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Big Ten Week 1 Recap

Updated: Feb 20

By Jack Delperdang

Illinois- The Fighting Illini opened the season in Winston-Salem, going 2-2 this weekend. Illinois started with a Friday doubleheader against Akron going 1-1. Wake Forest and Chase Burns were up next and they put up a fight, but ultimately lost. They bounced back with a nice Sunday win against Fordham. Looking ahead: Coastal Carolina tournament- vs Coastal Carolina, vs Ball State, vs Cincinnati (2/23-25).

Indiana- The Hoosiers finished their 2023 just one win shy of a Super Regional appearance and come into 2024 with Big Ten title aspirations. They started the season in Myrtle Beach with a pair of games against ranked opponents. They lost to #15 Duke on Friday, but bounced back to beat #22 Coastal Carolina on Saturday. Sunday proved much easier as they whacked George Mason. Devin Taylor and Tyler Cerny picked up a combined 11 hits in the three games. They will be a duo to keep your eye on, not just in the Big Ten, but nationally. Looking ahead: vs Miami (Ohio) (2/20), at Baylor (2/23-25).

#12 Iowa- Much like Indiana, the Hawkeyes finished just shy of a Super Regional appearance last season. Thanks to a deep rotation and added bullpen depth, Iowa has been labeled a team that came make it to the College World Series. The Hawkeyes opened the season in Charleston at the Swig & Swine Classic. Friday and Saturday were headlined by the pitching with Brody Brecht, Marcus Morgan and Anthony Watts leading the team to a pair of wins against Seton Hall and Ball State. Sunday went sideways when Lehigh put up a six spot in the fifth inning. That would prove to be enough as the Mountain Hawks held on for an upset win. Looking ahead: vs Loras (2/20), Jacksonville Baseball Classic- vs #21 Auburn, vs #13 Virginia, vs Wichita State (2/23-25).

Maryland- The Terrapins come into this season with a new coach at the helm. Matt Swope takes over for Rob Vaughn, who led the program to a pair of regular season conference titles and three straight regional appearances. Maryland opened their season going 2-1 against Georgia Southern in Statesboro. Friday saw them fall behind in the middle innings, but come from behind to take the lead in the ninth. Saturday was a stress free win that secured the series. Sunday was just the opposite as they fell behind in the middle part of the game and were unable to recover. Looking ahead: vs Mount St. Mary's (2/20), Kleberg Bank College Classic- vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi, vs Pitt, vs Washington (2/23-25).

Michigan- The Wolverines headed out to Phoenix for a four game set against Western Michigan. Michigan dropped each of the first two games in extras inning after leading in the eighth and ninth innings. However, they bounced back nicely with comfortable wins in the next two. Tracy Smith has a very experienced team led by Jonatahan Kim and Mitch Voit in the lineup. Looking ahead: College Baseball Series- vs Oklahoma State, vs #2 Oregon State, vs #5 Arkansas (2/23-25).

Michigan State- The Spartans opened the season in Charleston at the Swig & Swine Classic. Friday proved to be an easy win against Merrimack, but the rest of the weekend was far from that. Saturday saw Michigan State drop both games of a doubleheader against Seton Hall and Lehigh. Sunday was not much better as they dropped a pitcher's dual against Ball State. Looking ahead: vs Indiana State (2/23) vs Marshall (2/23-24)

Minnesota- The Gophers started the season at the College Baseball Classic in Surprise. Minnesota won a 12 inning game against CSU Bakersfield on Friday. Saturday was a rough game against a loaded Oregon State squad. Sunday was a nice bounce back win against New Mexico thanks to an offensive explosion. Looking ahead: vs #2 Oregon State (2/19), vs Northeastern (2/24-25).

Nebraska- The Huskers headed down to Arlington for the first three games of the season in the Shriners Children's College Showdown. Nebraska picked up a late inning win in the first game against Baylor before dropping back to back games in the same fashion against Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Will Bolt's team will rely on Dylan Carey and Gabe Swansen at the plate, while Brett Sears and Will Walsh lead the pitching staff. Looking ahead: at Grand Canyon (2/22-25). 

Northwestern- The Wildcats, under new manager Ben Greenspan, opened the season against Tulane in New Orleans. Tyler Ganus and Trent Liolios spearheaded a great day at the plate on Friday en route to a blowout win while scoring double digit runs. Saturday proved to be much tougher against the Green Wave who jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead and an eventual win. Northwestern lead 7-5 heading into the eighth inning on Sunday looking for a series win, however, Tulane scored seven runs in the inning and won 12-9. Looking ahead: at #15 Duke (2/23-25).

Ohio State- The Buckeyes started their season in Phoenix for the Desert Invitational. Ohio State lost their first game against Boston College, but bounced back on Saturday and Sunday with wins against BYU and USC. Trey Lipsey is the most reliable bat in this lineup, but Henry Kaczmar had a good weekend at the plate. If he has a solid season, the Buckeyes could finish hire than pre-season expectation suggest. Looking ahead: at Grand Canyon (2/20) at Arizona State (2/22-25).

Penn State- The Nittany Lions opened up the season in Cary, joining Monmouth and Army, who they played twice each. Penn State went 3-1 overall, splitting the two games against Monmouth and sweeping Army. This team has a lot of new faces, including graduate transfer JT Marr. He was impressive this weekend picking up eight hits overall. Looking ahead: at Stanford (2/23-25).

Purdue- The Boilermakers started the year with a four game series against Stony Brook in Sugar Land. Purdue went 3-1 on the weekend scoring a total of 39 runs. The Boilermakers narrowly missed the conference tournament one year ago, but a much improved offense could help them make it this time around. Looking ahead: at George Mason (2/23-25).

Rutgers- The Scarlet Knights played a three game road series against Winthrop. Steve Owen's teams have always been known for offense and 2024 started off just the same with a 14 run outburst. Saturday saw them win a pitcher's dual on the back of an excellent start from Justin Sinibaldi. Sunday was an extra innings one run win that finished off the sweep. Looking ahead: at Old Dominion (2/23-25).


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