Friday brunch links

Earlier this week, hopefully you have a big appetite, this should hold you over from breakfast through lunch.

It’s quite the weekend for Big Ten baseball. Last year’s top-two finishers, Indiana and Ohio State, square off in Columbus, the site of IU’s championship-clinching series, OSU’s agonizing near-miss.

Michigan State and Minnesota hope to avoid their 2013 fate when their weekend series was erased from the books, three games not played due to the conditions that is Minneapolis in early spring.

Michigan welcomes Iowa as the Hawkeyes seek to show they are more contender, less pretender, while the Wolverines hope to rebound after a tough series at Indiana.

Illinois hosts Purdue as both clubs are set to open Big Ten play after tough non-conference slates. Nebraska continues it’s non-B1G action with a home series against UNLV. While Penn State looks to stay hot at home, Northwestern looking to end Penn State’s perfect 4-0 home start under Rob Cooper.

Fifteen links from around the internet to get you ready for a big weekend of Big Ten baseball.

Enjoy.

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Friday lunch links

Big Ten play is upon us. Here’s your required reading before the deathmatch that is Big Ten baseball conference action begins.

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Location change beneficial for Spartans

The signs of a rentless winter are on display the first weekend of spring. A winter of unyielding snow in the Great Lakes State has forced the Big Ten-opening Ohio State-Michigan State series to be played in Columbus, the field conditions at MSU’s McLane Stadium at Kobs Field deemed unplayable to host the three-game set.

While Michigan State head coach Jake Boss and club will have to wait until March 26 to open their home schedule, the first conference home game not until April 11, there is one advantage in the delayed home opener; playing the Buckeyes in Columbus provide the Spartans a greater opportunity to boast their RPI.

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March 14-17 weekend wrap

The final weekend of games before Big Ten play was a mixed bag for a conference where consistency has been a struggle throughout. The marquee matchup of the weekend did fall in the Big Ten’s favor, Nebraska knocking off a ranked UC-Irvine club. But a second pairing between Midwest program and SoCal club did not bare favorable results, Long Beach State defending their home turf with a series win over Indiana as the Hoosier offense did not travel to California. Ohio State swept a struggling Siena club while the struggling Boilermakers were swept by San Diego State. Minnesota captured a NorCal  series win over Sacramento State, but Penn State lost two of three to Santa Clara.

Before attention is turned to a few intriguing midweek pairings, with Nebraska’s Tanner Lubach taking home conference player of the week honors, Indiana’s Kyle Hart the Big Ten’s top pitcher and Buckeye Travis Lakins the top rookie, here’s a look at how the Big Ten’s 11 clubs fared over the ides of March.

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Around the web on Big Ten baseball

Combing the Internet to find the latest news and notes on Big Ten baseball, here is what was found.

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Breakout players

The first three weeks of the college season have provided a few surprises around the Big Ten. From Iowa’s 9-1 start to Illinois sweeping both Florida and Florida Gulf Coast, unexpected team success has garnered attention for several clubs. Not surprisingly, the teams performing bettering than expect, the Hawkeyes, Illini, along with Ohio State and Minnesota, are spurred by stand out performances. Some of which are players emerging as all-conference possibilities.

Here’s a look at which players have enjoyed the best breakout seasons so far.

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March 2 roundup

It was a quiet afternoon on the diamond for the Big Ten with only nine games. But the conference had a banner day, going 6-3, highlighted by Illinois completing a weekend sweep in Florida, taking down the No. 23 Gators 5-1. Here’s what happened on getaway day for conference clubs.

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March 1 roundup

A total of 16 games provided a heavy slate for first day of March. The conference broke even at 8-8. Here’s the highlights from the busy day.

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