As I mentioned in my previous post, I've had no time over the last couple of days to log into Blogger. While I was away from the keyboard, I didn't entirely ignore the Big Ten baseball race. Part of the time away was spent watching college baseball. On Friday, I made the trek up to Lansing to watch Michigan State host Ohio State. (Expect a picture link to be provided later. Hopefully, later today, but I make no promises.)
As for the game between the Spartans and Buckeyes, well, it wasn't very competitive. Dan DeLucia, OSU's Friday starter, kept MSU hitters off balance and got plenty of offensive support in a 16-2 Buckeye triumph. It was the type of dominant performance I expected from Ohio State in Ann Arbor a few weeks back.
As I've learned since, things haven't gotten much better for the host Spartans as OSU also took both halves of yesterday's doubleheader. Ohio State took game one, 12-3, and the second affair by a 6-4 count. The three consecutive OSU's wins combined with Northwestern and Michigan dropping two of their three games thus far, has led to a three way tie atop the Big Ten standings.
Minnesota beat Northwestern up on Friday, 15-3. The bats for both sides went silent Saturday as both teams claimed 1-0 victories. Dan Brauer led NU to the triumph in the first game. The nightcap went to Gophers courtesy of starter Brian Bull.
While in Champaign, Michigan lost Friday's game, 3-1 and split the Saturday twinbill with the Illini. Dan Hartleb's side won the second game, 7-4, but Rich Maloney's nine took the opener, 1-0.
Purdue and Penn State have only played a single game so far this weekend. Saturday's solo contest went to the Boilermakers, 6-5. A doubleheader is on tap for today. In Iowa City, the Hawkeyes have taken three in a row from Indiana. Friday was 3-2, Iowa. Saturday's doubledip went the Hawkeyes' way by scores of 4-3 and 6-0.
All this leaves Ohio State, Northwestern and Michigan tied atop the Big Ten at 15-8. Illinois if fourth at 12-11. Minnesota is fifth, Purdue sixth. If the regular season ended today, those outside the conference tournament would be Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State and Indiana.