Pitching was the story of Day One at the Big Ten Baseball Tournament. In the opener, Illinois' Kevin Manson tossed a complete game four-hitter leading the Illini over Ohio State, 3-2. 2B Joe Bonadonna hit his first career home run to break a 2-2 tie.
In the last game of the day, Mike Wanamaker threw a complete game for Penn State in their 6-1 triumph over Indiana. Wes Borden had three hits and Rob Yodice drove in two for the Nittany Lions.
Ohio State and Indiana will now face each other tomorrow at noon in an elimination game. The second game Thursday will feature Purdue vs. Penn State. The triple-header will conclude with Michigan taking on Illinois.
Just a few of sidenotes:
* It was a rather cold, windy afternoon. Nice for November and outstanding weather for January, but barely sneaking above sixty degrees in late May?
* Both St. John's and Notre Dame are out of the Big East Tournament. I wonder if that will eliminate St. John's from hosting a regional and if ND might be out of the field of 64?
* The Big Ten actually had the t-shirts available on the first day of the tournament. I hammer them when they do something wrong, so I have to give them credit when they are doing something right.
* The rumors persist that the Big Ten will indeed only play three game conference series beginning next year. Of course, the conference schools will have to find a way to make up for the lost eight games.
* Don't be surprised if all the other conferences opt to go to the four-game conference sets, complete with Saturday doubleheaders, to avoid having to play more midweek games. As always, the Big Ten is on the cutting edge of college baseball.