Michigan's 2-1 triumph over Iowa combined with Northwestern's 11-3 at Purdue has the Wolverines in sole possession of first place this morning.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan's Paul Hammond (7-3) fanned twelve Hawkeye batters en route to tossing a complete game victory. The lefty allowed only three hits, three walks and one run in nine innings. 2B/RF Doug Pickens paced the offense with three hits and a RBI.
The win moved Michigan (20-9, 35-18) into first place in the Big Ten. Iowa's (12-17, 23-30)post-season hopes are injured, but not dead, as they are a full game out of the sixth and final conference tournament slot.
At West Lafayette, Purdue (14-15, 29-23) plated seven runs in the seventh temporarily pushing Northwestern (19-10, 23-30) into second place in the conference. 3B John Hunter led Purdue's offensive attack with three hits, including his fourth homer, two RBI and two runs scored. 2B Ryne White had two hits and two RBI, while 1B Eric Wolfe went 4 for 5. Hitting wasn't the only thing the Boilermakers did well yesterday.
Starter Dan Sattler tossed eight strong innings. Sattler struck out twelve NU batters and didn't allow a single run. Pat McMahon's three hits and two RBI led NU's offense.
Dan DeLucia won his tenth game of the year leading Ohio State past Penn State, 4-3. DeLucia worked 7.2 innings allowing ten hits, three walks and all three PSU runs. SS Jedidiah Stephen cranked out his eighth homerun of the year and scored two runs to lead OSU's offense. OF Jacob Howell, who has battled a hamstring problem most of the year, was back in the Buckeye lineup and also had a pair of hits.
Rick Marlin, Cory Wine and Lance Thompson all had two hits for PSU. Wine also drove in two runs.
The Ohio State (17-11, 33-18) win moves them to within two games of second place in the Big Ten. Penn State (12-17, 23-20), like Iowa, finds themselves a game out of the final post-season opening.
Minnesota (14-14, 28-24) got closer to the Big Ten Tournament by beating Indiana (11-18, 22-31) Friday, 6-1. Cole DeVries (6-3) pitched a complete game eight hitter to lead the Gophers. DeVries allowed eight hits, a walk and struck out eight in nine innings. Kyle Baran, Luke McLean and Nate Hanson all had three hits for Minnesota.
IU's Keith Haas, Jon Fixler and Andrew Means all had a pair of hits.
Michigan State (12-17, 25-28) kept its post-season dreams alive with a 13-2 pasting of Illinois. MSU's Ryan Basham and Sean Walker went yard, Alan Cattrysse had three hits and three RBI. Ryan Snowden had three safties for the Illini (13-16, 27-26). The win moved MSU to within a game of Illinois for the sixth and final Big Ten Tournament position.