Sixth seed Ohio State stunned rival, and top seed, Michigan, 4-2, on the second day of the Big Ten Tournament. Once again, the story for the Buckeyes was their starting pitching. OSU's Jake Hale pitched a complete game scattering eleven hits and three walks. In spite of a somewhat elevated hit total, I never felt like Hale was in much trouble. He was usually ahead of the hitters and only had a few rough spots, including a nail-biting ninth.
Jacob Howell and Tony Kennedy had two hits a piece to lead the Buckeyes. Doug Pickens had three, Kevin Cislo and Brad Roblin had two hits each in pacing Michigan's attack.
The win allowed OSU to stay in the winner's bracket and advance to play Minnesota in Friday's 7:05pm start.
The Gophers made their first appearance of the tournament and promptly banged out sixteen hits and ten runs to beat Illinois, 10-3. Dan Lyons and Kevin Carlson led the hit parade with three each. Brian Jost had four RBI while Kyle Baran had two hits, three runs scored and three RBI.
Tom Buske picked up the win. Buske allowed seven hits and a walk in 6.2 innings pitched. Bill Johnson worked the last 2.1 innings allowing just one hit.
Brandon Wikoff and Mike Rohde's two hits a piece were the leaders for the Illini. If I have my tournament bracket filled out correctly, Illinois gets to wait to play until 3:35pm tomorrow. The Illini will play the winner of the Penn State and Michigan game, another elimination game.
Iowa became the first team eliminated from the tournament when Penn State prevailed in today's first game, 5-3. PSU's Craig Clark won his sixth game of the year by going seven full innings and yielding nine hits, three walks and two earned runs. Drew O'Neil came out of the bullpen to pitch the final two stanzas. O'Neil didn't allow a run or hit and fanned two of the six batters he faced.
Matt Cavagnaro led PSU with three hits. Cory Wine led them in RBI with two, both coming on a triple. Kyle Riffel and Ben Geelan both had two hit games to lead Iowa. Travis Sweet hit a laser out of the yard, it was his eighth homer of the season.
Just to recap Friday's schedule, Penn State and Michigan will play an elimination game at 12:05pm. That game's winner will play Illinois at 3:35pm. The second game will also be an elimination game. The final game of the day will see Minnesota and Ohio State play at 7:05pm.
The winner of tomorrow's second game (Illinois vs. Michigan/Penn State winner) will go on to face the loser of Minnesota/Ohio State in Saturday's 3:35pm game. Got all that? What you have right now is Minnesota and Ohio State in the winner's bracket, thus in the driver's seat. Everyone else is fighting for survival.
Thursday was the second spectacular weather day in a row. Tomorrow begins a trend in the opposite direction. Per usual, I've seen varying reports on just how much precipitation we can expect and when it's most likely to fall. At minimum, we run the risk of getting soggy tomorrow. Keep the rain gear handy, folks.