Monday, February 28, 2005

NU Loses, Michigan Faces FAU

Northwestern lost to Seton Hall University 6-1. SHU's Jake Haggerty pitched seven innings while fanning seven Wildcats. Pat McMahon led the Northwestern offense with two hits. The box score is a .pdf file from the Seton Hall website. Here is a link, I have no idea if you will be able to open it.

Michigan is currently taking on Florida Atlantic. If you go to FAU's website, you can get a gametracker for this contest. It's 0-0 in the bottom of the second inning.

Update: The Wolverines lead FAU, 4-1. Florida Atlantic is batting in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Getz has a single, a run scored and a RBI for Michigan.

Update: Michigan holds on to beat Florida Atlantic, 4-1. Derek Feldkamp started and grabbed the win. Getz ended up going 2 for 4.

Monday = Poll Day

The polls are out. Here is a link to each of them.

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
Collegiate Baseball
Baseball America

Unfortunately, no Big Ten programs are represented in this week's polls. (Note: The NCBWA poll was still not available online as I type this.) Arkansas, who swept Minnesota this weekend, did move up in all three polls. I suspect the Hogs will venture upwards in the Writers' Poll, as well.

The Big Ten Conference can gain some national recognition this coming weekend, as a number of nationally ranked programs will face-off against Big Ten opposition.

Update: The NCBWA poll is online. While the Big Ten didn't get a single entry in the Top 35, both Michigan and Minnesota did receive votes.

Sunday Review

Sorry for the delay in yesterday's recaps. Here are the results:

James Madison 6 Penn State 5 (Box)
Joe Blackburn and Matt Lewis continued their strong starts with two hits a piece for PSU. Lewis is hitting .533 and Blackburn is at .471. The Lions fell to 1-3 on the season.

Illinois 14 Wagner 1 (Box)
Illini OF Drew Davidson and 3B Chad Frk each had three hits and a homerun. OF Ryan Rogowski had four hits and scored three times in the Illinois win. Brian Blomquist pitched six scoreless innings earned his first win. Illinois is 2-1.

Navy 6 Indiana 5 12 innings (Box)
Zach Boswell homered and Josh Richardson had three hits, but IU lost in extra frames to Navy. The Hoosiers are now 3-1.

Arkansas 4 Minnesota 3 (Box)
Jake Elder had two hits and all three Gopher RBI, but the Hogs swept Minnesota. Arkansas' Casey Rowlett had a hit (pushing his average to .489), a RBI, stole his seventh base and scored a run. The loss dropped the Golden Gophers to 0-3.

Purdue 9 Florida Atlantic 3 (Box)
Boilermaker senior pitcher Mitch Pruemer was the story. The righthander picked up his first win since 2003. Pruemer, who redshirted in '04, allowed only two Owl runs in 7.2 innings of work. Eric Wolfe paced the Purdue attack with four hits and two RBI. Chris Toneguzzi picked up the save for Purdue, who is now 1-2.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sunday Links

Weather is playing a factor in today's schedule. (Make your own plea for a later start date here.) Ohio State/Iowa, which would have been their only meeting this year, Michigan/UIC and Northwestern/Seton Hall have all been cancelled. The Michigan State/Centenary series was forced to play a doubleheader yesterday to avoid the precipitation.

Here is a link to some of today's new opponents for Big Ten schools. I've included the NU/SHU game simply to give some attention to the Seton Hall program. They probably face the same issues the Big Ten programs do.

Northwestern vs. Seton Hall
Penn State vs. James Madison
Illinois vs. Wagner
Indiana vs. Navy

Saturday Recap

Illinois 7 Winthrop 6 (Box)
Homeruns by Chris Robinson, Dusty Bensko (who had three hits) and Drew Davidson powered the Illini past Winthrop. Jimmy Conroy pitched five innings, allowing seven hits, to earn the win. Matt Whitmore threw a four inning save.

Indiana 9 Memphis 8 10 innings (Box)
The Hoosiers moved to 3-0 with the extra inning triumph. Senior OF Joe Kemp had two hits(including his second homer), scored three times, drove in three runs and notched the win in relief.

Middle Tennessee 11 Iowa 9 (Box)
Kris Welker and Andy Lytle had three hits a piece and Nate Price hit his first homerun of the year amongst his two tallies in the loss. The loss dropped the Hawkeyes to 0-2 on the season. Iowa's game against Ohio State scheduled for Sunday has already been rained out.

Michigan 11 Illinois-Chicago 4 (Box)
Kyle Bohm and A.J. Scheidt had two hits and two RBI each. Matt Rademacher hit a pinch-hit three run homer. Matt Brauer struck out seven in five innings and was the winner. The finale of the Michigan/UIC series has been cancelled to due rain.

Michigan State 6 Centenary 0 (Game 1 Box)
Centenary 3 Michigan State 2 (Game 2 Box)
The Spartans' Adam Tripp homered and had two RBI in Game 1. Catcher Sean Walker had two hits, a run scored and a RBI. Chris Malec allowed only one hit in five innings picking up the victory.

Steve Gerstensberger and Ryan Sontag led the MSU offense in the second game with a hit and a RBI each. The Spartans missed an opportunity to sweep when the Gents won game two in the bottom of the ninth.

Arkansas 12 Minnesota 3 (Box)
The story of this game was walks. Minnesota hurlers issued nine free passes to the Razorbacks. Andy Hunter and John Arlt each had two hits for the Golden Gophers who are now 0-2. Casey Rowlett hit a grandslam for #21 Arkansas.

Northwestern 30 Mount St. Mary's 2 (Box)
Northwestern 7 Northeastern 1 (Box)
No, that's not an old football score. NU banged out 29 hits and managed eight walks in scoring thirty runs. Jake Owens had six hits and was one of four Wildcats with four RBI. Anthony Wycklendt and Mark Ori also drove in four runs. Ryan Myers pitched seven innings, striking out eleven, to earn the win.

Mark Ori picked up where he left off in Game One in the Wildcats second contest. The junior firstbaseman went four for four with three RBI leading NU to a 7-1 triumph over Northeastern. George Kontos went seven scoreless innings and struck out eight posting his first win of 2005.

Troy State 6 Ohio State 4 (Box)
TSU's Landon Brazell held the Buckeyes in check for eight innings. Brazell allowed only two runs and fanned six OSU batters. Henry Gutierrez had three hits and Blake Green homered and collected four RBI for the Trojans. OSU DH Cody Caughenbaugh led the way with three hits in the loss.

Florida Atlantic 5 Purdue 4 (Box)
Neal Gorka's three hits, including his first homer, were not enough as Purdue lost to FAU for the second straight day. The loss drops the Boliermakers to 0-2. They conclude the three game set with FAU (6-2) today.

George Mason 6 Penn State 5 (Box)
PSU backstop Joe Blackburn collected four hits, drove in one and scored two more. Sophomore Matt Lewis had three hits for the Nittany Lions. GMU's Chris Fournier had four hits and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, capping a three run comeback.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Saturday Links

Here are the links to Saturday's opponents for Big Ten schools. Please note that I am not including the series that continue throughout the weekend. Those games are in my Weekend Preview Post.

Penn State vs. George Mason
Ohio State vs. Troy State
Iowa vs. Middle Tennessee
Illinois vs. Winthrop
Indiana vs. Memphis
Northwestern vs. Mount St. Mary's

Closers Make Watch List

The chase to be named college baseball's top closer includes three Big Ten Conference pitchers. Ohio State's Trey Fausnaugh, Michigan's Derek Feldkamp and Minnesota's John Gaub were all put on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's pre-season watch list. The Big Ten tied for the most nominees by any conference.

For the first time ever, the organization will be providing an award, the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, to the nation's top relief pitcher in Division I baseball. BTH congratulates all the nominees.

Friday Night Wrap

Kent State 6 Illinois 5 (Box)
Kent State DH Kurt Eichorn goes 2/4 with a homer, his second, and four RBI. Illinois SS Toby Gardenhire had two hits, RF Trevor Huisinga hit his first homer in the loss.

Indiana 5 Indiana State 4 (Box)
Indiana OF's Joe Kemp and Zach Boswell each homer, while 3B Corby Heckman, Kemp and Boswell each had two hits a piece. The win went to Hoosier reliever Steve Nielsen.

Troy State 6 Iowa 1 (Box)
Troy State CF Adam Goodwin's three hits paced a balanced attack. TSU's Brent Adcock fanned thirteen Iowa batters and allowed only one hit in seven innings. SS Andy Lytle and CF L.J. Mims were the only Hawkeyes to post hits.

Michigan 7 Illinois-Chicago 5 (Box)
Michigan's Doug Pickens, Chris Getz and Kyle Bohm each had three hits a piece in the Wolverines win. Michael Penn picked up with win, Ali Husain the save. UIC's Bart Babineaux had three hits and stolen base.

Michigan State 9 Centenary 3 (Box)
MSU's Adam Tripp had three hits, two RBI and two stolen bases. Tim Day earned the victory, Jeff Gerbe the save for the Spartans. Saturday these teams will play a doubleheader, as the game scheduled for Sunday has been moved up due to weather concerns.

Arkansas 5 Minnesota 4 (Box)
David Hrncirik went two for four with a homer and three RBI. Arkansas, ranked as high as #21, won the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, I have not yet tracked down a box score this contest.

Ohio State 8 Middle Tennessee 4 (Box)
Buckeye leadoff hitter Jacob Howell had three hits and 1B Paul Farinacci drove in three in OSU first victory of 2005. OSU's Mike Madsen earned the win.

Florida Atlantic 6 Purdue 4 (Box)
Andy Dahl's grandslam accounted for all of the Boilermakers runs. FAU's Brian Lipman had three hits for the Owls. Will Mann pitched six innings with seven strikeouts for the win.

Penn State 5 UNC-Wilmington 4 (Box)
Coach Robbie Wine picked up his first win at PSU. Matt Ogrodnick posted the win, Josh Palm the save. Matt Lewis and Josh Blackburn went yard for the Nittany Lions. Wilmington's Kenny Smith homered in the loss.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On Deck: Weekend Match-Ups

The Big Ten really gets rolling this weekend with all of the conference's schools in action. Since, I may be a bit busy over the next forty-eight hours, I decided to provide these links to Friday's contests tonight.

Penn State vs. UNC Wilmington
Purdue vs. Florida Atlantic
Ohio State vs. Middle Tennessee State
Minnesota at Arkansas
Michigan State vs. Centenary
Michigan vs. Illinois-Chicago
Iowa vs. Troy State
Illinois vs. Kent State
Indiana vs. Indiana State

I'm hoping you know where to find the links to the Big Ten institutions. (Casually review righthand column.)

Other notes about this weekend: The Michigan/UIC, Purdue/FAU, Michigan State/Centenary, Minnesota/Arkansas match-ups will continue throughout the weekend.

Northwestern will join the fray Saturday providing the first day of 2005 where the entire conference will be active.

Iowa and Ohio State will meet for the only time this season Sunday, but it will be a non-conference tilt.

Obviously, BTH wishes all the Big Ten teams good luck this weekend.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NU's McMahon, PSU's Clark Grab Honors

Northwestern catcher Pat McMahon was named the Big Ten's Player of the Week. Here is the NU press release.

Penn State's Craig Clark was named the conference's Pitcher of the Week. Here is a link to the Big Ten's press release regarding Clark and McMahon.

IU 5 DePauw 0

Indiana opened their year with a 5-0 triumph over Division III DePauw. The Hoosier hit parade was led by 1B Ryan Parker who went 3 for 3. Parker had two doubles, a triple, three RBI and a run scored. Indiana ran six hurlers on to the mound this afternoon while posting the shutout. IU's next contest comes Saturday versus in-state rival Indiana State.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

NU Loses 4-1, PSU Rained Out

Kansas State beat Northwestern Sunday afternoon, 4-1. K-State's Eric Durante and Brandon Farr each had two RBI. The Big XII Wildcats got eight innings from starter, and winner, Adam Cowart. For a KSU perspective on the contest, click here.

NU's Antonio Mule drove in the Big Ten Wildcats lone tally, although Jake Owens, Jon Mikrut and Pat McMahon each collected two hits a piece. Andrew Smith went four innings, taking the loss. The Northwestern version of today's game can be found here.

Penn State and Charlotte got rained out today. The Nittany Lions will face UNC-Wilmington next Friday.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

NU Goes Hitless, Wine Loses PSU Opener

Arkansas State's Taylor Fowler pitched a no-hitter in a 4-0 triumph over Northwestern. Folwer struck out nine and walked four en route to his no-hitter. Wildcats righthander George Kontos pitched seven and two-thirds, fanning four and allowing two runs, but could not overcome Fowler's brilliance Saturday afternoon. BTH congratulates Fowler on his outstanding performance. (Click here for the box score.)

Northwestern closes the UTA Invitational Sunday afternoon against Kansas State.

Penn State also lost today. The Nittany Lions were beaten by Charlotte, 6-3. PSU thirdbaseman Colin Runt drove in two of the Lions three runs. The game marked the first game of Coach Robbie Wine's Penn State career. PSU and Charlotte face-off again Sunday afternoon. (Click here for the box score to today's game.)

Friday, February 18, 2005

On Deck: Penn State vs. Charlotte

Coach Robbie Wine makes his Penn State debut tomorrow at Charlotte. The Nittany Lions' website offers this preview of their season. To get a look at the 49ers program, here is a link to their baseball homepage.

The game does not appear to be available on the web, but both websites offer gametracker to follow the action.

UTA Drops 'Cats 11-3

Texas-Arlington defeated Northwestern 11-3 this afternoon. After posting the team's first victory of 2005 last week, Evan Blesoff took the loss for the Wildcats today. NU freshman outfielder Max Mann, in his first game after being named the conference's player of the week, led the Wildcats offense with two more hits.

Saturday, the Wildcats (1-1) will take on Arkansas State (4-1). NU will close out the UTA Invitational with their second meeting of the year versus Kansas State (0-3).

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Clemens Award Watch List

The Roger Clemens Award, which is given to the top college pitcher of the year, has released its watch list for 2005. I don't see a single Big Ten hurler nominated, but you can check for yourself here. It's probably good to verify my work. I'm getting old.


The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 35 poll is without a Big Ten team, but both Michigan and Minnesota garnered votes. For a look at the entire poll, click here.

Meet The Wolverines

I ventured out to Ann Arbor this evening to attend Michigan's Meet The Team Night. I thank Coach Rich Maloney and the players I chatted with for their courtesy. I also thank the baseball office and the university for the refreshments.

Penn State Increases Radio Broadcasts

The Nittany Lions baseball team is going to get more airtime in 2005. Radio airtime, anyway. WMAJ1450AM, the local ESPN affiliate, is going to broadcast 44 Penn State baseball games this season. Here is the official press release.

Purdue Preview

The Purdue Boilermakers join the growing list of programs that preview their upcoming season on their website. Here is the link.

Big Ten Players Of The Week

Northwestern pitcher Evan Blesoff and outfielder Max Mann were named Big Ten Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively. Congrats to both on their first time honors.

Spartans Preview Season

Michigan State's website has released a 2005 season preview. Click here for the link.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

On-Deck: N.U. vs. UTA

Northwestern will continue it's campaign with a Friday contest against the University of Texas-Arlington. The bad news for the Wildcats is that UTA just upset #8 Baylor yesterday. Here is a link to UTA's baseball page.

Update: Here is a preview courtesy of Northwestern's website.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hoosier Preview

Indiana University previews it's upcoming baseball season on its website. Click here to see how I.U. will lineup in 2005.

No Valentine For Big Ten

The Big Ten got no respect from any of this week's polls. The Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches' Top 25, Collegiate Baseball Magazine's Top 30 and Baseball America's Top 25 are all devoid of Big Ten schools. Big Ten baseball can't even get a little bit of love on Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Around the Nation

Will Kimmey provides us with his Weekend Preview at Baseball This weekend's action is highlighted by the Minute Maid College Classic in Houston, Texas. Oklahoma State, Rice, Baylor, Houston, Texas A&M and Tennessee comprise this year's field.

Phoenix Tournament Rained Out

According to a report at the University of Missouri website, the remainder of the Oakland A's Phoenix tournament has been cancelled due to rain. Northwestern was scheduled to play Mizzou this morning, Portland later today and Oregon State tomorrow.

If the entire tournament is washed away, the 'Cats next game will be on February 18 versus Texas-Arlington.

Friday, February 11, 2005

NU Drops K-State, 4-2

Northwestern opened the 2005 season by beating Kansas State, 4-2. N.U. senior Evan Blesoff picked up the victory going five innings. Wildcat freshman Max Mann led to offensive charge with a three run triple. Here is the coverage from the respective websites.

Northwestern coverage

Kansas State coverage

Northwestern continues it's trip to Phoenix with a Saturday doubleheader. N.U. starts the day with a game versus Missouri and finishes with a contest against Portland.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Battle 'Cats

The first Big Ten team to see action this season is Northwestern. N.U. is in Phoenix, Arizona and will open the year Thursday versus Kansas State. The battle of Wildcats is scheduled to begin at 7pm EST/8pm CT.

KSU's offense is led by a pair of outfielders. Steve Murphy is coming of a .338/3/40 season. His average and rbi total were the best on the club in '04. Murphy also had the highest OPS on the Wildcats with an .882 mark. Terry Blunt had Kansas State's second highest average last year at .305. Blunt was also second in homers with four.

Another player to watch for in KSU's lineup is ex-Illinois standout Eric Eymann. The former Freshman All-America selection will be playing shortstop for the 'Cats.

KSU lost it's top three winners from its pitching staff, so Coach Brad Hill will hand the ball of to a new group of weekend starters this year.

From a Northwestern perspective, 1B Mark Ori paces the attack. Last year, Ori hit .382/0/23 and had a .938 OPS. DH/OF Anthony Wycklendt, SS Jon Mikrut and 2B Caleb Fields are all returning starters. Wycklendt and Mikrut tied for the team lead in round-trippers with six. Wycklendt led the Wildcats in stolen bases with 5, while Mikrut's 41 rbi were also good for first on the ballclub. Fields is entering his sophomore campaign after hitting .271 as a freshman.

Dan Brauer will lead Coach Paul Stevens' staff. Brauer won six games in 2004. He held opponents to a .233 average while striking out 96 and walking 26 in 89.1 innings of work. George Kontos will also be a party of the N.U. rotation. The sophomore started nine games a year ago.

There is no sign of an audio feed from either school as of yet. I will try to provide an update, if possible Thursday night.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

PSU To Hold Media Luncheon

New Penn State skipper Robbie Wine and his staff will be at a media luncheon on February 10. provides the details of this event here.

Buckeyes Preview Their 2005 Campaign

The Ohio State University's website has produced an outlook for their upcoming baseball season. Here is the link. I would expect, as do the Buckeyes, for OSU to contend for the conference crown again in '05.

Gophers Alumni Game On Tap For Saturday

The University of Minnesota will play its annual Pro-Alumni Game this Saturday. The game will feature a number of current MLB players. Click here for the link at

Meet The Wolverines

The University of Michigan has schedule a "Meet The Team Night" for February 17. For details click on this link at It's free, snacks are being served and you get to talk baseball. What more can you ask for?

No Love For Big Ten

The USA Today Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches' Poll is out. Texas claimed the top spot with 953 points. Cal State Fullerton, Miami (FL), LSU and Tulane round out the top five. Forty Division I coaches participate in the poll.

No Big Ten program made the top 25, but two did receive points. Michigan garnered six points. Not factoring in ties, Michigan would be ranked 53rd in the nation. Minnesota managed two points and was the only other conference school to merit attention.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Heiss Grodin Receives Award

USA Today Sports Weekly's Dana Heiss Grodin won the Wilbur Snypp Award for contributions to college baseball. Heiss Grodin is Sports Weekly's college baseball beat writer. I've talked college baseball with Dana in the past and was excited to see her work get some recognition. Congratulations, Dana!

Closers Get Noticed

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association is going to a Stopper Of The Year Award in 2005. Here is the press release from the NCBWA.

Nittany Lions 2005 Schedule

Penn State's 2005 schedule isnt' quite complete. The Nittany Lions will face schools like James Madison, UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Wilmington, but have a three game tournament in Fresno, California against TBA opposition. If the forty-fourth ranked Fresno State Bulldogs appear, they would be the highlight of PSU's non-conference slate.

Boilermakers 2005 Schedule

Purdue's 2005 schedule is filled with impressive opponents. The Boilers get to take on (#4) Texas, (#16) Mississippi, (#18) Rice, (#20) Notre Dame and (#33) Florida Atlantic. In what may be the toughest opening schedule I've seen a Big Ten school face, Purdue begins the year with consecutive three game road sets versus F.A.U., Ole Miss and the Longhorns.

The Boilers will then play their tenth straight game against ranked opposition as they head to Houston to face the Rice Owls. Later in the season, Purdue will travel to take on Notre Dame. That's eleven non-conference games against teams ranked in Baseball America's top 40 pre-season poll. All eleven tilts are on the road.

No one will complain if about the Boilermakers' strength of schedule, unless to say it's just too difficult. I give Purdue credit for taking on some of the nation's best.