Friday, May 02, 2008

Open Thread Weekend

Ok, boys and girls, I'll be on the road most of the weekend, so I'll leave this an open thread for everyone to update the weekend as it progresses. I'll pop in periodically to lend my two cents and, hopefully, update scores.

Friday update:
As Chuck noted in the comments, Michigan dropped Ohio State, 4-1. Zach Putnam tosses a complete game seven hitter. The All-America candidate allowed one walk and one earned run. Four different Wolverines drove in the runs. J.B. Shuck went 4 for 4 for OSU.

Also note that tomorrow's start time for the twinbill between UM and OSU has been moved up to 1:05 pm.

Michigan State drilled Penn State, 7-3. Steve Gerstenberger and Brandon Doherty both have two RBI for MSU. Chris Roberts went 4 for 5. (I haven't checked, but I think Roberts has been on fire for about three weeks now.) Mike Monterey gave up four hits. four walks and three earned runs over eight innings to get the win. Rick Marlin drove in two of PSU's runs.

Minnesota snuck past Iowa, 7-6. The Gophers plated a run in the top of the ninth to win it. Matt Nohelty had two hits, including a homerun, scored twice and drove in three. Nate Hanson also had a pair of hits with a homer. Jeremy Chlan had three hits. Scott Matyas posted the victory by working 2.2 innings of shutout relief. Iowa's Caleb Curry homered, scored twice had three RBI and stole a base. Kurtis Muller had a three hit game.

Northwestern at Illinois got rained out. Purdue at Indiana was pushed back a day. It's now a Saturday-Sunday-Monday set.

Saturday Update:
Let's quickly rundown the scores from today.

Michigan 6 Ohio State 1
Ohio State 3 Michigan 2
Michigan's Chris Fetter throws a seven inning complete game four-hitter in game one. Fetter didn't walk a batter and improved to 8-1. SS Jason Christian's two hit, two run, two RBI performance was the offensive highlight.

OSU redshirt freshman Dean Wolosiansky improves to 7-2 by going 6.2 innings. Wolosiansky allowed four hits, three walks and two earned runs. Eric Best recorded the final out to earn his sixth save. Justin Miller drove in two of the three Buckeye tallies.

Purdue 11 Indiana 7
Ben Wolgamot had two hits, two runs and two RBI to lead Purdue. Ryne White, Jon Moore and Drew Madia all drove in two runs for the Boilers. Wolgamot and Dan Black both went yard for Purdue. Matt Bischoff posted the win and Josh Lindblom collected his eleventh save. IU's Andrew Means had three hits and three RBI. Josh Phegley homered and also drove in three for the Hoosiers.

Penn State 2 Michigan State 1
Penn State vs. Michigan State (ppd.)
PSU's Mike Wanamaker gives up five hits and one earned run over six innings and Drew O'Neil comes out of the bullpen to pitch the final inning and post save number eight. Brian Ernst goes 3 for 3 with a RBI. Joe Blackburn gets a couple of hits. Chris Roberts drives in the lone MSU score.

Iowa 10 Minnesota 5
Iowa 6 Minnesota 1
A six-run bottom of the sixth wins the opener for Iowa. Caleb Curry gets three hits, including a homer, two runs, two RBI and steals a base. Justin Toole and Kyle Riffel both had a pair of RBI. Jason Belk gets the win in relief. Matt Nohelty, Jeremy Chlan, Nate Hanson and Jeff DeSmidt all have two hits for the Gophers. DeSmidt drove in two.

In the nightcap, Steve Turnbull tosses a seven inning complete game. Turnbull yields seven hits, two walks and the lone Gopher run. T.J. Cataldo goes 3 for 3 and Curry drove in two more runs for the Hawkeyes. Nohelty and Tom Steidl both had two Gopher hits while Eric Decker had the Minnesota RBI.

Illinois 14 Northwestern 4
It was the Brandon Wikoff Show today. The Illini SS went a perfect 5 for 5 with a homer, four runs scored and six RBI. Ryan Hastings was also pretty good as he went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and four RBI. John Schlichter drove in three. Kyle Hudson had two hits and scored four times. The winner was Kevin Manson. Lee Zerrusen posted his first save by going three innings.

Sunday Update:
Scores, first. Standings and comments to follow.

Michigan 15 Ohio State 1
Indiana 5 Purdue 4
Indiana 18 Purdue 8
Michigan State 4 Penn State 1
Michigan State 10 Penn State 2
Northwestern 4 Illinois 3
Illinois 11 Northwestern 5
Minnesota 17 Iowa 14

Here are the revised standings (as of 11:00pm EST, Sunday):

Michigan 20-4
Purdue 17-6
Illinois 13-10
Northwestern 11-12
Ohio State 11-12
Penn State 11-13
Michigan State 10-13
Indiana 8-15
Minnesota 8-16
Iowa 8-16

Don't forget that Purdue @ Indiana and NU @ Illinois are going to conclude their weekend sets tomorrow.

The performance the last two weekends from the Hoosiers -- splitting with first-place Michigan and giving second place Purdue all they can handle -- is more in line with what I expected from them all season long. If you asked me today who I liked in the conference in 2009, without knowing specfics like who opts to turn pro and who stays in college, I might be tempted to tab Indiana. (Yes, they could stand some more pitching, but couldn't everyone?)

MSU taking three of four at State College certainly puts heat on not only the Nittany Lions, but the Buckeyes and Wildcats, as well. Meanwhile, the Spartans find themselves in a scenario basically identical to last year's -- right on the fringe of making the conference tournament heading down the homestretch.

I know you are probably wondering how the schedule plays out the last two weeks. Here it is:

May 9-11
Indiana @ Northwestern
Iowa @ Penn State
Michigan State @ Purdue
Michigan @ Minnesota
Illinois @ Ohio State

May 15-17 (Thursday - Saturday)
Indiana @ Michigan State
Ohio State @ Iowa
Northwestern @ Michigan
Penn State @ Minnesota
Purdue @ Illinois

As the race for conference tournament slots heats up, all of these encounters look more challenging than they did even a month ago.

That's all for now. I may come back later this evening and update the standings and share a few more thoughts.

A late Sunday update:
I've revised the standings and filled in the finals from today. Who knows? I may have even accomplished that correctly.

IU's twinbill sweep of Purdue does put the Wolverines back into the driver's seat for claiming the regular season crown and thus hosting the Big Ten tournament. While I'm sure most are going to concede the title to Rich Maloney's side, I'm (typically) more cautious. I don't assume W's are going to just be handed them by either Minnesota or Northwestern.

Both of tomorrow's games look big to me. NU has a chance to solidify their post-season hopes and get within a game of third-place with a win, while an Illinois victory could put three games between themselves and a would-be fourth place OSU side that plays host to the Illini next week.

The home-standing Hoosiers can get themselves a step closer to vying for a conference tournament slot with a victory while Purdue, who still harbors hopes of a regular season title and playing hosts in the post-season, needs another triumph to keep pace with front-running Michigan.

That's all for tonight. I've got a few more things to share with you, but those notions will have to wait until my next post. Thanks for stopping in.

25 comments:

Chuck said...

4-1, Michigan over Ohio State. Putnam pitched all nine innings, and got his strikes going toward the end. No big batting, just solid everyday baseball. Weather actually turned nice around the third inning after some threatening clouds rolled in but didn't amount to anything. Decent crowd.

kowisja said...

Michigan and OSU split today.

Game 1 (UM6- OSU1) was the Chris Fetter show. He went the complete game, allowing one unearned run on 4 hits, 0 walks, 3 strike outs. DeLucia also started well going 3 scoreless frames allowing one hit, 0 walks, and 3 strike outs. Wimmers did not fare so well. He was responsible for all 6 runs, only 5 earned. He gave up 6 hits and 5 walks in 3 innings. Offensively, Christian (UM) went 2/3 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs, and one HR.

The second game (OSU3- UM2) was two great pitching performances. At least after the 1st inning it was. Smith for Michigan made it all of .1 innings. Burgoon (the closer?) pitched 5 scoreless innings to follow allowing 3 hits, walking 3, and striking out 4.

Meanwhile Wolosiansky went 6.2 allowing only 2 runs in the 5th. He allowed only 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 3. Best came in to get the final out and earn the save. Michigan cost itself with 4 errors, including a catcher's interference leading to an unearned run in the 1st. Powers took the loss when he gave up a run in the top of the 7th.

On offense Miller had 2 of the three RBIs for OSU. Shuck went 2/2 with 2 walks and 1 stolen base. Michigan bats we virtually silent. The only RBI was off the bat of pinch hitter Mike Dufek. The other was a balk that plated a run.

kowisja said...

tough second inning for shuck. 11 batters in the inning, 7 runs.

Chuck said...

Yeah, I just saw that on Gametracker. Lots of kid-related events this weekend, and so I missed even following yesterday's games. I just got a chance to check today's, and I admit I was concerned since he is supposed to be their ace. I'm sorry I wasn't up the road watching.

Dan Ording said...

amazingly shuck struck out 11 while also allowing 11

Chuck said...

Isn't that something?

I never expected this game to be as lopsided as it is.

Dan Ording said...

And Purdue lost, giving up 3 runs to Indiana in the 7th, so Michigan grabs the lead in the loss column again.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

Sam put up a terrific photoset of Friday night's game.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Th Hossiers are up 6-0 in the 1st inning. DH(Gm2).IU 1B J.Sabourin had a GS HR.

Not a good day for Purdue SP Allan Donato,7 hits,6R and no outs in the 1st.

With the Boilers struggling with IU,this is helping UM run away with the league title.UM plays the Minnesota and NW to finish the year.

Douglas said...

Brian -

Is my math correct in that Michigan secured a Big Ten tournament berth as a result of the weekend results?

Purdue has a magic number of 1 or 2 (assuming they lose this second game to IU, trailing 11-0, after 1 inning)

By my math, Michigan can't be more than 2 wins away from clinching a first-round bye.

NittanyBaseball said...

Michigan State took both against Penn State this afternoon. 4-1 and 10-2.

Jeff Holm went 3 for 3 for MSU in game 1 and Kyle day added 2 RBIs. Blackburn was 2 for 3 with the lone Penn State RBI.

In the 2nd game, the PSU pitchers had trouble keeping the ball in the park with the wind screaming out. Gerstenberger, Roberts, and Day all went yard for MSU. MSU settled down from shaky defense early and held PSU to 2 runs on 3 hits. This one was never really close as MSU put up a 3 runs in the 1st and 6 runs in the 3rd.

kowisja said...

I think Michigan has not only clinched a berth, but I think they have clinched a top 3 seed. If NW comes back in the current game, they might have clinched a bye already. Again, fuzzy math was used by myself as well.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Minnesota beat Iowa 17-14,like a (football game score).

Both teams are 8-16 in league play.Gophers C Jeff Desmidt hit a 3 run HR in the 11th to win it.

IU did beat Purdue 18-8.Game 4 is Monday afternooon @ IU.

Ill beat NW 11-5.Illinois scored 5 runs in the 5th to win game #13 in conference play. NW falls to 11-12 in league play.Game 4 is also Monday night.

Looks like an really dog fight for the last 3 Tourny spots in the Big Ten.

kowisja said...

I'd say last 4 spots. Illinois may have a slight lead, but they have the harder schedule.

Penn State appears to have the easiest path.

Brian said...

Yes, Douglas, I believe your math is correct. Although, my math is questionable, as well.

I also think kowisja is right in that Michigan might not be able to fall much farther than third.

My thanks to all for posting updates.

Douglas said...

Indiana finishes it's intrastate series with a Monday afternoon 13-1 whipping of Purdue.

Michigan moves 3 games ahead of Purdue in the standings while Indiana improves to 9-15, two games behind the 6th place in the standings.

Tyler Tufts had a complete game for IU, Grand Slam for Phegly and 3rd baseman Dave Trager had 4 RBIs.

kowisja said...

What are the tie breaker rules for the tournament? If some of these teams tie, perhaps don't play head-to-head, and we're trying to figure out the 6 seed (or for sake of argument, the 1 seed hosting), is there a one game playoff, coin flip, run differential, etc?

kowisja said...

I may have stumbled upon my answer while searching big10.org. It appears in 04 there was a tie for second, it went head-to-head, then against the other teams qualifying for the tournament. Apparently Michigan had the better record vs the top other 5 and gained the 3 seed.

So my next question is would teams make up rain outs if they are even in the loss column but one short in the win column, and would hold a tie breaker head-to-head if it meant a tournament berth?

For example, Michigan State and Penn State. MSU is on pace to have one less game played than PSU. If they end up with the same number of losses, PSU would have a half game advantage despite MSU's advantage head-to-head. Let's also assume for argument's sake that this is for the 6th spot in the tournament.

I would assume due to the plethora of games that have been rained/snowed out that none will be made up. If that's correct, should I use that as evidence that God hates MSU and made it rain one extra day to spite them?

Douglas said...

It is my understanding that rainouts are not made up in Big Ten Baseball/Softball play. This has to do with ensuring once Team A leaves campus to play at Team B, there are only X number of days away from campus allowed, without exception.

I don't believe that Michigan has clinched a #3 seed, because if UM were to lose out and Northwestern were to win out, Northwestern would take the first tie-breaker of head-to-head compeition. An easier question to examine after NU and Illinois play tonight, obviously all teams have 8 games remaining.

kowisja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kowisja said...

Michigan I believe has a magic number of 3 for the bye. I believe it is 5 for 1st place overall.

Illinois if they win out, Michigan would have to win 2 out of the final 8 games to tie, where they hold the tie breaker.

If Northwestern wins out, Michigan will have to win 1 game against Minnesota.

As for hosting If Purdue wins out, they have 25 wins. Michigan needs at least 5 wins to clinch the tie. As for record against the top 6, we may not know who those teams are until the last games are played.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Not to change the topic, but Indiana is playing some pretty good baseball right now.

Took 3/4 from Purdue and split with Michigan. They play at NW this weekend.

I think Nate Recknagel has the POY wrapped up, but Sophomore Catcher Josh Phegley is having a great year.

.440 15 2b 1 3b 9 hr 59 Rbi 19K 26 BB

LHP Matt Bashmore is also having a great year on the hill.Only a Sophomore and has 3 Big Ten wins,74 K,in 67 IP,3 CG and a 3.02 era.

As you guys know i am a avid Buckeye baseball fan,but both these kids numbers caught me eye.Those are big time stats.We don't play IU this year,but i might catch them this weekend in Chicago. Never been up there for a game.I will be up there for buisness anyway.

Brian said...

As was stated earlier, the Big Ten doesn't make-up rain/snow-outs. If a team gets a half game advantage because they managed to have one less game eliminated due to the elements, so be it.

That happened last year for the sixth spot as well, did it not?

Yes, bb33, the Hoosiers are rolling. They have a number of quality bats, if they get some pitching (and Bashore is terrific) they might yet make me look smart and get in the B10 tourney.

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