Saturday, January 29, 2005

THT All-Americans, Part II

Craig Burley at The Hardball Times has submitted his second installment of THT pre-season All-Americans. Burley looks at the pitching corps this time around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wildcats 2005 Schedule

Northwestern's 2005 schedule is apparently still a mystery. Well, at least a large portion of their non-conference games are up in the air. Here is the link to the official website's schedule. There are dates, times and locations, but about seven games against TBA opponents. That makes it a bit difficult to evaluate their non-conference schedule.

In the Big Ten, the Wildcats do have to visit Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois, but the Spartans, Hawkeyes, Nittany Lions and Buckeyes will travel to Evanston.

Gophers 2005 Schedule

The University of Minnesota's 2005 schedule is headlined by their annual Dairy Queen Classic. The Gophers, who probably have the most daunting non-conference schedule in the Big Ten, will play host to New Orleans, #7 South Carolina and #32 Pepperdine in early March.

The forty-fifth ranked Gophers will open the season with a three game trip to #26 Arkansas and host forty-seventh ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. In conference, Minnesota opens with #46 Michigan and closes the conference slate against Ohio State.

(Note: The rankings are Baseball America's.)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Michigan Baseball Adds Quarterback

Clayton Richard, Michigan's back-up quarterback, has joined the baseball team. An all-state baseball player, Richard is a hard throwing lefty. Here is The Detroit News story of Richard's addition to the Wolverines baseball team.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

LSU Gets New Digs

College baseball superpower, Louisiana State University, is going to build a new ballpark. The facility, scheduled to open in 2008, is going to cost $23 million dollars. Here is the recap.

Smith To Guide USA Baseball

Baylor's Steve Smith has been tabbed as the next coach of USA Baseball. Here is the story.

Let There Be Light

Michigan's Ray Fisher Stadium will host it's first game under lights this season. The game against Ohio State on Friday, April 22 will be the initial night game. It's scheduled to be a 6:35pm EST start. Here is a look at the stadium aglow.

The lighting system will, hopefully, serve two purposes. 1) Bring in a few more fans. 2) Open the door for Michigan to host regional NCAA baseball action.

Also, rumors have circulated that the university may build a new baseball facility. The fact the new lighting system is portable only fuels that speculation.

Wolverines 2005 Schedule

Michigan has three top twenty opponents on its 2005 schedule. Georgia (#10), North Carolina (#14) and Notre Dame (#20) are going to provide the Wolverines with some tough non-conference opposition. The game against the Irish will, once again, be played in Comstock Park, Michigan home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Hawkeyes 2005 Schedule

Iowa has an interesting quirk in their 2005 schedule. The unique thing is that they take on Ohio State in their third game of the non-conference schedule. Why is this unique, beyond OSU being a "non-conference" opponent? The Hawkeyes don't play the Buckeyes during the Big Ten season.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Hoosier Hitmen

Pete DiPrimio, a veteran writer of IU athletics, penned a new book about Indiana's baseball program. The book entitled Hoosier Hitmen is now available from Arcadia Publishing. Click here for details.

Hoosiers 2005 Schedule

Indiana's schedule for 2005 may not be overwhelming in the pre-season, devoid of the playing any marquee teams, but it's conference slate will be challenging. The Hoosiers must travel to Minnesota, Ohio State and Michigan.

Illini 2005 Schedule

Illinois' 2005 schedule is quite as daunting as last season's. No trip to Starkville, Mississippi as one example. In addition, the Illini get conference rivals Ohio State and Michigan in Champaign.

Play Ball!

That's right. The college baseball season begins this weekend. Will Kimmey, of Baseball America, previews the first weekend of action here. (Sorry, kids. No Big Ten teams are in action, yet.)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

THT All-Americans

The Hardball Times has named it's pre-season All-America team. While no Big Ten players were named, college baseball needs all the national recognition it can get, so I've posted the link here.

Buckeyes 2005 Schedule

Ohio State University has released it's 2005 baseball schedule. The Bucks will have an interesting pre-conference tournament schedule that includes games against #10 Georgia, #14 North Carolina and #9 Arizona State. (The rankings are Baseball America's.)

Spartans 2005 Schedule

Michigan State has unveiled it's schedule for the upcoming baseball campaign. The highlight (for me, anyway) of the Spartans pre-conference schedule is a trip to Gainesville to take on the University of Florida Gators, who are ranked fifteenth in Baseball America's pre-season poll.

Hannahan Gets Invite

One of BTH's favorite players, Jack Hannahan, got a Spring Training invitation from the Detroit Tigers. The ex-Minnesota Gopher was drafted by the Tigers and is slated to begin the year with the Toledo Mud Hens.

Hannahan's invitation was a footnote in this story about Dean Palmer's comeback attempt in today's Detroit Free Press.

Here's The Problem

Only one of Baseball America's Top 100 high school prospects has committed to a Big Ten university. Zach Putnam, from Ann Arbor, has plans on attending Michigan. However, there is a long time between now and next fall. MLB's draft comes in June, which may tempted Putnam to bypass the Wolverines' baseball team.

There are only about eight players from Big Ten states amongst B.A.'s top 100 high schoolers, but the conference needs to land more than one. According to, Iowa had the top recruiting class in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes class ranked 45th nationally.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Q & A With PSU Head Coach

First year skipper Robbie Wine of Penn State had this question and answer session with Pitching coach Jason Bell also fields some questions in this interview.

OSU's Caravati Grabs More Honors

Ohio State senior Steve Caravati continues to make pre-season All-America teams. This time, the Nationall Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named the Buckeyes' star a first team All-America. Caravati was the only player from the conference to earn a spot on the NCBWA's three All-America teams.

OSU press release re: Caravati's NCBWA award.

Caravati, Hunter Earn Pre-Season All-America Nod

Ohio State outfielder Steve Caravati and Minnesota firstbaseman Andy Hunter both earned pre-season All-America acclaim from Collegiate Baseball. Caravati was named as a second team All-America selection while Hunter garnered a third team spot. press release re: Hunter's selection

Michigan Ranked # 35

Collegiate Baseball ranked Michigan number thirty-five in it's top 40. Michigan was the only Big Ten school to make the newspaper's top 40 poll.

Getz Earns Third Team All-America Honors

Michigan secondbaseman Chris Getz made Baseball America's third team All-American team. Getz was the only player from the Big Ten to merit a spot on one of the publication's three All-American teams.'s press release re: Getz selection

Baseball America Top 50

They barely made it, but Minnesota and Michigan made Baseball America's pre-season Top 50 poll. The Gophers came in at forty-five while the Wolverines followed right behind at forty-six.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The First Post

Welcome to Big Ten Hardball. I've started this blog for three reasons. First, I enjoy Big Ten baseball. Second, I did not want to overun my other blog, Beyond Boxscores, with this material. Third, I think college baseball in this part of the nation goes overlooked. Some would argue rightfully so, but that's a debate we can have as the blog goes along.

I hope you'll hang around and see if I can find enough material to keep this site entertaining and to see if I can produce two blogs at the same time. Thanks for stopping by.