2013 Preview – Big 10 Conference

By Eric Sorenson. Posted on February 5th, 2013 in 2013 National Preview, Big 10
 

2012 CONFERENCE ISR: 13

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HOW THEY’LL FINISH IN 2013:

1- Nebraska

2- Indiana

3- Ohio State

4- Penn State

5- Illinois

6- Purdue

7- Michigan State

8- Minnesota

9- Iowa

10- Michigan

11- Northwestern

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THE LOWDOWN.

The last time Purdue won a conference title in baseball, the Titanic was still afloat and there were only 46 states in the union. But coach Doug Schreiber and Co. finally exorcised the ghosts of 103 years and won the Big 10 title in 2012. And how! I mean, even though they only won the title by a single game over Indiana, they were a helluva force on the national scene, spending most of the season inside the Top 10 of the RPI – yes, that formula that usually punishes teams like the Boilers. It wasn’t much of a vintage year in the Big 10 otherwise, unless you consider that the 5th place team got an at-large bid to the big dance. Which is cool, because at that time of year the Big 10ers are usually playing their best ball. But because of recruiting restrictions you’ve probably heard about before, don’t look for Purdue to string together back-to-back stellar seasons. Unfortunately this has been a one-and-done type of conference. Look for big bust-ups from the Huskers, who will be more comfy in Darin Erstad’s second season. Just about anyone in the top eight above has a chance to bust a move like the Boilermakers did last year. For example, even 8th-place Minnesota has more than enough pitching and certainly the defense to be a 35-to-40 win team. And I’ll go ahead and say it now, ooh out for Iowa and Michigan in future seasons. The talent is building in both programs.

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BREAKTHROUGH TEAM:

- Ohio State

Of all the teams that could – or maybe should – make a sonic impression, look for the Buckeyes to get back to their winning ways. Okay, they won 33 games last year, but it’s 40 or bust for the Scarlet and Silver this year. Josh Desze will be a monster and if one or two more difference-makers emerge, this’ll be a bitchin’ year in Bucky-town.

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TRENDING DOWN:

- Purdue

As mentioned above, most Big 10 teams can’t help a precipitous fall after a banner year – thanks for the restrictions you place on your teams’ Jim Delany and Co. But losing studs like Joe Haase, Lance Breedlove and Nick Wittgren on the mound would be bad enough for most teams. Toss in the fact that there are only two returnees in the field/batting order and you get my drift. But before I leave this portion of the write-up, you know who’s calling “bullshit” on me? Head coach Doug Schreiber. The dude probably bench presses 350 or so and will take the players he’s got, win another Big 10 title and then tell me to piss off. That’s his mindset. Shed no tears for PU.

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BIGGEST CLEATS TO FILL:

- Joe Haase, RHP, Purdue.

The bulldog-tough accolades don’t just go out to coach Schreiber, his Friday ace took on that same mentality, winning 11 games and eating up innings for the Purdue bullpen to rest. Every coach would like to find a Friday ace like Haase.

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BEST PLAYER:

- Josh Dezse, RHP/DH, Ohio State

Potentially, this dude has a chance to be the best two-way talent in the country. He accounted for seven saves and hit .306 at the dish a year ago. With nearly the entire batting order coming back, Dezse will be a little more protected and should see more hittable pitches coming his way.

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BEST PITCHER:

- David Garner, RHP, Michigan State

With some big losses to the roster, DG will become an even more relied-upon flinger for the Big Green. But after a bang-em-up summer in the Cape Cod League, it looks like Garner is ready for a big season.

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IMPACT NEWCOMER

- Blake Hickman, C, Iowa

The strong-armed big man behind the dish has a wicked-fast pop time and will definitely make an impact on the conference in 2013. But also watch for Indiana 1B/3B Will Coursen-Carr, who like Hickman is a big-bodied athlete with high projectibility.

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STEAL A LEAR JET FOR…

- Purdue at Michigan State, April 26-28.

This series could have many ramifications. First off, if my predictions are right, this could be the weekend which decides who will make the 6th and final team to reach the Big 10 tournament field. Otherwise, if I’m totally wrong, these two could also decide the regular season title if they’re back to being the big bad-asses of the conference again.

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CAPSULES…

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- ILLINOIS (28-25, 11-13)

2012 ISR: 96

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

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All Conference Candidates:

OF Jordan Parr (.348-5-45)

OF Justin Parr (.290-3-38)

RHP Kevin Johnson (7-5, 3.97)

RHP John Kravetz (8-3, 4.72)

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NOTES:

- Yeah, 2012 was set to be a rebuilding season, coming off the heels of 2011′s Regional Final team. But the Illini looked headed to the Big 10 tournament and possibly an overachieving season, until a 3-6 spell to close out conference play ruined those plans.

- The Illini are one of the few teams in the country which actually had more triples than home runs last season, slicing 20 three-baggers to just 18 yard calls. The speedy Parr brothers had nine of them combined. Also look for the speedy Thomas Lindauer (.280, 15SBs) and Davis Hendrickson (.263, 12SBs) to help in the running game as well.

- Having only six saves as a team last season is an odd thing to see, but for what it’s worth all six of those saves return to the arms corps in Ronnie Muck (2-1, 4.36, 3svs) and Reid Roper (1-0, 4.05, 3svs). RHP Drasen Johnson (1-1, 6.00, 16apps) and LHP Luke Joyce (2-4, 4.68, 18apps) will also add support. Also look for incoming Florida freshman Ryan Castellanos to be a heavy contributor after getting drafted in the 34th round of last summer’s MLB draft.

- Speaking of the draft, Illini studs Jordan Parr and Kevin Johnson will be team leaders after both turned down the major leagues after getting drafted in the 26th and 31st round last June.

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- INDIANA (32-28, 16-8)

2012 ISR: 95

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

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All Conference Candidates:

C Kyle Schwarber (.300-8-47, 10SBs)

1B Sam Travis (.319-9-50)

LHP Joey DeNato (7-3, 3.22)

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NOTES:

- Head coach Tracy Smith may not have made a College World Series or Super Regional… yet. But on the realistic side, the Big Red has had a winning record every season since 2007 AND, now… the all-new Bart Kaufman Field is being constructed and looks wicked-good. Like their rivals at Purdue, it’s the kind of facility that will attract recruits and keep the program on an uptick. Check out the pics on the IU website, it’s freakin’ legit.

- The Hoosiers return just about everybody this year, but the even better news is that the 2014 squad should be even better. This year’s squad is definitely soph-heavy with five fielders are year-two guys and two pitchers being second-year guys. Sam Travis and Kyle Schwarber are the top two hitters returning to an order that returns eight of the top nine bats.

- The pitching staff threw at a decent 4.54 team ERA last year and returns a lot of experience, including lefties Kyle Hart (5-5, 3.21) and Joey DeNato, who combined for 30 starts and a solid 3.22 ERA. Junior reliever Matt Dearden (1-6, 4.29, 3svs) will play a huge role, especially after senior reliever Jonny Hoffman, who was 8-2, 2.27 with five saves, was kicked off the team in early January.

- 1Bman Sam Travis was named the Big 10 Freshman of the Year, just the second Hoosier in school history to garner the honor (the other being Alex Dickerson in 2009) and was tabbed a Freshman All American by Collegiate Baseball as well. He was also named the Big 10 Player of the Week on two different occasions during the 2012 season. He ranked in the top 10 in six different categories last season, including 2nd in RBI, 4th in doubles (17) and 5th in home runs. What a future

- If you’re looking for the next Josh Desze, you could find him in the 6’4″, 215-pound form of frosh-to-be Will Coursen-Carr. The LHP/infielder was named the Indiana Player of the Year and was a Louisville Slugger All American. If signability hadn’t been an issue, it is said that WCC could’ve been a high-round draftee, but chose to come to Bloomington instead.

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- IOWA (23-27, 10-14)

2012 ISR: 187

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

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All Conference Candidates:

SS Jacob Yacinich (.292, 10SBs)

LHP Sasha Kuebel (6-0, 2.67)

LHP Matt Dermody (1-7, 4.50)

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NOTES:

- The Hawkeyes didn’t suffer as much M*A*S*H troubles last season so it was good to see a little bit of improvement. Though it’s not enough to make coach Jack Dahm happy. The good news is that a lot of experience comes back and the arms corps itself could make a major difference this time around. One of the best things to happen in the off-season was the fact that big lefty Matt Dermody turned down the Arizona Diamondbacks after getting picked in the 23rd round of last June’s draft. He and Sasha Kuebel will form a tough one-two punch on weekends this spring.

- Another big reason for high optimism is because of the youth movement that should pay big dividends in the near future. That outstanding sophomore class is a year wiser and will feature former MLB draftees in LH Sasha Keubel (6-0, 2.67) and RHP Nick Hibbing (1-2, 6.23) who held opponents to a sparse .241 and .228 averages respectively.

- Also in that soph class is INF Jake Yacinich, who led the Big 10 in sacrifice bunts and was perfect in stolen base attempts. Also look for OF Eric Toole (.283) who was flawless in the meadow and 2B Jake Mangler (.287), who only committed four errors in his 32 starts.

- This year’s Freshman class might be the best in the Big 10. I got the chance to see catcher Blake Hickman up close and personal at the MVP Tournament in Decatur, Georgia two summers ago and was impressed by the skill and potential in the big 6’5″ 220-pound backstop. His cannon arm was drafted in the 20th round last June, so look for him to make an immediate impact. RHP Calvin Mathews can reach upper 80s with ease and could fill in a spot in the ‘pen right away.

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- MICHIGAN (22-34, 8-16)

2012 ISR: 203

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

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All Conference Candidates:

OF Patrick Biondi (.306-2-17, 32SBs)

OF Michael O’Neill (.329-6-30, 20SBs)

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NOTES:

- It’s just weird to see that the Michigan baseball program has been down like it has the last few years, with 16 losses in the Big 10 in both 2011 and 2012 and finishing last and second-to-last respectively. Even worse, the program’s ISR of 203?… just bad. That’s why it wasn’t a shock to see the very-likable Rich Maloney be gone from the program – though he did land on his feet at Ball State.

- The Wolverine program got a real shot in the arm in the off-season with the hiring of Erik Bakich as head coach. Bakich is well-known as one of the better recruiters in the country and also brings a new attitude to Ann Arbor. Coach Emailed me last summer saying, “Get ready for some pissed off Wolverines come February!”

- I don’t doubt coach Bakich one bit. Nope, not at all. But it may be a bit of time to before we see marked improvement. I mean, it’s natural to assume that since Ben Ballentine is the only weekend starter coming back on the mound and a lot of youth throughout the pitching corps. On the good side of that, a pair of right-handers will lead the bullpen in Alex Lakatos (0-6, 3.20, 2svs) and Matt Ogden (3-4, 4.02, 3svs). There’s not a lot of big strikeout kind of guys in the corps, so consistency will play a huge part for the Big Blue.

- The top of the batting order could be two of the top tablesetters in the conference. Look for a big season from Patrick Biondi, who was described by one Cape Cod League coach as “almost big league ready right now” after leading the Cape with an  incredible .388 average. He and fellow flyer Michael O’Neill are the only two .300+ guys back on the roster, but they will be significant difference-makers if they play big again this year.

- Though it will be a while before coach Bakich and his staff can have their recruiting abilities make an impact, there’ll be some talented newcomers to make an impact. Keep an eye on infielder Jacob Cronenworth, a wisp-built guy with lots of projectability both in the field and on the mound. Fellow infielder Travis Maezes should also make great gains from the get-go.

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- MICHIGAN STATE (36-21, 15-9)

2012 ISR: 66

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

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All Conference Candidates:

OF Jordan Keur (.353, 10SBs)

OF Anthony Cheky (.311, 14SBs)

LHP Jeff Kinley (6-5, 2.47, 23apps)

RHP David Garner (6-3, 3.28)

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NOTES:

- The Spartans earned a lot of street cred last season, making it to the Big 10 Tournament championship game and then getting an at-large bid to the Big Dance, going 1-2 at the Palo Alto Regional.

- Despite the pluses of the 2012 season, it should be noted that State still finished down at 5th place in the Big Ten, had more losses than the previous season and had an ISR outside of the “bubble” (good thing for MSU the NCAA uses the RPI, right?… extreeeeeeme sarcasm there.).

- RHP David Garner spent last summer on the Cape, even making an appearance in the All Star Game. Also, Anthony Cheky starred in the Coastal Plains League, hitting an astounding .417, so look for a big upside from him this season as a sophomore. Also keep an eye on fellow soph Jimmy Pickens, who hit .365 with 21 stolen bases in the Northwoods League last summer. The oddest summer of the year nationwide had to be RHP Mick VanVossen (4-0, 3.47) who started his summer playing at an All-Star level in the Hawaiian Collegiate League, then went to the prestigious Cape Cod Leage for the second half of the summer throwing for Falmouth.

- The pitching staff returns enough to keep winning at a high level, but will certainly miss the Two Tony’s; staff horse Tony Bucciferro and all-time school saves record holder Tony Wieber.

- The talent level will stay pretty high thanks to a bitchin’ crop of frosh coming to East Lansing. RHP Justin Alleman was ranked the 2nd-best high school prospect in the state of Michigan and was drafted in the 18th round of last June’s amateur draft. OF Cameron Gibson, the son of MSU alum Kirk Gibson, was a 38th round draft pick but chose to come to school at East Lansing instead as well.

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- MINNESOTA (29-27, 11-13)

2012 ISR: 148

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

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All Conference Candidates:

LHP Tom Windle (3-5, 3.27, .243OBA)

RHP Kevin Kray (0-1, 2.12, 7svs, .198OBA)

LHP D.J. Snelten (4-4, 3.24, .230OBA)

1B Dan Olinger (.318)

OF Andy Henkemeyer (.314-2-27)

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NOTES:

- We’re not used to seeing the Gophers in a succession of medium-level finishes, but the last two years The U has won just 25 and 29 games overall and last year finished in the lower reaches of the Big 10 standings. And missing the Big 10 Tournament? That’s almost blasphemy to a proud program like the Gophers have. Phewwww!

- An early season shoulder injury limited LHP Tom Windle to just four starts in 2012. But the low-90s lefty is ready for a pain-free season after having an All Star summer in the Cape Cod League where his K-to-BB ratio was an astounding 40-to-4.

- While there is a lot of pitching coming back from a unit that had a 3.16 team ERA, there will be a lot of mixing-and-matching to find the right roles for everyone. But a player of impact will be RHP Alec Crawford, who was a 1st Team JC All American at Des Moines CC last season, leading his team to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado in both his freshman and sophomore years.

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- NEBRASKA (35-23, 14-10)

2012 ISR: 70

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

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All Conference Candidates:

OF Michael Pritchard (.387, All Big 10)

3B Josh Scheffert (.358-8-41, 2nd team All Big 10)

SS/OF Chad Christensen (.311-10-48)

OF Rich Sanguinetti (.323-2-43, All Big 10)

OF Austin Darby (.324)

2B Pat Kelly (.313-8-37)

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NOTES:

- A little good a little bad. Nebraska’s transition to the new coaching staff wasn’t too bad, winning 35 games. On the down side, the Cornhuskers didn’t exactly take the Big 10 by storm as some had predicted, having come over from the stronger Big 12 Conference, and went just 14-10 in conference play and 1-2 in the post-season tournament..

- The offense should be the best in the Big 10 – maybe even by a sizable margin. The Huskers led the loop in home runs (47) and runs scored (413) and returns seven hitters who went .300+ last season, including top bats Michael Pritchard and Josh Scheffert. Austin Darby could come into his own in his sophomore year after being named the No. 3 ranked pro prospect in the Jayhawk League last summer. Look for him to have more of an influence in his power numbers as he’ll join big sticks like Scheffert and Chad Christensen in fence-busting.

- How about this stat?… The defense swept at a .974 pace last year and the entire infield returns for this year. But there is one hangup, SS Chad Christensen looks to be headed for outfield duty in 2013 and the shortstop position will be fought over between incoming frosh. One player to keep particular watch for is incoming catcher Tanner Lubach, who was a JC All American at Hutchinson Kansas CC.

- The pitching staff took a little bit of a hit after senior-to-be Jon Keller decided to transfer to Tampa after starting 10 games last season and going 4-1. Eight game starter Tom Lemke also hit the bricks, leaving two big voids in the staff. But pitching coach Ted Silva used a lot of arms and will have nine pitchers who made 14 or more appearances last year coming back for 2013. Lefties Kyle Kubat (5-1, 2.63) and Zach Hirsch (4-5, 5.52) combined for 20 starts and arms like Dylan Vogt (2-1, 1.82, 2svs), Ryan Hander (3-0, 2.97) and Brandon Pierce (5-4, 4.21) all have big time potential and are part of this amazing depth the staff will have. Oddly, the biggest hurdle to overcome could be in finding a new lockdown closer, the role Travis Huber had in collecting his seven saves before moving on.

- I love Darin Erstad’s moxie. He promised he’d play the best schedule possible and he hoped the rest of the conference would follow suit. Well, he sure as hell didn’t back down from that statement as the Cornhuskers will go to the Golden State twice this season, taking on Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, Cal State Bakersfield and USC. They’ll also play three games at Texas and Louisiana Tech, while hosting New Mexico. Well done sir. Well done.

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- NORTHWESTERN (18-36, 6-18)

2012 ISR: 229

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

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All Conference Candidates:

RHP/UTL Zach Morton (1-10, 3.48/.297)

OF Trevor Stevens (sat out 2012)

RHP/UTL Kyle Ruchim (0-2, 3.38, 7svs/.289-3-26)

RHP Brandon Magallones (7-5, 4.26)

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NOTES:

- Aye-yaye-yaye! Michael Wilbon U. has still not had a winning season since 2000, spanning 13 unlucky seasons in a row. Last year’s tank job was a bit on the surprising side since the Cats returned nearly everyone from the year before, especially in the pitching ranks, but still weaksauced their way to just 18 wins overall and six wins in conference play.

- Like last year, there will be a lot of experienced arms coming back to the staff, led by weekend starters Zach Morton and Brandon Magallones, who combined for five complete games and held opposing batters to .270 and .259 averages respectively.

- The offense needs a major overhaul after hitting just .253 as a team. There may not be two more valuable talents to any team in the conference than two-way threats Zach Morton, who led the team with his .297 average and was the team ace, and Kyle Ruchim, who was the saves leader for the Cats last season. And by the way, as an indication to how weak the offense was, look at the numbers on Zach Morton, 1-10 but had an ERA of 3.48. C’mon Purple Cats, grab your bats and support your local pitcher a little bit better.

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- OHIO STATE (33-27, 11-13)

2012 ISR: 94

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

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All Conference Candidates:

RHP/DH/1B Josh Dezse (1-2, 2.86, 7svs & .306-5-33)

RHP Jaron Long (6-2, 2.66, 2CGs, 1sv)

SS Kirby Pellant (.275, 31SBs)

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NOTES:

- The good side of things is that for the second straight year under coach Greg Beals the Buckeyes made small steps to improvement. To big-picture this thing, you have to like how OSU went from an ISR of 154 in 2011 up to 94 in 2012. So the program is steadily making positive strides to getting back to their old winning ways. Let’s see what Beals and Co. have in store for 2013, especially with a roster loaded with experience and a healthy dose of seniors throughout the lineup.

- Of the nine seniors on this year’s roster – all of whom are heavy contributors – six of them are redshirt seniors.

- The biggest thing to this years team is the return of do-it-all Josh Dezse, who can hit like a mother and pitch with plenty of zip and guile. This 2013 season could be his best yet, but you have to wonder if his numbers will improve since it will be surprising if any opposing pitchers will bother to give him anything to hit.

- The Bucks led the conference in stolen bases with 86 thefts and should keep that as the identity of the offense under coach Beals. Kirby Pellant is the big burner, leading the team with 31 thefts last season. But also watch for Joe Ciamacco, who hit .291 in 26 starts and also was a perfect 14-for-14 in stolen bases. OFs Tim Wetzel (.280) and Mike Carroll (.279), both juniors, also went double-digits with 11 steals each in 2012.

- One player who really needs a bounce-back season will be 2nd baseman Ryan Cypret, who hit .323 as a sophomore, but dipped to .236 last year. Still, it’s hard to overlook the fact that the senior co-captain had just nine errors all last season. Defensively, he’ll team with Kirby Pellant to form one of the best double-play duos in the country.

- Seven of the top eight pitchers in the staff come back to the squad for 2013, including Jaron Long and a pair of senior starters in RHP Brett McKinney (5-6, 4.18) and LHP Brian King (5-5, 4.45), who combined for 40 starts between them. Though Josh Dezse locked down seven saves last season, also look for relievers Trace Dempsey (3-1, 5.06, 1sv) and Greg Greve (3-3, 5.15, 1sv), who are versatile arms, though they’ll have to cut down on the free passes a tad more.

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- PENN STATE (29-27, 15-9)

2012 ISR: 121

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

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All Conference Candidates:

RHP Steven Hill (5-4, 3.84)

RHP Dave Walkling (1-1, 3.74, 7svs)

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NOTES:

- Overall, the Nittany Lions didn’t improve their numbers last season, dropping from the 32 wins in 2011 to 29 last year, but they sure seemed to be playing much better in conference play as witnessed by their 15 wins and 3rd place finish in the standings. Let’s see if the Big Blue can put together a full season this year as coach Robbie Wine hopes his charges don’t limp out to another 3-14 start like they did last season.

- The Lions went on a 22-7 spree at the end of the regular season, which included a no-hitter for Steven Hill at Iowa. If the not-updated-from-2012-roster-at-the-time-I-am-writing-this is correct, all three weekend starters come back on the hill in LHP Joe Kurrasch (4-2, 2.05), Steven HIll and RHP John Walter (2-8, 5.07). Plus five of the top six relievers also are slated to be back, including saves leader Dave Walkling and set-up men LHPs Greg Welst (4-2, 3.68) and Tim Dunn (3-1, 4.39).

- Part-time stating catcher J.C. Coban hit .311 in his 29 starts last season. He is the only returning batter on the roster who hit better than .300+ last season. The Nittanies hit a beanpole-like .255 as a team a year ago, which hindered them in so many games.

- Although the roster I’m using at the time of this writing is from 2012 (it’s January, still no 2013 roster posted?), the double-play combo of 2B Luis Montesinos (.280) and SS Elliot Searer (.232) both are scheduled to come back for their senior seasons and should improve that .966 fielding percentage.

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- PURDUE (45-14, 17-7)

2012 ISR: 15

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

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All Conference Candidates:

C/1B Sean McHugh (.317-3-24))

OF Stephen Talbott (.347, 15SBs)

1B/OF Angelo Cianfrocco (.235-2-25)

RHP Brad Schreiber (6-1, 3.77 career)

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NOTES:

- Whoa Nelly! Where do we start with these guys. Sooooo much to gloss about after what we saw from the Boilermakers last season, including the aforementioned first Big 10 title in 103 years. Coach Doug Schreiber certainly deserves a giant shout across the rooftops for the job he and his staff did in getting PU to the post-season AND hosting a Regional – which has been a rarity for Big 10 teams. Can’t give these dudes enough pats on the back.

- Annnnnd of course, in this conference a great season is usually followed by a large rebuilding project. So unfortunately, their ascension to national prominence will probably take a hiatus. Some big time names have moved on from last year’s roster. I mean, you just don’t lose All Americans like Haase, Plawecki and Wittgren, and everyday names like Breedlove, Charles, Perkins, Serrato, Dixon, Miller and Moscarello and bounce back into a championship team again.

- But on the good side, a couple of very talented pitchers come back after missing 2012 in Brad Schreiber, a former Brewers draft pick, and LHP Kyle Wood, who missed his freshman year but could find his way into the weekend rotation in 2013.

- There were many, many, many reasons why the Boilers were the best team in the conference, but if the pitching staff can come close to the uber-low 34 walks in Big 10 play, look for them to make another big run. Okay, I admit, don’t look for a 40-win season in West Lafayette again, but getting to the 30-win mark and above is a Mission: Possible script they could write here.

 

COMMENTS:

February 5, 2013 at 7:14 am

I like the Nebraska pick, I think Erstad will be able to work some magic this year. Kendall and BA have the Huskers in the middle of the pack. If they end up taking the conference we should do the classy thing and gloat our asses off.


February 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

You F’N RETARD!!!! How can you not pick the Boilers to repeat??? Are you just mad because you couldn’t get in to Purdue??? You should be fired!!!!!

Just kidding. Probably. Just wanted you to get a taste of my twitter feed. lol.

Great job on this stuff as always! Boiler Up!


February 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Eric Sorenson says:

Ha. Jerry, I would consider getting called an “F’in Retard” by you as an honor. Good luck with your college basketball work as you reach the home stretch. Look forward to seeing you on the tube in March.


February 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm
thomas says:

ernstad and the huskers r gonna be something big soon


February 7, 2013 at 3:10 am
Go Gophers says:

—Probable Plutko vs Windle matchup is a nice way to start the season.
—Will not be surprised if the Nebraska at Minnesota series (5/10-5/12) decides who’s in first place going into the final regular season weekend.
—Nice job with the stadium Hoosiers.
—Love the National Preview. Excellent effort for sure!
—Huge kudos to Texas for coming up to Minnesota for a three game series. Awesome they were willing to do that.
—Will there be another Stony Brook or Kent St. this year? Would be fantastic!


February 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Stich, Big Ten future actually looks very good. Just about everyone has new stadiums or are builiding one, great influx of very good coaches, Ernstad, Bakich, and Boss to name a few. Look forward to having at few beers with you at Target Field for the Big Ten Championship!


February 8, 2013 at 9:43 pm

[...] 2013 Preview – Big 10 Conference ” College Baseball TodayEric Sorenson predicts a 6th place Big Ten finish for Purdue. [...]


February 10, 2013 at 5:49 am
Buckeyedrew says:

Tough break for the Gophers as they have lost 2 SP for while in D J Snelton and Alec Crawford to injury. Windle is a stud #1 & they have nice depth after him (Ben Meyer, Jordan Jess) but Crawford had pretty good JUCO #@’s last yr. Hopefully both guys will be back real soon. Too bad they have UCLA the 1st wkend without the top guys.


February 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Go Gophers says:

OSU’s Josh Dezse out at least 2 months with back injury per B1Gbaseball.com. Big blow for the Buckeyes at the plate and on the mound.