Big Ten weekly release- April 22

Every week the Big Ten sends out a release to media with schedules, news, stats and other tidbits relating to the conference.

For those that follow one team, it’s probably not worth hoping over to their website to check out. For those of us trying to promote the sport, me, it’s probably advantageous to do something more with it than skim the email and deleted. So through the rest of the year, whenever the conference sends out its release I’ll share some highlights.

Here’s the April 22 release.

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Indiana, Nebraska top 30 in attendance

The average attendance for Nebraska this season ranks 20th at 2,783 a game at Hawks Field.

Average attendance for Nebraska at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park ranks 20th at 2,783 a game.

Some of the ways to bring to attention the rise of Big Ten baseball are more difficult than others to capture. When things are black and white and backed by numbers, they’re on the easier side.

One the nice and neat ways is to look at the attendance, its reflection of program interest and support. The latest Division I college baseball attendance figures speak well to what is unfolding, most specifically in Bloomington.

Compiled by Tami Cutler of Wichita State Media Relations and distributed by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, this week’s attendance report finds a pair of Big Ten programs among the nation’s top 30 drawing club. Nebraska average attendance of 2,783 in the 19 games played at Hawks Field ranks 20th in the country, the reigning Big Ten champion Indiana Hoosiers drawing 2,381 per game at Bart Kaufman Field checks in at No. 29.

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Preseason All-B1G Baseball Teams

The improvement in the quality of Big Ten baseball is reflected in two fifth-place teams garnering at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament over the last two years. Viewed worthy to participant in the national tournament, Michigan State in 2012 and Illinois is 2013 founding the sledding tough in conference play, even though they had one of the best teams in nation the eye of the tournament’s selection committee.

With more and more teams entering seasons with realistic shots at a conference championship, regional appearance, the quality of players that compose those teams are too improving. The Big Ten enters the 2014 season with six players selected on a preseason all-america team. The conference welcomes two freshman classes viewed as the best in the nation. More standouts are entering the Big Ten and here’s a look at who is expected to be among the best in the conference this year.

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Outlets tab Hoosiers top five, Coaches No. 11

With only two position starters and one weekend arm lost from Indiana’s first-ever College World Series appearance, the question wasn’t whether Indiana would be ranked, only how high.

Led by a quartet of preseason all-americans, three of the five major college baseball polls were unveiled this week, each placing the Hoosiers in rarefied air.

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The week in Big Ten baseball news

Spring practices began on Friday, the three-week mark from the season’s first day of games. With the offseason rounding third base, here is a look the Big Ten coaches, players and programs in the news this past week.

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Northwestern to play in new stadium in 2015

On June 10, 2013 Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro announced a $5 million pledge from Richard and Roxelyn (Roxy) Pepper, in an effort to challenge their alma mater to raise the remaining funds needed for a renovation of the Wildcats’ Rocky Miller Park. If the university was able to raise the additional amount by Oct. 1 of this year, the Peppers will provide the project’s final $5 million for the proposed renovations to Rocky Miller Park.

Sources have confirmed Northwestern will receive a facility upgrade, an enhanced stadium to be the home of the Wildcats beginning in 2015. Speaking on terms of anonymity, Northwestern’s atheltic department members have been instructed to not publicly speak on future projects, the confirming source said official word of Northwestern’s new field is to be expected within the next month.

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Iowa finalizes the contract of Rick Heller

Announced on July 12 as the the University of Iowa’s 20th head baseball coach, the contract which Rick Heller will operate under has been finalized. Completing a July 31, 2013 public record request, the University of Iowa’s University News Services have provided a copy of Heller’s contract, the contract signed by Heller and Director of Athletics Gary Barta on Dec. 20, 2013, by University of Iowa President Sally Mason on Jan. 10.

Effective retroactively to his hire date of July 18, 2013, Iowa has employed Heller for a period of six years, through June 30th, 2019.

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