This year is my first with access to the Big Ten Network. Yesterday, I spent more time watching the network than I have in the previous six months combined watching the Michigan State/Illinois conference opener.
Today, BTN is broadcasting MSU's Saturday encounter with the Illini from Champaign. I'll attempt to follow along. This, of course, presumes the game is not affected by the elements. (Right now, we've got swimming. Michigan crushed the rest of the conference.)
4:00pm - Yep, it's raining in Champaign. Great.
4:02pm - We are getting "The Quad" as rain delay filler. Time for me to check for other college baseball action. Hey, I have to vote for awards at season's end. It's a bit better to be a modestly informed voter.
4:03pm - My choices are Alabama at Florida or Mississippi at LSU. I'm leaning towards the latter, but let's be honest -- channel-flipping is on the docket.
4:05pm - For my friend Ian, who may or may not be reading, here's a look at lunch.
This ham sandwich barely fits into the take-out container. This is today's evidence that I don't need Twitter to provide reports on my every mundane action. (Another photo soon. I know you are excited. We are in a rain delay, kids. I've got time to kill.)
4:10pm - Let's review the rest of today's Big Ten action. You can't expect BTN to provide a crawl or a bounce back to the studio for even the briefest of updates.
Iowa 2 Michigan 1
The Hawkeyes' Steve Turnbull got the win (1.1 IP, 1 hit and 2 K's, nothing else) and Mike Schurz got the save (one perfect inning) posted the save, but the story is Jarred Hippen. Hippen went 6.2 innings giving the Wolverines one run on five hits and two walks. Hippen whiffed nine. Justin Toole's two hits and RBI led Iowa. Eric Katzman wasn't awful for Michigan, but couldn't get enough support. Mike Dufek's double and RBI paced the Wolverines.
4:17pm - It's the Rebels and Tigers, for those of you curious which game I am currently watching. (Although, it's more like listening as I type.)
Northwestern 13 Purdue 4
Wildcats' OF Jake Goebbert goes 4 for 4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Chris Lashmet had three hits, including a homer, three RBI and a run scored. Chad Noble also had a three-RBI outing. Joe Muraski went six innings yielding a run on five hits. Muraski fanned eight. Francis Brooke worked the last three innings and got the save. Purdue's Tyler Spilner didn't get a hit, but drove in two runs.
4:25pm - LSU's Lewis (or is it Louis?) Coleman is plain filthy. Ole Miss is not getting a lot of good looks at the Tigers' starter. He's thrown 19 strikes in 23 pitches.
4:30pm - It's looks like all of yesterday's losers are getting revenge today.
Indiana 3 Minnesota 2
Eric Arnett tosses a complete game for IU. The Hoosiers righthander surrenders two runs on six hits and two walks. Arnett struck out ten Gophers. Freshman Alex Dickerson got two hits, with a homer, and two RBI. Evan Crawford also had two hits for IU. Derek McCallum homered and drove in two for Minnesota. A.J. Pettersen had a two-hit game.
4:38pm - The SEC announcers are wondering aloud if the ten-run mercy rule should be put into play during the regular season. The conference (the SEC, not the Big 10) uses it during their tournament. I'm not crazy about it. I guess it depends on what we are trying to accomplish? I realize the odds of coming back from a ten run deficit aren't good. Yet, if we are trying to teach these young adults how to handle life, which doesn't always go our way, wouldn't these kinds of defeats be a teaching opportunity? What do you think?
4:45pm - Well, The Ohio State stops the trend of Friday losers becoming Saturday winners.
(28) Ohio State 12 Penn State 2
Buckeyes' 1B Matt Streng went yard twice, had three hits in total, drove in five runs and scored three runs. Ryan Dew had a four-hit game. Eric Best started and worked six innings giving up two runs on six hits and two walks. Best had four strikeouts. Drew Rucinski (one inning) and Jake Hale (two innings) finished the game by not allowing a run, hit or walk. Hale fanned two. PSU's Jordan Steranka had two hits. Blake Lynd and Bobby Jacobs had the RBI.
4:55pm - The MSU @ Illinois game is the only one left on today's docket. Still "The Quad" on BTN. LSU leads, 1-0. The Tigers' new Alex Box Stadium is very nice. At least, that's my impression from the television coverage.
5:00pm - A quick look at radar indicates that the rain has nearly reached my front door.
5:03pm - Rain is still coming down in Champaign, as well.
5:05pm - The SEC broadcast is interviewing the Ole Miss coach. I don't like these in-game interviews. That's just me, though.
5:24pm - Rain continues in Orange and Blue country. I wonder if they'll get this one in or not? Will the network broadcast the game if it starts late, but at a reasonable hour (like 8:00pm)? They do have a classic football game scheduled for later this evening. Can't preempt that, can they?
5:28pm - Apparently, the Baton Rouge area was hit with a tornado a couple of days ago. The LSU football practice facility received some damage as did the new ballpark. The outfield wall is tied down.
5:30pm - As promised, here's another sandwich photo.
5:35pm - Eight K's for LSU's Coleman in the fifth inning. He's got a different motion. Kind of David Cone-like. Keeping with the Big 10 theme, a bit like Chris Fetter's, but more over-handed. He strikes out his ninth as I typed this paragraph. Now, I'm doing live LSU/Mississippi coverage. Of course, former MSU coach David Grewe is LSU's pitching coach.
5:38pm - I think I'm making myself hungry with the photos. Oh, and it's Louis (not Lewis) Coleman. He's given up just one hit thus far.
6:00pm - I'm expecting an update from BTN shortly.
6:03pm - Wrong, again. We are seeing "Greatest Seasons, 1989". No update beyond the "Weather Delay" logo. I'm taking this opportunity to do other things. Should the game be played, I'll start up the live blog, again.
10:00pm Update - The MSU/Illinois contest was finally postponed. They will attempt to play a doubleheader tomorrow.