Jaron Long came out on top in a pitcher’s duel with Michigan State’s Tony Bucciferro as Ohio State nipped the Spartans, 1-0, in Game 1 of a three-game set Saturday afternoon at McLane Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 14-10 on the season, 2-2 in the Big Ten, while Michigan State falls to 15-8, 0-1 in conference play. Read the OhioStateBuckeyes.com recap. Also, watch analysis from the game now and see other video in this post.
Iowa posted a doubleheader sweep over Illinois on Saturday at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes won 5-1 in the opener before downing the Fighting Illini, 9-1, in six innings in game two. “I am proud of the kids for how they came out, took this week of practice and really implemented it in the ball game,” Iowa head coach Marla Looper said. Read the HawkeyeSports.com recap. Also, watch our highlights now and get scores and recaps from all of Saturday’s action in this post.
It is four bowls in a row and counting for Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern. But something is missing: A bowl victory. Fitzgerald is 0-4 in the postseason; Northwestern. But Fitzgerald presses on, coming off his first losing season (6-7) since his 4-8 debut in 2006. And his Wildcats have issues to address this spring. Chief among those is improving a defense that ranked 11th in the Big Ten overall (407.7 ypg), 12th vs. the pass (230.4 ypg) and 10th against the run (177.3 ypg). The offense also has work to do with Dan Persa gone under center. I caught up with Fitzgerald as he was in the midst of spring drills.
It’s not Friday the 13th, but it probably feels like it at Iowa, where another running back (Jordan Canzeri) has gone down with injury. Is the position cursed in Iowa City? Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette scoffs at that notion. Still, you have to wonder … Marcus Coker … Mik’ail McCall … Adam Robinson … Jewel Hampton … Brandon Wegher … all gone earlier or hurt since Shonn Greene’s huge 2008 season. Hmmm. Just sayin’.
The Big Ten Network will stream Northwestern’s spring football game live at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 14, on both BTN2Go and the Big Ten Digital Network. BTN also will have highlights and analysis from that day’s spring games at 9:30 p.m. ET on B1G Tonight Spring Football Edition with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. The Northwestern game will air on BTN at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 15. Dave Eanet and former Northwestern running back Jacob Schmidt will call the game.
Big week in Big Ten football, as the last three schools begin spring practice this week. Penn State kicks off today; Michigan State on Tuesday; Ohio State on Wednesday. If you can believe it, the first spring games will begin on April 14. Clean up your Weber Smokey Joes and mark your calendars.
The Big Ten Conference released its Big Ten Baseball Players of the Week for March 19-25 action Monday. See all the winners and check out what they did to earn the distinctions in this post.