As I try to decide if I like Vermont over Syracuse and do I have the courage to pick Utah State over Arizona, let's take a peek around the Big Ten to see what I've been missing on the diamond over the last day or two.
The most obvious thing is that Indiana is still white hot. The Hoosiers just pounded on Illinois State Tuesday, 17-7. I'll bet IU supporters wish their football team scored as much as the baseball squad does. Corby Heckman led the way with four hits, three runs scored and two RBI. Zach Boswell plated four runs the old fashioned way. He hit a grandslam. Nearly every Hoosier is raking at the moment and it shows. (Here is the boxscore.)
Purdue's brutal non-conference slate continues in Texas. The Boilermakers lost to Rice, 9-1. Neal Gorka continues to shine through the losses. Gorka had two more hits vs. the Owls. Here is the boxscore. Purdue faces Lamar today. I give the Purdue administration points for courage for scheduling the programs they have this year.
Minnesota returned to the win column with a 10-6 triumph over Minnesota-Duluth. Andy Hunter paced the Gophers attack with three hits. Minnesota plays St. Cloud today. (I thought it was St. Cloud State? Remind me to check on that.)
A quick peek at the upcoming schedule reveals that this weekend doesn't feature quite as many big-time match-ups as previous weekends. Although, as the Big Ten struggles with strength of schedule questions, RPI rankings, national perception and the like, the programs of the conference had best just polish off all opponents regardless of their stature.
Good luck to all the Big Ten schools in the Big Dance.