Chris Webb

Fitzpatrick & Liu Added to Rutgers’ Recruiting Class

Piscataway, N.J. –Both Brian Fitzpatrick and Tom Liu have signed to compete for Rutgers baseball, head coach Joe Litterio announced. The duo will join the Scarlet Knights this fall and make it 12 signings in the latest recruiting class.

NOVEMBER SIGNINGS | MAY SIGNINGS

Brian Fitzpatrick

LHP | 6-6 | 220 | L/S

Port Jefferson, N.Y./St. Anthony’s High School

Notes: A two-year varsity letterwinner at St. Anthony’s High School … from Long Island … played travel baseball for the Long Island Titans … son of Mary and John Fitzpatrick … father played basketball at the University of Buffalo … has four older sisters who competed in Division I athletics: Katelyn (volleyball at Cornell University), Julie (rowed crew at Cornell University), Megan (rowed crew at Indiana University) and Kelly (volleyball at University of Buffalo) … intends to major in business economics.

Tom Liu

RHP | 6-0 | 165 | R/R

San Dimas, Calif./San Dimas

Notes: Competed four years at San Dimas High School … school is in the San Gabriel Valley just outside of Los Angeles … named Scholar Athlete for holding a GPA over 3.0 … played travel baseball for the Socal Bombers from 2015-18 … also participated with SGV Arsenal from 2014-16 … son of Kelly Li and Russell Love … born in China … set to become first person in family to take part in collegiate athletics.

Spartan Baseball Adds One For 2019 Season

East Lansing, Mich. — Michigan State baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr., announced that utility player Andrew Morrow will be joining the Spartans in the fall of 2018. Morrow is a utility player from Omaha, Nebraska (Creighton Preparatory School/Fort Scott CC).

“We are excited to add Andrew to the Spartan Baseball family,” Boss said. “He is an extremely athletic player who is dynamic offensively with power potential. He had a great year at Fort Scott Community College for head coach John Hill, and we will look for him to continue that trend in a very competitive Big Ten Conference. Most importantly, Andrew is a high-character young man from a great family, and he will represent Michigan State University in the most positive manner.”

Morrow becomes the 13th member of the Spartans’ incoming class, joining Will Christophersen (Bettendorf, Iowa | Pleasant Valley High School), Indigo Diaz (North Vancouver, Canada | Handsworth Secondary School | Iowa Western Community College), Jacob Erickson (Allen Park, Mich. | Allen Park High School), Brian Martin (Westland, Mich. | John Glenn High School), Casey Mayes (Wichita, Kan. | Andover High School), Jarret Olson (La Salle, Ill. | Galesburg High School | Parkland Junior College), Colten Panaranto (Martinsville, Ind. | Roncalli High School), Jacob Seipenko (Canton, Mich. | Salem High School), Gabe Sotres (Allen Park, Mich. | Brother Rice High School), Reese Trahey (West Bloomfield, Mich. | Brother Rice High School), Zaid Walker (Homewood, Ill. | Homewood-Flossmoor High School) and Brandon Williamson (Welcome, Minn. | Martin County West High School | North Iowa Area Community College).

Andrew Morrow | Omaha, Nebraska | Creighton Preparatory School | Fort Scott CC | 6-2, 200 | R/R | UTIL

Earned first-team NJCAA Region VI All-Region honors at Fort Scott CC under head coach John Hill … Named KJCCC East Division Co-MVP and first-team All-KJCCC after helping the Greyhounds to a 41-15 record, falling in the opening round of the Region VI Playoffs … Was named Fort Scott Athletics’ Co-Male Athlete of the Year and helped the FSCC baseball team win the Greyhound Cup as the team of the year … Batted .424 with 73 RBI, 13 doubles, two triples and 17 HR, along with scoring 71 runs … Posted an .808 slugging percentage and a .513 on-base percentage … As a freshman, earned 2017 KJCCC Honorable Mention (Eastern Division) honors, after batting .338 with 44 RBI, adding 14 doubles, two triples and nine HR, logging a .619 slugging percentage and a .423 on-base percentage … Was a member of the Fort Scott Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and a two-time Deans Honor Roll member … While at Creighton Preparatory School, earned 2016 All-Nebraska Honorable Mention accolades from the Omaha World-Herald, along with 2015 All-Nebraska Honorable Mention by the Lincoln Journal Star in helping the Junior Jays win back-to-back state titles …. Selected to play in the 2016 Collin-Orcutt All Star Game, featuring Omaha Metro high school seniors … Also played on USA Baseball NTIS (National Team Identification Series) Team Nebraska from 2011-2014 … Was a Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American (Central Region HM) … Also earned Rawlings-Perfect Game All-Region honors … Ranked No. 8 in the state of Nebraska by Rawlings-Perfect Game … Played summer league for Five Points Bank … Also lettered in football … Son of Daniel and Kelly Marrow … His father played baseball at Barton County Community College, while his mother played volleyball at Hastings College … Intends on majoring in kinesiology at MSU … Chose Michigan State because of their support for student-athletes to become better individuals on and off the field … Picked the Spartans over Ball State, Eastern Illinois, Longwood and North Alabama.

MSU Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Graham Sikes on Morrow: “Andrew is a great get for us. He has worked extremely hard to get where he is. The exciting part for me is that he has had a lot of success this year and is still hungry to get better. Andrew is a hard worker and his coaches at Fort Scott, John Hill and Jared Walters, raved about his work ethic. This spring he put up huge numbers and shared the conference player of the year award after hitting .424 with 17 home runs, 73 RBI and 71 runs scored. He’s a versatile player that can play first base or outfield, and he has even done some catching. Andrew has shown the tools to be a dynamic player, and I look forward to getting him on campus and working with him this fall.”

Penn State Baseball Student-Athletes Begin Summer Action

University Park, Penn. –A total of 14 Penn State baseball student-athletes are continuing to take the diamond through the summer, playing in eight different collegiate summer leagues on 11 different teams.

Half of the Nittany Lions are concentrated in two leagues, with four rising sophomores playing in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League and three playing in the prestigious Northwoods League. Heading to the Midwest in the Northwoods League are outfielder Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Virbitsky (Media, Pa.) with the Kalamazoo Growlers in Michigan, and right-handed pitcher Eric Mock (Shillington, Pa.) will join the La Crosse Loggers in Wisconsin. Heading to the mid-Atlantic are infielder Tommy Gibson (Williamstown, N.J.) and right-handed pitcher Conor Larkin (Royersford, Pa.) with the Rockville Express in Maryland, left-handed pitcher Jeff Taylor with the Baltimore Redbirds and infielder Kris Kremer (Hershey, Pa.) with the Alexandria Aces in Virginia.

All-Big Ten Freshman pick Parker Hendershot (Tioga, N.Y.) and classmate Derek Orndorff (Mill Run, Pa.) both joined the Oneonta Outlaws of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League New York’s Mohawk Valley. Classmate Curtis Robison (Dillsburg, Pa.) is also playing in the Empire State, joining the West Hampton Aviators in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.

Two Nittany Lions are playing in Ohio, as outfielder Mason Nadeau (Lansdale, Pa.) joined the Southern Ohio Copperheads in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League and infielder Connor Klemann (Royersford, Pa.) joined the Chillicothe Paints of the Prospect League.

Two Lions are also headed to North Carolina. Charlotte-native Bailey Dees joined the Holly Springs Salamanders in the Coastal Plains League, while Logan Goodnight (Wheeling, W.Va.) will play in Charlotte with the Carolina Vipers of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League.

Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates on Penn State Baseball. Follow on Twitter at @PennStateBASE and Facebook at Penn State Baseball.

 

League

Team

Kris Kremer

Cal Ripken

Alexandria Aces

Tommy Gibson

Cal Ripken

Rockville Express

Jeff Taylor

Cal Ripken

Baltimore Redbirds

Connor Larkin

Cal Ripken

Rockville Express

Bailey Dees

Coastal Plain

Holly Springs Salamanders

Mason Nadeau

Great Lakes

Southern Ohio Copperheads

Curtis Robison

Hamptons

Westhampton Aviators

Jordan Bowersox

Northwoods

Kalamazoo Growlers

Kyle Virbitsky

Northwoods

Kalamazoo Growlers

Erick Mock

Northwoods

La Crosse Loggers

Derek Orndorff

Perfect Game

Oneonta Outlaws

Parker Hendershot

Perfect Game

Oneonta Outlaws

Connor Klemann

Prospect League

Chillicothe Paints

Logan Goodnight

Southern Collegiate

Carolina Vipers

Hawkeyes Spread Coast-to-Coast for Summer Ball 2018

Iowa City, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team has placed 20 student-athletes from coast-to-coast for various summer leagues.

Three Hawkeyes are venturing to the east coast for the prestigious Cape Cod League. Sophomore Ben Norman and freshman Jack Dreyer will be teammates for the Harwich Mariners, while freshman Ben Probst will compete for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. It is the second straight summer Iowa has been represented in the Cape Cod League.

Six players will play in the Northwoods League for two teams. Sophomores Grant Judkins and Derek Lieurance along with freshman Cam Baumann will pitch for the LaCrosse Loggers, while juniors Mitchell Boe and Shane Ritter and freshman Brett McCleary will play for the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders.

Five Hawkeyes will compete in the Prospects League on three different teams. Sophomores Justin Jenkins, Lorenzo Elion, and junior Chris Whelan will play for the Terre Haute Rex. Freshman Matt Berst will catch for the Kokomo Jackrabbits and sophomore Kyle Crowl will play for the Quincy Gems.

Redshirt freshman Kace Massner and freshman Zion Pettigrew will play in the California Collegiate League for the Neptune Beach Pearl. Junior Tanner Wetrich, meanwhile, will play in the Coastal Plains League for the Macon Bacon.

Junior Luke Farley and freshman Connor McCaffery will play locally in the Iowa Valley League for the Watkins Mudhens and Red Top Toppers, respectively. Sophomore Grant Leonard will pitch for the Lombard Orioles in the Chicago Suburban Baseball League.

Cape Cod League
Jack Dreyer – Harwich Mariners
Ben Norman – Harwich Mariners
Ben Probst – Hyannis Harbor Hawks

Northwoods League
Cam Baumann – LaCrosse Loggers
Mitchell Boe – Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders
Grant Judkins – LaCrosse Loggers
Derek Lieurance – LaCrosse Loggers
Brett McCleary – Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders
Shane Ritter – Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders

Prospects League
Matt Berst – Kokomo Jackrabbits
Kyle Crowl – Quincy Gems
Lorenzo Elion – Terre Haute Rex
Justin Jenkins – Terre Haute Rex
Chris Whelan – Terre Haute Rex

California Collegiate League
Kace Massner – Neptune Beach Pearl
Zion Pettigrew – Neptune Beach Pearl

Coastal Plains League
Tanner Wetrich – Macon Bacon

Chicago Suburban Baseball League
Grant Leonard – Lombard Orioles

Iowa Valley League
Luke Farley – Watkins Mudhens
Connor McCaffery – Red Top Toppers

Michigan State Baseball Presents 2018 Team Awards

East Lansing, Mich. — Michigan State baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr. announced the winners of the 2018 team awards on Thursday, May 31.

All of the awards were voted on by the players with the exception of the Offensive Player of the Year award, which is based on various statistical data over the course of the season.

Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly was voted as the recipient of the John Kobs Most Valuable Player Award. Sophomore pitcher Mitchell Tyranski received the Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher Award. Sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves was voted to receive the Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year, while also earning the Kirk Gibson Offensive Player of the Year Award. Fellow sophomore, infielder/outfielder Justin Antoncic, was voted as the Steve Garvey Most Improved Player Award recipient. Senior infielder Kory Young received the Jerry Sutton Student Athlete Award. Senior pitcher Keegan Baar was the recipient of the Craig Hendricks Spartan Spirit Award, recognizing the most positive team player who is enthusiastic, trustworthy, conscientious, hard-working and good humored.

Roskelly, a native of Macomb, Michigan, tied for the team lead with 27 RBI this season and ranked second on the team in both home runs with five and slugging percentage at .413. Roskelly hit nearly .300 over the last half of the season, raising his average from .080 entering MSU’s game on March 21, to its final level of .267, dipping down from .300 entering the series vs. Maryland on April 27-29. Roskelly shared ownership of MSU’s longest hitting streak of the season at 15 games, as well as the Spartans’ longest reached base streak of the season at 19 games. He was also tied for third on the team with 62 total bases, adding five doubles and one triple to the five home runs. Roskelly tallied nine games with multiple hits and six games with multi RBI.

Tyranski, a Birmingham, Michigan, native, led the Spartan pitching staff with a 2.42 ERA and 27 appearances, allowing just 12 earned runs, including posting 15 appearances on the season of not allowing a run. The Spartan lefty notched five saves and rang up 54 strikeouts in 44.2 IP. Tyranski earned his first collegiate victory in MSU’s 5-2 win at Pepperdine on Feb. 24, going 4.1 IP, grounding the Waves’ bats allowing just one hit, while striking out five and walking just one. He picked up his first career save in a 4-2 victory for MSU over Illinois on March 10, going 1.1 IP with just one hit and one strikeout. Tyranski ranks tied for fifth in the Big Ten with the 27 appearances, as well as tied for seventh with five saves. He also ranked eighth in the B1G in conference-only action with 13 batters struck out looking.

Gleaves, a native of Homer Glen, Illinois, got off to a slow start while recovering from an injury, but had a blistering finish and ended up leading the Spartan active players with a .272 average. He was also second on the team and third in the Big Ten with 25 stolen bases, moving up to No. 5 on MSU’s single-season stolen base list. Gleaves hit over .350 over the final half of the season, including .385 in Big Ten action, with a .461 slugging percentage, and swiping 11 bases in league games, which tied for second among the conference leaders. Gleaves was 4-for-4, including two doubles, and three stolen bases in the nightcap at Penn State on May 5, becoming the only Spartan to go 4-for-4 in a game this season and just one of two MSU players to have four hits in a game. He had a seven-game hitting streak this season and also ended the year with a 10-game reached base streak.

Defensively, Gleaves patrolled center field for the Spartans, making 31 starts. Gleaves posted 93 put outs and had two assists, using his speed to run down potential extra base hits and make them outs.

A native of Westerville, Ohio, Antoncic led the Spartans in average for part of the season, ending at .269, while topping the team with a .360 on-base percentage. He ranked second on the team with seven doubles, adding two triples and one home run, as well as fourth on the team with 18 RBI. Antoncic was third on the team and 15th in the B1G with 14 stolen bases. Antoncic also owns a share MSU’s longest active reached base streak, as his streak of 19 games tied Roskelly for longest on the team. Antoncic also had a 12-game reached base streak earlier in the season. He had a season-long six-game hitting streak. Antoncic had 11 games with multiple hits and four games with multi RBI. Antonic was named to the Dairy Queen Classic B1G/Pac-12 Challenge All-Tournament Team in March. Antoncic hit .462 for the weekend, including his first home run of his Spartan career off No. 11 UCLA, adding two doubles.

Young, a native of Rockford, Michigan, was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, graduating in May with a degree in finance. He was also the recipient of MSU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

On the field, Young recovered from a preseason injury and returned to the lineup, playing in 28 games, making 17 starts. He led MSU with seven sacrifices, topping the team with six sac bunts, while adding one sac fly.

Young had a memorable Senior Day on May 19, smacking not only his first triple of the season but of his career and it came in his final at bat at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field in the Spartans’ B1G Tournament clinching win vs. Ohio State. He finished his Senior Day going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, his second multi-hit outing this season. Young ended the day with a career-high four total bases, as well as tying a career-best with two runs scored.

Baar, a Jenison, Michigan native, made five appearances on the mound, but led the Spartans’ spirit in the dugout all season. During the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, Baar was bearer of the team’s Spartan BatSpear, a handmade tool made by Antoncic’s father, and Baar used it to direct the team’s celebrations and cheers.

John Kobs Most Valuable Player: Chad Roskelly

Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher: Mitchell Tyranski

Kirk Gibson Offensive Player of the Year: Danny Gleaves

Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year: Danny Gleaves

Steve Garvey Most Improved Player: Justin Antoncic

Jerry Sutton Student Athlete Award: Kory Young

Craig Hendricks Spartan Spirit Award: Keegan Baar

All awards voted on by the players with the exception of the Offensive Player of the Year award, which is based on various statistical data over the course of the season.

Illinois’ Spillane Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Year

Champagin, Ill. — Illinois junior Bren Spillane was named the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Year, the publication announced Thursday. Spillane was the 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year and the national leader in slugging percentage (.903), OPS (1.401), home runs per game (0.46) and weighted on-base average (.569).

Spillane is the first Illini baseball player to earn a national player of the year award and the first Big Ten player to earn Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year in its 35-year history. Recent winners include Andrew Benintendi (Arkansas, 2015), Kris Bryant (San Diego, 2013), Trevor Bauer (UCLA, 2011), Chris Sale (Florida Gulf Coast, 2010), Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State, 2009), Buster Posey (Florida State, 2008) and David Price (Vanderbilt, 2007).

Spillane is the 15th student-athlete in Illinois athletics history to earn a national player of the year award. He joins a list of 10 Illinois Athletics Hall of Famers, including Chuck Carney, Red Grange, Andy Phillip, Dick Butkus, Jim Grabowski, Mary Eggers, Renee Heiken Slone, Tonya Williams, Perdita Felicien and Dee Brown.

Spillane showed a rare combo of power and speed as the only player in the nation to hit 20+ home runs and steal 15+ bases. He became the first player in Illinois history to reach 15 homers and 15 steals in the same season, while also leading the Big Ten in batting average (.389), slugging percentage (.903), on-base percentage (.498), OPS (1.401), home runs (23), RBIs (60) and total bases (158).

The Wheeling, Illinois, native had an incredible .903 slugging percentage, the best mark in the nation since 2009 when Bryce Brentz slugged .930 for Middle Tennessee State. Spillane is the first player in the BBCOR era to slug over .900 and the first Power 5 player to lead the nation at over .900 since Pat Burrell slugged .948 for Miami (Fla.) in 1996.

The .903 slugging percentage is the second-best in the history of the Big Ten Conference behind Illinois Athletics Hall of Famer Darrin Fletcher’s .913 in 1987. It vaulted Spillane’s career slugging percentage to .723, an Illinois record and the top active slugging percentage in the NCAA of players with two or more years of experience.

Spillane put his name all over the Illinois record book in 2018. His single-season Illinois ranks include second in slugging (.903), second in home runs (23), second in Big Ten home runs (10), tied for fourth in total bases (158), tied for fourth in Big Ten total bases (67) and fifth in on-base percentage (.498).

Spillane was also named to the Collegiate Baseball All-America first team as part of the announcement.

Spillane Stats and Notes
• Leads the nation in slugging percentage (.903)
• Leads the nation in OPS (1.401)
• Leads the nation in home runs per game (0.46)
• Leads the nation in weighted on-base average (.569)
• Ranks second in the nation in home runs (23), fifth in total bases (158), ninth in on-base percentage (.498), 14th in RBIs per game (1.20) and 18th in batting average (.389)
• Only player in the nation with 20+ homers and 15+ stolen bases
• Only Division I player in history to slug over .900 in the BBCOR era
• First player in Division I to slug over .900 for a season since 2009 (Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee State, .930)
• First Power 5 player to lead the nation in slugging at over .900 since Pat Burrell (.948) for Miami (Fla.) in 1996
• No. 2 in Big Ten history in slugging percentage for a season (Darrin Fletcher, Illinois, 1987, .913)
• No. 1 in the nation in career slugging percentage among active players with two or more seasons (.723)
• No. 1 in Illinois history in career slugging percentage (.723)
• 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year
• 2018 Big Ten regular season triple crown (.407, 22 HR, 57 RBIs)
• 2018 Unanimous First Team All-Big Ten
• First player in Big Ten history to win three straight Big Ten Player of the Week awards (3/19-4/2/18)
• First player in Illinois history to win national player of the week honors twice
• Led the Big Ten in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, OPS, home runs, RBIs and total bases
• Illinois single-season ranks include second in slugging (.903), second in home runs (23), second in Big Ten home runs (10), tied for fourth in total bases (158), tied for fourth in Big Ten total bases (67) and fifth in on-base percentage (.498)

Illinois All-Time National Players of the Year
2018 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year: Bren Spillane
2012 USTFCCCA Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year: Andrew Riley
2011 Soccer News Net Women’s Player of the Year: Vanessa DiBernardo
2009 USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year: Angela Bizzarri
2005 Sporting News Men’s Basketball National Player of the Year: Dee Brown
2003 USTFCCCA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Perdita Felicien
2001 USTFCCCA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Perdita Felicien
1996 Track & Field Collegiate News Athlete of the Year: Tonya Williams
1993 NGCA and Golf Week National Player of the Year: Renee Heiken Slone
1988 Honda Award and Broderick Volleyball Player of the Year: Mary Eggers
1965 Sporting News Football Player of the Year: Jim Grabowski
1964 American Football Coaches Association and Sporting News National Player of the Year: Dick Butkus
1943 Sporting News Men’s Basketball National Player of the Year: Andy Phillip
1924 Frank A. Toomey Trophy (pre-Heisman Trophy): Red Grange
1922 Helms Foundation Men’s Basketball National Player of the Year: Chuck Carney
1917 Helms Foundation Men’s Basketball National Player of the Year: Ray Woods

Minnesota’s Vavra Named Finalist for Brooks Wallace Award

Lubbock, Texas — The College Baseball Foundation announced Wednesday that Gopher Baseball junior Terrin Vavra stands among its five finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award for the nation’s top collegiate shortstop.

Vavra currently ranks 21st in the nation in batting average among all players at .385 while standing in the top 150 with 50 runs scored, top 100 with 77 hits, and top 75 with 55 RBIs, a .458 on-base percentage, and a .620 slugging percentage. With one strikeout every 11.8 plate appearances, he is the 40th toughest player to strike out in the nation.

Vavra slugged his team-leading 10th home run in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game, while also hitting 11 doubles and three triples this season. He has drawn 29 walks compared to just 17 strikeouts and stolen eight bases in nine attempts. The Menomonie, Wisconsin native has also provided slick defense for the Maroon & Gold, with just eight errors in 213 chances (.962 fielding percentage).

North Carolina’s Logan Warmoth is the reigning award winner. The award, named in honor of former Texas Tech shortstop and assistant coach Brooks Wallace who died of cancer in 1985 at age 27, was presented to the nation’s most outstanding player through the 2008 season but changed to honor shortstops in 2009.

Four Big Ten teams to play in 2018 NCAA Tournament

On Monday afternoon, the NCAA announced four Big Ten teams have been selected to play in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The 2018 tournament marks the third time in four years at least four Big Ten teams will participate in a regional tying. The conference record of five was set in 2015 and tied last year.

Hours after winning their 10th Big Ten Tournament title, securing the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota was announced on Sunday night as one of 16 host institutions for this weekend’s round of regional play. The Gophers were named the tournament’s No. 14 overall seed, before it was announced conference peers Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue, were tabbed as at-large selections, joining Minnesota in the 64-team tournament field.

For the fifth time in six years, Indiana is back in the NCAA Tournament. Heading to the Lone Star State as the No. 2 seed in the Austin Regional, where Texas is the top seed, The eighth time the Hoosiers will be on the road to Omaha, the Hoosiers were regional participants in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Indiana enters regional play with a 38-17 record, including a 14-9 mark in the Big Ten to finish fifth.

Already safely in the field, and heading into the unveiling of the tournament field knowing they will be at home, Minnesota now knows they will be joined in the Minneapolis Regional by No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Gonzaga, and No. 4 seed Canisius. at 41-13, the Big Ten regular season and tournament champions will be in their second regional in three years, playing at home during the regional round for the first time since 2000.

Late movement around the country saw Ohio State bow out of the Big Ten Tournament on the NCAA Tournament bubble team, but Greg Beals has the Buckeyes safely back in a regional for the second time in three years, heading to the Greenville Regional, as the No. 3 seed, where East Carolina is the host. A year after going 22-34, the 2018 NCAA Tournament is the first time since 2009 the 36-22 Buckeyes have earned an at-large big to the NCAA Tournament, their 21st overall appearance.

Rounding out the Big Ten’s contingent of NCAA Tournament teams is the club with the most unlikely appearance. Just two years after finishing 2-22 in the Big Ten, second-year head coach Mark Wasikowski guided the Boilermakers to a second-place finish in the regular season before finishing as runners-up in the Big Ten Tournament. Now, Purdue will look to further cement the program’s turnaround, selected as the No. 2 seed in the Chapel Hill Regional, hosted by North Carolina. Purdue heads to Chapel Hill with a 37-19 record, and one of the country’s hottest teams, winning 21 of their last 24 games.

The NCAA Tournament begins on Friday, June 1, on the 16 regional host sites. Regional play is a double-elimination format, among the four teams in each regional, with the winner advancing to next weekend’s best-of-three super regional. If all No. 1 seeds advances, the tournament’s top eight seeds will host super regional play. The NCAA will announce the sites of the super regionals on June 5, upon the completion of regional play.

The super regional winners will participate in the 2018 College World Series, held at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, the site of last week’s Big Ten Tournament. The last Big Ten team to reach the College World Series was Indiana in 2013. The Big Ten’s last national champion was Ohio State in 1966. Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue are in search of their first national championship, with Minnesota claiming three of the conference’s six titles, winning in 1956, 1960, and 1964. Michigan were national champions in 1953 and 1962.

Minnesota to host NCAA Tournament regional

Hours after winning their Big Ten-leading 10th Big Ten Tournament, securing a place in the NCAA Tournament for the 31st time via the conference’s automatic bid, Minnesota was selected as one of 16 hosting institutions for next weekend’s regional round of the NCAA Tournament, the NCAA announced Sunday evening.

Improving to 41-13 on the season with their 6-4 win over Purdue, the Big Ten regular season champions are set to host their second regional in program history, first doing so in 2000. This year’s Minneapolis Regional will be the first time the Gophers are the top seed in a regional, as the 2000 regional saw Nebraska, then a member of the Big XII, head to Siebert Field as the regional’s top seed, while the Gophers entered the postseason holding a No. 2 seed. The Huskers went on to win the regional, topping Wichita State in the championship game.

In the program’s 37th season under the guidance of head coach John Anderson’s, Minnesota has already accomplished much to garner attention on the national stage. The Gophers entered the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 11 team in the nation, ranked by the National College Baseball Writers Association. Their 41 wins are the most since their 41-18 campaign in 2017, and, next to their second conference championship in three years, the Big Ten title was their first since 2010.

The tournament’s top 16 seeds, 33 at-large teams, and the three other teams set to join Minnesota in the Minneapolis Regional will be announced on Monday at 12:30 p.m. ET, on ESPNU, when the tournament’s entire 64-team field is unveiled. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, and Purdue, are conference peers expected to be considered for inclusion in the NCAA Tournament. If five teams are selected to play in a regional, it will tie the Big Ten’s high-water mark, set in 2015, when Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan and made the tournament, and tied last season, when Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and Nebraska all saw regional action.

The last Big Ten team to host a regional was Illinois in 2015. On the heels of a 21-1 Big Ten season, the Illini entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 6 overall seed. Illinois won the Champaign Regional, before falling two wins shy of reaching the College World Series, as Vanderbilt, national runners-up, won both games of the Champaign Super Regional.

As Minnesota left Omaha as conference tournament champions Sunday afternoon, the team’s road back to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, and a bid for the program’s fourth national championship, first since 1964, is set to start at home in Minneapolis.

Top-seeded Gophers claims Big Ten Tournament title

In oppressive, 97-degree Omaha heat, the battle between the Big Ten’s two best teams was a hotly-contested one, a contest which saw Minnesota outlast Purdue, winning 6-4, to claim the 2018 Big Ten Tournament championship. Their 10th tournament title, the Gophers claim the conference’s automatic bid to next week’s NCAA Tournament.

As they have all season, Minnesota performed in a workman-like fashion to cap a perfect 4-0 week.

With the second-seeded Boilermakers the designated visitors, in the top of the first, center fielder Skyler Hunter lined a first-pitch, two-out single up the middle. Three pitches later, first baseman Jacson McGowan lined a double over the head of Minnesota center fielder Alex Boxwell, plating Hunter for the initial 1-0 lead.

Where Purdue used a back-to-back hits to jump out in front, big blasts in back-to-back innings saw the Gophers grab the lead.

Making his fourth start of the season, the first pitch of the second inning from Purdue right-hander Andrew Bohm was hit into the left field bullpen by Minnesota catcher Eli Wilson, tying the game 1-1. In the third, another first-pitch big hit came off of the bat of Terrin Vavra, with the junior shortstop hitting his 10th home run of the season to right center, pushing Minnesota in front, 2-1.

After a scoreless fourth, the two regional-bound teams traded blows over the next two innings, creating a back-and-forth content fitting of the conference’s two hottest teams.

In the fifth inning, Purdue seized the opportunity created in Minnesota turning to the bullpen, relieving starter Nick Lackney who held the them to five hits over four inning. Facing right-hander Brett Schulze, a leadoff single from second baseman Tyler Powers and a one-out walk drawn by catcher Nick Dalesandro put two Boilers aboard. Hunter’s second single, followed by McGowan’s second double, put the Boilers back on top, 3-2. Minnesota responded with an RBI-single from left fielder Ben Mezzenga, scoring DH Toby Hanson, who singled to open the home-half of the frame before moving to second on a sac bunt by Luke Pettersen, then to third on a fly out by Boxwell.

An inning later, the roles reversed with Purdue scoring a run, countered by two from the Gophers.

Singles from right fielder Alec Olund, Powers, and a run-scoring drive to right from shortstop Harry Shipley put Purdue back in front, 4-3. But after the tying run crossed home, in the next at-bat, Shipley was thrown out trying to move into scoring position, with Wilson throwing him out on a dirt ball read.

A string of three singles in the bottom of the sixth pushed Minnesota back in front, the contest’s third lead change in four at-bats. A leadoff single from Boxwell, followed by a sacrifice bunt from right fielder Jordan Kozicky, then RBI-single from Petterson, tied the game, before the 25th RBI of the season by Mezzenga, a liner up the middle, gave the Gophers a 5-4 lead.

Purdue’s aggressive nature that saw Shipley thrown out to end their sixth inning at-bat, had already contributed to two outs on the bases before. In the top of the fourth, DH Nick Evarts was thrown out on an attempt to steal third base, an inning before Dalesandro tried to reach third on Hunter’s single to right that scored Powers. A fourth out on an aggressive play seeking an extra base prevented the tying run, Purdue’s last scoring threat.

With one out in the eighth inning, pinch-hitting for Evarts, DH Evan Kennedy hit a 2-2 double to right field, off Minnesota closer Max Meyer. Pinch-running for Kennedy, following a strikeout by Olund, Charlie Nasuti was thrown out at home, when Mezzenga fired to Wilson after a single to left-center field by third baseman Evan Warden.

Adding an insurance run, a one-out single by Hanson, paired with a two-out double to left center by Vavra gave Minnesota its sixth and final run of the game. Armed with a two-run lead, Meyer pitched a 1-2-3 inning for his 16th save of the season, giving the conference champion Gophers their Big Ten-leading 10th tournament title.

A lock to host their first regional since 2000, Minnesota moved to 41-13 on the season. Also heading to the NCAA Tournament, their first trip since 2012, Purdue fell to 37-19, and will find out their regional destination on Monday at noon Eastern when the entire field of 64 is announced.