I know most of you raced home this evening to see if I did my math homework (i.e., Wednesday's OPS numbers). Well, I have, but I'll save those for the end. Let's look at some other news around the Big Ten first.
Before I get too far along, I had best post the boxscore from the Illinois at Indiana game I couldn't find a link to on Sunday. Both IU and Illini folks have been kindly dropping me the updated links. My thanks to all. Here's the box from a game in which Matt Bashore fanned eight over seven innings while allowing four hits, three walks and one run.
Michigan beat Toledo, 12-4. Want to guess who homered? Yep, Nate Recknagel went deep for the tenth time this season. The senior firstbaseman had three hits, three runs scored and two RBI. Zach Putnam also left the building amongst his three hits. Putnam also had two runs scored and four RBI. Kevin Cislo had three hits (didn't everybody?), three runs scored and three RBI. Derek VanBuskirk joined Recknagel and Putnam in the three-hit and homer club. Leif Mahler was the final Wolverine with three hits. Mike Wilson posted the win in relief.
In addition to winning games, Coach Hartleb at Illinois has been recruiting some, too. Here's a list of four more added to the Illini's incoming class.
The Illini's contest against versus Bradley was canceled as was Iowa's game against Nebraska.
Northwestern pounded Chicago State, 13-0. Jake Goebbert went yard twice. Nate Roberts and Jake Owens also homered. Owens, who had four RBI and scored three times, and Kenneth Avila both had three hit games. Goebbert, Roberts and Rob Campbell all had two RBI. Joe Muraski posted the win giving up five hits and no walks. This game only went six innings due to rain and lightning in the Chicago area.
Drew O'Neil grabbed another save in Penn State's 6-5 win over Pittsburgh. Read the PSU recap here. Scott Kelley, Ryan Boonie and Joe Blackburn all homered for the Nittany Lions. No box, yet. Kelley had three RBI, Blackburn had three hits.
There are some games in action this afternoon/evening and I may update those scores later. Or I may not. Maybe some of my OSU contingent will update the comments section with breaking scores.
Ben Walgamot of Purdue and Chris Fetter of Michigan were named the Big Ten hitter and pitcher of the week, respectively. Both are having first team all-conference caliber seasons.
I thinking you already read this, but Uncle Lar at Happy Valley Hardball points out that even though Michigan took three of four from PSU this past weekend, the Wolverines' RPI dropped ten spots. Their RPI is now in the 70s. That mark doesn't bode well for an at-large berth coming out of the Big Ten.
I attempted to watch some college baseball this afternoon, but, alas, the upper respiratory illness that has been plaguing the BTH household appears to have caught up with me. I saw about two innings of Oakland University's home opener against Eastern Michigan before admitting that my coughing might be louder than the ping of the bats and left the for home. My Grizzlies lost to EMU, 10-7. A six run ninth inning did in the boys in black and gold. (That hurts and I didn't even see it.)
Aaron Powell hit two homers and drove in four for EMU. It was a breezy afternoon and I'm a bit surprised that more balls didn't vacate the premises. OU's Andrew Stafford had a pair of hits and three RBI.
I know, I know. Enough with your OU talk, Brian, give us the Big Ten OPS leaders already. Alright, let's see who made this week's list.
Number one is Michigan's Nate Recknagel at 1.202. In second place is Northwestern's Jake Goebbert at 1.193. Josh Phegley of IU, who leads the conference in batting average, is third in OPS at 1.136. Fourth is Minnesota catcher Jeff DeSmidt at 1.090. Kipp Schutz of Indiana is next at 1.040. The sixth spot belongs to Eric Decker of Minnesota at 1.017.
Now, let me add two more names. Mike Kalina at Northwestern has missed action recently, so he doesn't have the at bats necessary to qualify him for the batting title. However, his OPS remains at 1.175. Purdue's Ben Walgamot finds his OPS at 1.071. Walgamot doesn't have enough official ABs to qualify yet, either. However, Walgamot has only five at bats less than Minnesota's Decker, so he does merit some mention here.
That's it for tonight. Thanks for stopping in and please pass the cough syrup.