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.
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.
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.
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):
Ohio State 11-12
Penn State 11-13
Michigan State 10-13
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:
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.