Deadline’s final hours has little Big Ten drama

On Thursday night, a party close to Michigan State redshirt-sophomore Cam Vieaux told B1G Baseball the left-handed pitcher informed the Detroit Tigers he will not sign a contract and begin his professional career, instead opting to return to Michigan State. With the 19th-round draft pick set to be a Spartan for at least another year, what little drama remained across the Big Ten heading into Friday evening’s deadline for drafted players with remaining college eligibility has all but been erased.

Here’s one last primer before the 5 p.m. Eastern deadline for players to put ink to paper or wait another year to be begin their professional journey.

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The latest hello and goodbyes

Ohio State sophomore right-hander Travis Lakins has decided to forego two years of eligibility.

Ohio State sophomore right-hander Travis Lakins has decided to forego two years of eligibility.

For players drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft with remaining college eligibility the deadline to sign with the drafting organization is tomorrow, Friday July 17 at 5 p.m. Eastern. The deadline is expected to come and pass with little drama for Big Ten as decisions made over the last week leave just a handful of players unsigned without formal announcements of returning to their respect programs, most recently Indiana right-handed pitcher Jake Kelzer announced via Twitter his intention to return to Indiana.

Before examining the few Big Ten players left with a decision to make and the several drafted players signed to attend a conference programs, here’s a recap on those who have decided to join a professional organization, as well as a hire to round out of Spencer Allen’s staff at Northwestern.

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Hartleb’s leadership invaluable to Illinois

Since the 2011 Big Ten Tournament championship, Hartleb has led the Illini to two more NCAA Tournaments.

Since the 2011 Big Ten Tournament championship, Hartleb has led the Illini to two more regionals.

Wednesday’s news of Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb receiving a five-year contract extension was far from shocking. Less than two weeks had passed since Maryland, a fellow super regional participant, extended the contract of head coach John Szefc for five years. And like Maryland, Illinois was coming off of a school-record season in the win column, an even 50 victories as Hartleb led the Illini to a second Big Ten championship, blitzing the conference with a 21-1 record, and third NCAA Tournament in five years.

When one adds an established track record on top of producing the greatest season in program history, the odds were favorable Illinois was going to lock up Hartleb for the foreseeable future.

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Illinois extends Dan Hartleb’s contract 5 years

MAIN Primary Orange IA source close to the University of Illinois’ athletic department has informed B1G Baseball the university will extend the contract of head baseball coach Dan Hartleb five years, with an official announcement from the university set for 4 p.m. Central.

During the best season in program history, Hartleb helped Illinois to a No. 6 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, guiding the program host its first ever NCAA regional, advancing to its first super regional. En route to a 50-10-1 season, Illinois enjoyed a nation-best 27-game winning streak and went 21-1 in Big Ten play to capture its second conference championship under Hartleb. The season concluded with nine Illini selected in the MLB Draft, a program record and third-most in the country.

The American Baseball Coaches Association’s Mideast Region Coach of the Year, and 2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Hartleb has 326 career victories in his 10-year Illini tenure, leading to program to Big Ten champions in 2011 and 2015, to the NCAA Tournament in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Further details of Hartleb’s extension will follow as announced.

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Jay, Travis are primed to be who’s next

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Can former first baseman Sam Travis, left, make it four consecutive Futures Game with a former Hoosier?

If the baseball world didn’t know Kyle Schwarber before Sunday, which admittedly is a stretch of the imagination, it certainly does now. In a return to his native Buckeye State, Schwarber received MVP honors in the 2015 All-Star Futures Game, playung in front of upwards of 100 family and friends in attendance, this year’s All-Star Game festivities held at Great American BallPark in downtown Cincinnati, less than 40 minutes from Schwarber’s hometown of Middletown, Ohio.

While Schwarber’s heroics make for a great story and deserved headlines, a participant in the Future Game isn’t foreign to the Indiana nor the Big Ten.

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Programs see past stars shine on MLB stage

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In his native Ohio, former Indiana All-American Kyle Schwarber received Futures Game MVP honors

Three Big Ten programs saw former standouts shine on baseball’s biggest stage. From start to finish, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities was little more than a global spotlight for the trio of players.

Beginning with former Indiana slugger Kyle Schwarber earning MVP honors of Sunday’s Futures Game, continuing Monday with once Rutgers Scarlet Knight Todd Frazier winning the Home Run Derby, capped Tuesday night with Minnesota Twin and former Gopher Glen Perkins closing out the American League’s 5-3 win in the Midsummer Classic, former Big Ten players were shining bookends to three-day gala in Cincinnati.

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