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2004 Big Ten Baseball Tournament Preview

05/27/2004, 12:00am CDT
By Bryan Frankenberg

Other Gopher Sports

Now that the regular season is over with and the Baseball Gophers have won their third straight title (fourth in the past five years), it's time for the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament is being held at Siebert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The top six teams in the Big Ten will compete for the NCAA's automatic bid starting Wednesday and ending either Saturday or Sunday (if necessary).

Teams
Minnesota and Ohio State are the top two seeds and will receive first round byes. Michigan #3, Michigan State #4, Purdue #5, and Penn State #6.

Minnesota (35-20, 21-10)
The Gophers are led by preseason All American OF Sam Steidl and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Glen Perkins. Perkins, who has never lost to a Big Ten team, was 7-0 with a 1.88 ERA 1B Andy Hunter earned First Team All Big Ten honors, finishing third in conference games with a .394 average and was first in RBI's. Other key players: DH Mike Mee, C Jake Elder, SS Matt Fornasiere.

Ohio State (32-23, 19-12)
Big Ten Player of the Year OF Steve Caravati leads the Buckeyes in most offensive categories and is second in league games with a .407 average and is in the top 5 in hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI's. Jacob Howell hit .380 to earn him Freshman of the Year honors. Josh Newman and Mike Madsen have 9 wins between them and will give OSU the pitching depth they will need to contend. Other key players: IF Drew Anderson, P Scott Lewis, IF Brett Garrard.

Michigan (33-24, 19-13)
The Wolverines feature one of the top players in the Big Ten in sophomore second baseman Chris Getz, who enters the tournament with an 18 game hitting streak. Getz leads the Big Ten in hits, is second in doubles and runs scored, and is 4th with a .393 average. On the mound, Michigan will feature a very good 1-2 combo in starters Paul Hammond and Jim Brauer. Both are 5-1 in league games with ERA's under 3.00. Other key players: DH Brandon Roberts, IF Kyle Bohm, P Michael Penn.

Michigan State (32-25,19-13)
The Spartans are the Big Ten home runs champs and feature two of the top power hitters in the conference in James Moreno and Travis Gulick. Moreno hit .364 with 6 HR. while Gulick also hit 6 HRs and was third in RBIs earning both player First Team All Big Ten selections. Gulick hit a grand slam in the Spartans loss on Wednesday). On the mound, MSU is led by Bryan Gale, Michigan's State's All-Time strikeout leader. Other key players: Erik Morris (Jack's son), P Craig Brookes, IF Alan Cattrysse.

Penn State (28-28, 17-15)
PSU doesn't have one star player that dominates the statistics like most other Big Ten teams do, but they do have a couple good players in Michael Millron, their best overall hitter, and catcher Matt Harter, who leads the team with 9 HRs on the season. On the hill, Sean Stidfole is the ace. Other key players: P Aaron Tressler, IF Scott Gummo, P Jim Farrell.

Purdue (29-26, 17-14)
John Hunter. That's all you need to say to Minnesota fans after Hunter exploded with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs in a win over the Gophers in early May. Hunter led the Big Ten with 7 Home Runs in conference play. OF Andy Dahl and SS Mitch Koester also provided good power this year even though they are the 8 and 9 hitters. Scott Brynes is their top pitcher with Trae Dauby and Jason Driscoll strong out of the bullpen. Other key players: IF Simon Klink, OF Mike Coles, OF Mitch Hilligross.


Schedule

Wednesday, May 26
Game 1: Purdue 6, Michigan State 5
Game 2: Michigan 7, Penn State 2

Thursday, May 27
Game 3: Michigan State vs. Penn State, 12:05 p.m.
Game 4: Michigan vs. Ohio State, 3:35 p.m.
Game 5: Purdue vs. Minnesota, 7:05 p.m.

Friday, May 28
Game 6: winner of Game 3 vs. lowest seed of Game 4 & Game 5 losers*
Game 7: winner Game 6 vs. highest seed of Game 4 & Game 5 losers*
Game 8: winner Game 5 vs. winner Game 4

Saturday, May 29
Game 9: winner Game 7 vs. loser Game 8
Game 10: winner Game 8 vs. winner Game 9

Sunday, May 30 (if neccessary)
Game 11: winner Game 10 vs. loser Game 10
*EXCEPTION: If one of the Game 4 or 5 losers has already had a bye, that team will play in Game 6, regardless of seed.

--Tickets will be available to be purchased each day of the tournament. The prices will be $10 for adults and $5 for student and senior tickets.


Big Ten Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Steve Caravati, OSU
Pitcher of the Year: Glen Perkins, MINN
Freshman of the Year: Jacob Howell, OSU
Coach of the Year: John Anderson, MINN


2004 All-Big Ten Baseball Team

FIRST TEAM
1B - Andy Hunter, MINN
2B - Chris Getz, MICH
SS - Seth Bynum, IND
3B - James Moreno, MSU
OF - Travis Gulick, MSU
OF - Sam Steidl, MINN
OF - Steve Caravati, OSU
DH - Brandon Roberts, MICH
C - Chris Robinson, ILL
P - Nathan Johnson, IOWA
P - Jim Brauer, MICH
P - Glen Perkins, MINN
P - J.A. Happ, NU
P - Josh Newman, OSU
RP - Adam White, MSU

SECOND TEAM
1B - Kyle Bohm, MICH
2B - Drew Anderson, OSU
SS - Mitch Koester, PUR
3B - Simon Klink, PUR
OF - Kevin Mahar, IND
OF - Nate Yoho, IOWA
OF - Jacob Howell, OSU
DH - Mike Mee, MINN
C - Jake Elder, MINN
P - Paul Hammond, MICH
P - Bryan Gale, MSU
P - Craig Molldrem, MINN
P - Sean Stidfole, PSU
RP - Trae Dauby, PUR

THIRD TEAM
1B - Mark Ori, NU
2B - Luke MacLean, MINN
SS - Matt Fornasiere, MINN
3B - Chad Frk, ILL
3B - David Hrncirik, MINN
OF - Reggie Watson, IND
OF - Matt Butler, MICH
OF - Andy Dahl, PUR
DH - John Hunter, PUR
C - Dan Pohlman, NU
P - Tim Gorski, ILL
P - Dan Brauer, NU
P - Mike Madsen, OSU
P - Aaron Tressler, PSU
RP - Trey Fausnaugh, OSU


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Tag(s): Other Gopher Sports