Chris Hervey's ninth inning infield single drove in Josh Phegley and lifted Indiana past Iowa, 12-11. As the score indicates, this was your prototypical see-saw slugfest. The teams combined for 32 hits. Phegley, who entered the week as the Big Ten's batting average leader, had five hits in six at bats. IU's catcher also drove in three and scored three times. Freshman firstbaseman Jerrud Sabourin had four RBI. Hervey drove in three, Evan Crawford scored four times. Chris McCombs notches the win in relief.
Obviously, Iowa had their share of offensive heroics. Justin Toole, Kurtis Muller and Tyson Blaser all collected three hits apiece. Blaser and Kevin Hoef both went yard for the Hawkeyes. Kyle Riffel had four RBI in the losing effort.
The Minnesota at Northwestern contest has been postponed due to travel problems. As it's snowing in Minneapolis and raining in Chicagoland, I guess I'm not surprised.
I also checked in on the Ohio State at Michigan State game that was scheduled to begin at 5:30pm. Gametracker didn't reveal any sign of a first pitch at quarter to seven. Methinks the rain has arrived in East Lansing. I don't know what the weather was like at midday in metro Lansing, but here in southeast Michigan it was pushing 70 with sunshine, albeit windy enough that I might even be able to hit one out. (Ok, maybe, not that windy, but you get the idea.)
I say all this to suggest that, perhaps, the start time should have been bumped up. I know that night games draw better, but I'd rather have gotten the game in under better conditions. The rest of the weekend looks far less pleasant. Yes, there are some logistics problems, but Columbus and East Lansing are just not that far apart that the Buckeyes couldn't have arrived earlier. I'm not hammering anybody, I'm just saying if there was a window of opportunity earlier, why not use it?
Last I checked, Penn State was up on Purdue, 8-4. If Coach Wine's squad holds on that would be an interesting result.
Michigan and Illinois are about to get underway in Champaign. Assuming it's dry enough to play, of course.
The third weekend's already had offensive fireworks, the usual assortment of midwestern April weather and a potential upset. Get out to the ballpark this weekend and support your team.
Update: As I was typing, Purdue was completing an eight-run eighth inning. The Boilermakers are now up, 13-8, over PSU. Brandon Haveman, Dan Black, Eric Nielsen and Nick Overmyer have all gone yard for the Boilers. PSU's Joe Blackburn has also gone deep and is 4 for 4 with five RBI.
Update #2: It appears we are heading for another football-like score in Champaign. Michigan leads the home standing Illini, 8-5, in the sixth. Nate Recknagel, Zach Putnam, Jason Christian and Leif Mahler have all gone long for the Maize and Blue. Dominic Altobelli has left the yard for Illinois. The Illini have uncharacteristically fumbled three balls already.
OSU and MSU are now in the eighth (suprise!) and are tied at 3-3. Justin Miller has a pair of hits and a RBI for the Bucks. MSU's Jonathon Roof and Chris Roberts both have a couple of hits. Jake Hale's worked all eight for OSU. He's given up nine hits, no walks and two earned runs while fanning five. The Spartans' Mike Monterey went seven giving up six hits, two walks and one earned run. Kurt Wunderlich is now on the mound for MSU. The Spartans have kicked the ball three times, Ohio State's made two errors.
Update #3: Michigan beats Illinois, 9-5. Putnam gets the win, Michael Powers the save. Mahler led the Wolverines with two RBI. Altobelli's two RBI paced the Illini. And, as rockybuckeye posted in the comments, OSU is up on MSU, 4-3, after an 11th inning bomb by Ryan Dew.