April 2, 2012

Big Ten Baseball Weekly Report

Another week of Big Ten baseball is in the books, and Nebraska missed out on a chance to move up in the standings. Penn State beat Purdue on Sunday, so a sweep at Northwestern would've moved the Huskers past the No. 19 Boilermakers. Instead, the Huskers lost twice against the Wildcats (RPI: 249).

Standings
1. Minnesota (15-13, 3-0) RPI: 103
2. Purdue (20-5, 4-2) RPI: 19
2. Indiana (12-16, 4-2) RPI: 182
4. Nebraska (19-11, 3-3) RPI: 72
4. Northwestern (10-15, 3-3) RPI: 249
4. Iowa (9-14 ,3-3) RPI: 230
4. Michigan State (16-8, 1-1, 56)
8. Ohio State (14-11, 2-3) RPI: 40
8. Illinois (15-10, 1-2) RPI: 69
10. Penn State (8-18. 2-4) RPI: 212
11. Michigan (12-16, 0-3) RPI: 227

Recaps

Nebraska at Northwestern
Friday: Nebraska 7, Northwestern 3 (attendance: 256)
Saturday: Northwestern 8, Nebraska 4 (308)
Sunday: Northwestern 6, Nebraska 1 (428)

Penn State at No. 19 Purdue
Friday: Purdue 9, Penn State 3 (572)
Saturday: Purdue 2, Penn State 0 (707)
Sunday: Penn State 16, Purdue 6 (623)

Iowa at Indiana
Friday: Indiana 10, Iowa 7 (1,875)
Saturday: Iowa 4, Indiana 0 (2,001)
Sunday: Indiana 10, Iowa 5 (1,238)

Michigan at Minnesota
Friday: Minnesota 6, Michigan 3 (414)
Saturday: Minnesota 9, Michigan 4 (415)
Sunday: Minnesota 4, Michigan 3 (10 innings) (354)

Ohio State at Michigan State
Saturday: Ohio State 1, Michigan 0 (1,610)
Sunday: Michigan State 2, Ohio State 1 (1,266)

Mississippi Valley State at Illinois
Friday: Illinois 15, Mississippi Valley State 6 (827)
Saturday: Illinois 12, Mississippi Valley State 4 (887)
Sunday: Illinois 7, Mississippi Valley State 1 (1,147)

Games on deck

Nebraska
Tuesday: at Kansas State, 6:35 p.m.
Friday: Iowa, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday: Iowa, 2:05 p.m.
Sunday: Iowa, 1:05 p.m.

Illinois
Tuesday: Bradley, 4:05 p.m.
Friday: Indiana, 4:05 p.m.
Saturday: Indiana, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday: Indiana, 3:05 p.m.

Indiana
Wednesday: Ball State, 2 p.m.
Friday: at Illinois, 4:05 p.m.
Saturday: at Illinois, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday: at Illinois, 3:05 p.m.

Iowa
Tuesday: South Dakota State, 6:05 p.m.
Wednesday: South Dakota State, 4:05 p.m.
Friday: at Nebraska, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday: at Nebraska, 2:05 p.m.
Sunday: at Nebraska, 1:05 p.m.

Michigan
Wednesday: Central Michigan, 3:05 p.m.
Friday: Michigan State, 4:35 p.m.
Saturday: Michigan State, 12:05 p.m.
Sunday: Michigan State, 2 p.m.

Michigan State
Wednesday: at Eastern Michigan, 5:05 p.m.
Thursday: at Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays Single-A affiliate), 6:05 p.m.
Friday: at Michigan, 3:05 p.m.
Saturday: at Michigan, 12:05 p.m.
Sunday: at Michigan, 2 p.m.

Minnesota
Tuesday: Augsburg, 6:35 p.m.
Friday: at Ohio State, 5:35 p.m.
Saturday: at Ohio State, 2:05 p.m.
Sunday: at Ohio State, 11:05 a.m.

Northwestern
Friday: Purdue, 3 p.m.
Saturday: Purdue, 1 p.m.
Sunday: Purdue, 1 p.m.

Ohio State
Wednesday: at Miami (Ohio), 5:30 p.m.
Friday: Minnesota, 5:35 p.m.
Saturday: Minnesota, 2:05 p.m.
Sunday: Minnesota, 11:05 a.m.

Penn State
Wednesday: at Binghamton, 5:05 p.m.
Friday: Canisius, 5:05 p.m.
Saturday: Canisius, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday: Canisius, 12:05 p.m.

Purdue
Wednesday: Anderson, 5 p.m.
Friday: at Northwestern, 3 p.m.
Saturday: at Northwestern, 1 p.m.
Sunday: at Northwestern, 1 p.m.

Attendance update

What a difference a week makes for Nebraska. A week after drawing more than 15,000 in their series against Illinois last week, the Huskers played in front of 992 people combined in their series with Northwestern, the most poorly-attendance series of the weekend in the conference.

1. Iowa at Indiana (5,114 - average of 1,704)
2. Ohio State at Michigan State (2,876 - 1,438)
3. Mississippi Valley State at Illinois (2,861 - 954)
4. Penn State at Purdue (1,902 - 634)
5. Michigan at Minnesota (1,183 - 394)
6. Nebraska at Northwestern (992 - 331)

The raw numbers might not depict it, but attendance was a little better conference-wide this week. The Big Ten drew 14,928 fans to 17 games this weekend, an average of 878 people per game. Compare that to last week, when 30,073 took in a Big Ten contest over 21 games, an average of 1,432. But if you take Nebraska's 15,476 out of the picture (Haymarket Field is clearly going to be an incredible outlier in the Big Ten), that total dips to 14,597, or an average of 810 per game.

Purdue fans don't seem to understand they've got a team ranked in the top 20. An average of only 634 people showed up to each of the Boilermakers games against Penn State this week. Purdue doesn't exactly have a massive stadium (Lambert Field seats 1,100), but you'd expect better attendance from the conference's best team.

Quotable: Best lines from the weekend

***Michigan State closer Tony Wieber, who set the school record for saves with his 15th Sunday: "It's an honor. But if it wasn't for Andrew (Waszak), I wouldn't have had that chance. He pitched incredible for eight innings and shut them down for pretty much most of the game."

***Nebraska coach Darin Erstad after Sunday's 6-1 loss to Northwestern: We got beat in all three - we're actually fortunate we won one game here. I expected us to come out and play very well, but we got it taken to us. It all starts on the mound. Their starting pitching was fantastic and we never got anything rolling. We've got to find a way to score some runs."

Worthy of recognition

***Matt Dermody, Iowa: threw seven scoreless innings while allowing just three hits in the Hawkeyes' 4-0 win over Indiana Saturday.

***Joey DeBernardis, Penn State: had four RBIs, scored four times and hit his third home run of the year in the 16-6 win Sunday.

***Zach Morton, Northwestern: pitched a complete game in the Wildcats' 6-1 win over Nebraska Sunday, allowing just one run. The junior started the other two games at second base and scored five runs in the series.

***Matt Halloran, Minnesota: hit his first career home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to propel the Golden Gophers to a 4-3 win Sunday.

Random drops of knowledge

***Both Northwestern and Illinois played their first home games of the year this weekend after starting the season with 22 straight road contests. They combined to go 5-1.

***Michigan State's Tony Bucciferro threw eight scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Saturday, but he may not have even had the best pitching performance of the game. Buckeye right-hander Jaron Long tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout in Ohio State's 1-0 win.

***After scoring 19 runs and losing twice in their three games against Nebraska last weekend, Illinois took out some frustration on Mississippi Valley State. The Fighting Illini scored 34 runs in the series and had a season-high 20 hits in Friday's 15-6 victory.

***Purdue's Lance Breedlove and Penn State's Joe Kurrasch took no-hitters into the seventh inning of Saturday's game. Purdue eventually won 2-0 to reach 20 wins before April for the first time in school history.

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