First-year Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad is as polished and decorated as college coaches come. Let’s list a handful of the accolades: No. 1 pick in the 1995 MLB First-Year Player Draft; 2002 MLB champion; two-time MLB All-Star; three-time Gold Glove winner; .339 lifetime hitter in playoffs. And the list goes on. So, why did Erstad, a two-sport star during his time at Nebraska, decide to start coaching college baseball? “It’s in the blood,” Erstad told BTN.Watch our feature with the former Husker now.
After losing the first two games of the weekend series by one run, the Iowa baseball team posted a thrilling 5-4 one-run win in 12 innings over Minnesota Sunday in the Metrodome to avoid the series sweep. Nearly one year to the day (April 30, 2011), Minnesota topped Iowa by the same 5-4 score and in 12 innings. Read full recap at HawkeyeSports.com. Watch our highlights now, plus see our interview with Jack Dahm and get Sunday’s Big Ten baseball roundup in this post.
Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.
If you’re a Michigan State or Wisconsin fan and you didn’t see Saturday night’s “Big Ten Tonight: Spring Football Report,” you missed the show’s dramatic intro. With the Spartans and Badgers wrapping up Big Ten spring action Saturday, BTN producers compiled an impressive montage that spotlighted the teams’ unforgettable 2011 meetings. From the last-second “Rocket” play in East Lansing, Mich., during the regular season to the memorable inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, both games are well represented. See video from Michigan State and Wisconsin’s spring games in this post.
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The University of Iowa softball team won its third straight Big Ten series, downing Indiana, 10-0, in five innings on a soggy Sunday afternoon at Pearl Field. Following the game, the Hawkeyes recognized seniors Katie Keim and Liz Watkins for Senior Day. The victory improves Iowa’s record to 23-24 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten, while Indiana falls to 24-25 overall and 8-10 in conference play. Watch our highlights from Iowa’s easy win, read full recap at HawkeyeSports.com and see our Sunday softball roundup in this post.
New Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell missed Saturday’s Green-White game due to a sprained right knee, but Mark Dantonio and company know what they have in their junior signal-caller. Maxwell, who spent the past two seasons as Kirk Cousins’ backup, is a sharp product who understands the game and his role — just like his predecessor. In nine game career games, Maxwell has completed 29 of 51 passes (57 percent) for 294 yards and one touchdown.