Indiana thumped Ohio State, 13-3, and advanced to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament. IU's Tyler Rogers had three hits and four RBI. Alex Dickerson, Kipp Schutz and Jake Dunning each had two RBI for the Hoosiers.
The loss sends Ohio State into the loser's bracket and a date with Minnesota Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm. The winner of the Gophers vs. Buckeyes game will face the Hoosiers in the championship game tomorrow evening.
Some randoms thoughts before calling it a night:
My guess is that any hope Illinois has for a NCAA Tournament berth will disappear if the Hoosiers win the conference tournament. If IU secures the automatic berth and OSU and Minnesota garner at-large nods for their strong RPI figures, I can't imagine any scenario where the selection committee would take four Big Ten squads.
As the Illini are not a lock for an at-large berth, is it better for the conference overall if Indiana does win out? The Buckeyes and Gophers would appear to have at-large berths secure. (Or, at least, as secure as a Big Ten side can be.) If the Hoosiers claim the conference tournament title, wouldn't that mean three Big Ten teams would be amongst the 64 teams still playing next weekend? If Minnesota or OSU win the post-season crown, that would only put two Big Ten teams in the NCAA tourney. I'm just sayin'........
Can you hear all the national media (Aaron Fitt comes to mind) and me, wondering aloud where IU might be if they had played this well all season long? The answer, by the way, is that IU would have an at-large berth in the bag by now.
We've reached the point where the battle of attrition begins. Do any of these teams have enough arms ready to play into Sunday? OSU and Minnesota will need to, if they hope to win. And IU has already used their weekend starters heading into the championship game. Big leads may not mean much in the next couple of games.
Anyone else think Huntington Park looks great? Lots of quirkiness and interesting features. All the reports from Columbus concur with what I've seen on television -- it's a great venue.