Thursday, March 15, 2007

Reviews & Previews

I've got a few recaps and a brief look at the weekend ahead. Let's start with a look at the games that have transpired to since last I typed.

Indiana beat North Florida, 10-9. The Go-Go Hoosiers finally arrive. IU scored ten runs and stole nine bases. The leading thieves were OF Andrew Means and 2B Evan Crawford who swiped three each. Means and Crawford both had two hits as did RF/1B Reid Briglia, SS Keith Haas and 3B Tyler Cox. Jason Ferrell (2-1) tossed the last two innings and picked up the win.

Iowa lost their meeting with Fresno State, 4-2. The Hawkeyes and Bulldogs squared off for the third day in a row, although this contest was officially part of the Pepsi Johnny Quick Classic. CF Travis Sweet had a hit, RBI and stole his fifth base of the year.

Minnesota continue their strong start by dropping UC Santa Barbara, 12-5. LF Mike Mee, who entered the game leading the conference in batting average, went 4 for 5. Mee also scored twice, had two RBI and stole a base. OF Sean Kommerstad had three hits and three RBI. Tyler Oaks improved to 3-1 with a win in relief. Kyle Carr came on to pitch the last 2.1 innings and got credit for his first save.

Purdue thumped Alabama-Birmingham, 14-4. Freshman pitcher Matt Bischoff made his first collegiate start a memorable one. The first year righthander fanned 11 Blazers in seven innings to post his first victory. Ryne White and Spencer Ingaldson each drove in three Boilermakers' runs. White also went yard for the first time this season.

Redemption Weekend
If this coming weekend were televised on ESPN, it would get a melodramatic title. Redemption Weekend seems most appropriate as the Big Ten has a chance to make-up for a less than stellar performance a week ago.

Minnesota can really start to raise some eyebrows this weekend when the Gophers take on #8 Pepperdine. The Gophers are off to their best start since 1998. A few wins vs. the Waves should merit some votes in the polls. Not to mention some RPI love.

Michigan also gets to take on a nationally ranked opponent this weekend. The Wolverines will visit #28 East Carolina for three starting tomorrow. ECU just swept -- repeat, swept -- Fullerton last weekend. A couple of wins vs. a very tough ECU club would help offset last weekend's losses.

Penn State's difficult non-conference slate continues with three games at Oral Roberts. ORU was given plenty of pre-season respect and are the favorites in the Mid-Con. While PSU has played tough, the wins have yet to come.

Michigan State travels to Norman to face Oklahoma. The Spartans have an opportunity to make a statement with some wins vs. OU. The Sooners are ranked as high as #21 in some polls.

Illinois is going on Spring Break in Bradenton, Florida. The Illini are looking to rebound for a 2-7 start.

Purdue will have a three game set with Samford beginning Friday. After getting swept last weekend, the Boilers will be plenty motivated this weekend.

Indiana will play Florida A & M. A week after getting swept by Florida State, IU should be hungry for some wins.

Iowa's participation in the Pepsi Johnny Quick continues this weekend.

Northwestern returns to action with a Florida trip. Amongst their opponents on Spring Break is Ohio State. The Buckeyes and Wildcats don't face each other in the regular season.

The Buckeyes will also be spending Spring Break in Bradenton. OSU is starting to gain some momentum and need to pile up wins.

After last weekend's disappointing results, there are plenty of chances for the Big Ten to redeem itself this weekend.