but it will mean nothing without a NCAA bid. The RPI now stands at 33. Read below for more on this. 

Illinois has come up in RPI was well, now at 56. Could the Big Ten get three teams into the NCAA? Hmmm.... well, that's improbable, but certainly possible. 

Illinois

3-0

Illinois 4, Iowa 1

Illinois 5, Iowa 1

Illinois 4, Iowa 2

Illinois swept Iowa to win their seventh straight, improve to 9-0 in conference road games, and got their fourth conference series sweep for the first time in school history. Three of those were road sweeps. 

The Illini are third in team pitching (Indiana, Michigan State) with a 3.21 ERA.  The series went like this for Illini starters: Drasen Johnson (6.1 IP, 7H, 1R, 7SO), John Kravetz (7.1, 6H, 1R), Kevin Duchene (3.0 IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER).

Pretty decent, although Duchene is usually better than that. Perhaps it's a sign of depth that Iowa couldn't capitalize on the starter being chased. 

The Illini have some pretty good offense - the upcoming series with Nebraska will be a test to see which team breaks down first. 

Indiana

3-0

Indiana 10, Penn State 0

Indiana 8, Penn State 1

Indiana 9, Penn State 2

So, basically 27-3 over three games to move to 19-2 in the Big Ten. That's a school record for conference wins, btw and they still have a series to go. 

Sam Travis homered in all three games (no one else had hit one out at Medlar Field this season), Kyle Schwarber got one in the second game, and Dustin DeMuth went 6-for-11 for 4 runs and 4 RBIs in the series. 

Joey DeNato went to 11-1 on the season….  Oh, hell, it's against Penn State. 

The only questions that remain really, is whether Indiana loses a game in the Big Ten tourney, whether they're a national seed in the NCAA tourney, and if they can make it back to Omaha. 

Indiana will face Minnesota in the final conference series this season. 

Iowa

0-3

Iowa 8, Upper Iowa 3

Illinois 4, Iowa 1

Illinois 5, Iowa 1

Illinois 4, Iowa 2

Upper Iowa is not Division I so that win doesn't really count. It was a nice gesture by Rich Heller to play the school at which he started. 

Michigan

4-1

Michigan 7, Central Michigan 1

Michigan 7, Oakland 4

Ohio State 1, Michigan 0

Michigan 5, Ohio State 1

Michigan 4, Ohio State 1

This series came down to Ohio State pitching failing more than Michigan pitching, really. 

Game 1 - Ohio State's Tanner Tully (9 IP, 7H, 0R) was just a bit better than Michigan's Trent Szkutnik (8.2 IP, 7H, 1R, 6SO). 

Game 2 - Michigan's Evan Hill (8 IP, 5H, 0R) but Ohio State's Ryan Riga only went 4.1 IP, 7H, 3R. 

Game 3 - Michigan's Brett Adcock (8 IP, 2H, 4BB, 7SO) while Buckeye Greg Greve only went 6 IP, 10H, 4R. 

Michigan State

2-3

Michigan State 5, Western Michigan 4

Michigan State 12, Eastern Michigan 4 

Nebraska 5, Michigan State 3

Nebraska 4, Michigan State 1

Nebraska 4, Michigan State 1

Minnesota

3-0

Minnesota 10, Augsburg 0

Concordia-Moorehead 3, Minnesota 2

Minnesota 6, Purdue 5

Minnesota 6, Purdue 5 (10 innings)

Minnesota 4, Purdue 3

 Three one run games, one extra inning.  

Nebraska

3-0

Nebraska 5, Michigan State 3

Nebraska 4, Michigan State 1

Nebraska 4, Michigan State 1

 Seventh straight win, fourth conference sweep of the season, first time that's happened since 2000. 

According to Boydsworld.com RPI needs report, Nebraska needs no more wins to remain in the top 45. Should they wish to make the top 32, they need 2 home wins and 1 road win or 3 home wins. 

Bottom line - Nebraska should be safe to make the NCAA tourney barring collapse. 

Northwestern

2-1

Northwestern 2, Chicago 1

Northwestern 8, Illinois-Chicago 4

Northwestern 8, SIU Edwardsville 4

SIU Edwardsville 8, Northwestern 2

Northwestern 4, SIU Edwardsville 1

Ohio State

1-3

Miami (OH) 3, Ohio State 1

Ohio State 1, Michigan 0

Michigan 5, Ohio State 1

Michigan 4, Ohio State 1

Ohio State just doesn't have it this season. 

Ryan Riga and Greg Greve have performed well this season, so I'm not 100% sure what happened in this series. 

All I know is that the Buckeyes should be better than this and they're not. 

Penn State

0-3

Indiana 10, Penn State 0

Indiana 8, Penn State 1

Indiana 9, Penn State 2

Purdue 

0-3

Minnesota 6, Purdue 5

Minnesota 6, Purdue 5 (10 innings)

Minnesota 4, Purdue 3

Updated: 

Player of the Week

Sam Travis, Indiana

Jr., 1B, Orland Park, Ill./Providence Catholic

·         Hit three home runs, drove in six runs and scored seven times in three games against Penn State last week, helping Indiana clinch at least a share of the Big Ten Championship

·         Had a home run in each game of the series, belting solo homers in the first and second games and a two-run long ball in the finale, finishing the week with a 1.071 slugging percentage

·         Had multiple runs scored in each game of the series, including three in the opener, recorded two RBI in the series’ second game and three RBI on Sunday

·         Wins his sixth career Big Ten Player of the Week award

·         Last Indiana Big Ten Player of the Week: Brad Hartong (April 28, 2014)

 

Pitcher of the Week

Evan Hill, Michigan

So., LHP, Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant

·         Threw 12 shutout innings with eight strikeouts and just five hits over two outings last week, helping Michigan post wins over Central Michigan and Ohio State

·         Pitched four hitless innings against Central Michigan on Tuesday, striking out five batters

·         Totaled eight innings, while scattering five hits to earn the win on Saturday against the Buckeyes

·         Records his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor

·         Last Michigan Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Brandon Sinnery (May 2, 2012)

Co-Freshmen of the Week

Brett Adcock, Michigan

LHP, Kawkawlin, Mich./Bay City Western

·         Appeared in two games for Michigan last week, making his third career start in which he threw eight shutout innings against Ohio State on Sunday

·         Pitched one inning of relief against Oakland on Wednesday, striking out two

·         Scattered just two hits in earning the win against the Buckeyes, striking out seven in eight scoreless innings to finish the week with a spotless ERA

·         Wins his first career Big Ten Freshman of the Week award

·         Last Michigan Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Jackson Lamb (Feb. 18)

 

Tanner Tully, Ohio State

LHP, Elkhart, Ind./Central

·         Notched a complete-game shutout on Friday against Michigan to help Ohio State to a 1-0 victory in the series opener, scattering just seven hits

·         Tossed a career-best nine innings to record his seventh start of at least seven innings during Big Ten play

·         Allowed only two runners to reach second base to improve his record to 6-2 on the year, and lower his ERA to a Big Ten-best 1.79

·         Claims his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor

·         Last Ohio State Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Tanner Tully (March 24, 2014)

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