Today was just a mess. First, there is my sidebar's plunge to the bottom of the page. (Scroll down, it's there. Really.) Then there is the weather. Michigan State's Kobs Field is in such bad shape, courtesy of our crummy winter, that the Spartans are playing at Western Illinois this weekend. Indiana's contest against Longwood fell victim to poor weather, too.
Then there is Northwestern's doubleheader with Vermont. Somehow, I didn't find this two game tilt on NU's original schedule. There is probably an 80% chance, I just screwed something up. However, in no other sport do schools have only partial schedules, or incomplete schedules, on Opening Day, the way college baseball does. It makes following the sport a tad frustrating to follow. Again, it could just be me, but I've seen these late additions/subtractions/changes before. (I'll get back to the 'Cats games in a minute.)
I even called this post "Saturday's Mess", as having an extra day off work apparently confuses me. Basically, it was a messed up day on many fronts around BTH this Friday. However, some positive news did emerge, as a number of Big Ten schools came out on the winning end. Here is a review of all of Saturday's action. (Well, all meaning all I am aware of currently.)
Ohio State swept a doubleheader from Dartmouth. The Buckeyes took game one 4-1 behind another strong outing from Cory Luebke. Luebke, one of Baseball America's top freshmen, went eight innings allowing only one unearned run and three hits. Trey Fausnaugh earned his second save.
The Buckeyes took game two, 5-3. 2B Jason Zoeller led the OSU offense with three hits. The win went to Jeffrey Carroll in relief.
#22 Michigan opened its home campaign with a 10-0 triumph over Oakland. Jim Brauer improved to 4-0 with six shutout innings. Clayton Richard came on in relief and combined with Brauer to toss a four hit shutout. Mike Schmidt homered for Michigan.
Jimmy Conroy led Illinios past Cornell 12-0. Conroy threw six innings yielding four hits, no walks and no runs while fanning five. James Morris and Dusty Bensko, who played first and walked four times, completed the shutout. Ryan Rogowski went 3 for 5 scored three times and stole two bases.
Wichita State dropped Iowa, 6-1. Kris Welker got two of Iowa's seven safeties on the day. Shockers' starter Mike Pelfrey struck out 11 Hawkeyes in seven innings and is now 4-2 on the year.
Matt Loberg's eight shutout innings led Minnesota past Butler, 7-0. The Gophers' righthander struck out a career high nine batters. Luke MacLean had three hits, including a triple, and three RBI to lead the Gophers' attack.
As for the NU-Vermont doubleheader, the Catamounts took the opener, 3-1. Mark Ori had two hits for NU. The Wildcats claimed the nightcap, 4-3. NU scored three in the bottom of the seventh inning to win it. Jon Mikrut's single drove in the winning run.
Finally, congratulations to Michigan State and Wisconsin on advancing to the Elite Eight. The Spartans knocked off #1 seed Duke tonight, 78-68. The Badgers dropped NC State, 65-56. Now, it's Illinois' turn.
Hopefully, the weather and this blog will improve tomorrow.