With the college baseball season heading into its stretch run, there isn’t a shortage of fascinating subjects, interesting notes and compelling storylines. Heading into a big week of Big Ten baseball, here’s a half-dozen must-reads, as well as a look at how outlets see the NCAA Tournament field coming together.
There’s plenty of work left for the Hawkeyes, which are seeking their third regional berth in the last five seasons. But opportunity awaits in the final month. It starts this weekend, as Iowa (27-16, 11-7 Big Ten Conference) hosts No. 25 UC Irvine (28-11) in what is its most pivotal series of the year.
Examining the Hawkeyes’ postseason chances with college baseball analysts Dargan Southard, HawkCentral
“You just have to be able to continue to compete, it’s so cliché, but just the toughness,” Mercer said. “You just have to continue to go and go and go, and you can’t worry about what happens. We couldn’t worry about what happened Friday, we couldn’t worry about what happened in the first five of six innings (on Saturday). You’ve got to just keep going.”
Power, Toughness Have Indiana On The Rise Joe Healy, Baseball America
From a walk-on, who wasn’t even guaranteed a spot on the 35-man roster his freshman season, to an emerging MLB prospect, Nwogu is living the dream playing for his hometown team.
Walk-on to MLB prospect, Ann Arbor native doing it all for Michigan Ryan Zuke, MLive.com
“We’ve talked about this being a young team,” Beals said. “Well, it’s time to get over that. They are not freshmen any longer. We’ve played 44 games…These games coming up are critical. Now, the test is: Can you stay in it? Can you play it out through the dog days.”
Beals Prods Bucks For The Stretch Run Greg Hoard, Press Pros Magazine
That petty cash goes towards groceries, cleaning supplies and other sundries around the apartment. Smith’s dedication more directly pays off on the mound. In the span of the past year, the left-hander from suburban Chicago has risen from little-used reliever to weekend starter.
During the second weekend of the season, the Cats were in a rain delay in Durham, North Carolina. Dunn said the team spent the delay in the dugout cracking jokes and telling stories. He cited junior Alex Erro as “probably the best storyteller,” as well as a great impersonator, highlighting his impression of freshman Anthony Calarco.
During delays, Northwestern players have different ways of staying loose Peter Warren, Daily Northwestern
NCAA Tournament Projections
Baseball America In: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska
D1Baseball.com In: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska
Perfect Game In: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska