Conference play will begin in just about an hour. Here are the weekend's match-ups:
Minnesota @ Indiana
Behind The Plate previews the IU/MN series.
The official IU preview.
The official Gophers' take on the weekend.
(28) Ohio State @ Penn State
The official OSU press release contains video, as well. Very nice.
Here's the Nittany Lions official preview.
Purdue @ Northwestern
The official 'Cats preview.
The Boilermakers official release.
Michigan @ Iowa
Varsity Blue gives some history and a preview.
Iowa's SID offers up the Hawkeyes' preview.
The Michigan Baseball page offers links for the weekend.
Michigan State @ Illinois
IBR previews the Spartans visit to U-C.
Official Illini preview of the weekend.
The Spartans perspective on the three-game set.
Don't forget the Big Ten Network is broadcasting both the Friday and Saturday games.
I'll be back, probably late in the day, to wrap-up all of today's action. You are always welcome to post comments on this thread as the games are being played. Scores, opinions, highlights, share to your heart's content. Just play nice.
It's March, so weather may end up a factor. However, if you can make it out to the ballpark, I encourage you to do so. I know the players and coaches would appreciate your presence. Just bring a hat. Maybe an umbrella. Gloves might not hurt, either. You've got a blanket, right? You know those little hand-warmer things? Yeah, those can be helpful from time-to-time. I don't even have to mention a coat, do I? Be prepared to use them all and be equally prepared to shed them, if necessary. It's spring, after all.
Enjoy the start of Big Ten play, everyone.
The Gophers score six in the fourth inning and lead IU, 7-1. Minnesota is back up in the top of the fifth.
Purdue got three in their first at bat and lead NU, 3-0, in the second inning.
Apparently, I credited IU with a tally they didn't get at 4:30. However, the Hoosiers have since plated two runs and it's 7-2, Gophers, in the sixth.
Chad Noble has homered and Jake Goebbert doubled in another, but Purdue still holds on to a 4-2 lead over NU. Nick Overmyer has two RBI for the Boilers.
While our friend Chris Webb, of Buckeye Nine, has kept you up on the scores (you are reading the comments, correct?), let's take a peek at some of the highlights.
(28) Ohio State 8 Penn State 3
Dean Wolosiansky (4-1) gives up two runs over seven innings. Wolo surrendered five hits and two walks while striking out six. Drew Rucinski came out of the pen to seal the deal. Michael Stephens drives in three. Justin Miller homers and gets two RBI. PSU's Jordan Steranka collects two hits (including a double) and two RBI.
Minnesota 12 Indiana 5
Chauncy Handran goes eight innings yielding two runs on six hits and a walk. Handran (4-1) strikes out four. Derek McCallum gets three hits, two RBI and two runs scored. A.J. Pettersen has two hits and scores three times. Jon Hummel homers and drives in two for the Gophers. Jake Dunning's two hits and two RBI led IU.
Illinois 10 Michigan State 2
Casey McMurray and Brandon Wikoff each have three hits and four RBI to lead the Illini. Joe Bonadonna also has a three-hit game. Lee Zerrusen fills in for the injured Phil Haig and tosses six innings giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and four walks. Brandon Eckerle's two hits paced MSU.
Michigan 4 Iowa 3
All-American Chris Fetter throws a complete game five-hitter. Fetter (4-1) gives up three earned runs, but only one walk and strikes out nine. Mike Dufek gets two doubles, drive in a run and scores another. Kevin Hoef drives in two of the Hawkeyes' three runs.
Purdue 4 Northwestern 3
Dueling complete games tossed here. The Boilers' Matt Bischoff gets the win giving up eight hits and a walk. The righthander gives up three runs, two earned, and fans 10 Wildcats. NU's Eric Jokisch also goes the distance giving up eight hits. Jokisch walked four, but only one of his runs allowed was earned. The lefty K'd five. As noted earlier, Chad Noble homered for NU. Nick Overmyer had two RBI for Purdue.
The favorites all hold serve in the conference openers. Tomorrow could be an interesting weather day, so we'll see how many games get played. I may attempt to blog along with the Big Ten Network broadcast late tomorrow afternoon. However, that's just a tentative plan. Any number of things could derail my idea.
Thanks to Chris Webb for being our scoreboard operator this evening. I hope everyone enjoys the remainder of their Friday evening.