It was a day that held true to form. The higher seeds prevailed and with each side sending it's traditional Friday starter to the mound, pitching was the story of the day.
Behind a strong performance from Cole DeVries, Minnesota beat Illinois, 8-1. (Note: The Gophers have a new website or, at least, a new design. I wasn't crazy about the old one, so I embrace the change.) DeVries (7-3) and reliever Andy Cole combined on a one hitter. Mike Mee and Chris Herbert each drove in a pair of runs to power the offense.
The nightcap went twelve innings before Jedidiah Stephen drove home the winner leading Ohio State to a 2-1 triumph over Purdue. Big Ten Freshman of the Year, J.B. Shuck earned the win in two innings of relief. Starter Dan DeLucia worked the first ten innings allowing seven hits, two walks and the lone Boilermaker tally.
Purdue could not help starter Dan Sattler who worked nine solid innings of his own. The righthander yielded six hits, three walks and one run.
Tomorrow's action looks like this. At noon, Illinois and Purdue will play an elimination game. At 3:30pm, Ohio State will take on Northwestern. The tripleheader concludes with Minnesota taking on #23 Michigan.
For those of you not in Ann Arbor, and much to my pleasant surprise, the Big Ten has set-up a special Tournament Central webpage. It claims to provide live streaming video of the games. I cannot attest to that, as I was at the games, so proceed with that caveat in mind.
(As an aside, here's a question for the Big Ten. How about a Conference Tournament T-Shirt? I got one about ten years ago, but I can't get one now? Are we regressing or do the shirts arrive tomorrow? Look, I'm not only offering you advertising space for free, but I'm willing to pay for the ad. Work with me here.)
All and all it was a very good day of baseball. Tomorrow, we get an additional game plus the top two seeds, Michigan and Northwestern, take to the field for the first time in this tournament. The weather forecast, however, isn't as promising. Let's hope they are wrong.