We all know the weather in Big Ten country can be rather dicey this time of year. That makes scheduling and hosting college baseball games in this part of the country a really bad idea. So, as college baseball gets underway this weekend it should come as no surprise that the 13 (what the hell Wisconsin) Big Ten baseball teams are all heading on the road for opening tournaments and series’.
Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue and Rutgers each have opening-weekend series scheduled, while Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State are each slated to take part in various tournaments around the country.
Rutgers has perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the weekend, playing in a four-game series against the No. 9 Miami (FL) Hurricanes. These two teams are no strangers to each other, having played each other in six of the last seven years and were Big East foes before that.
Iowa heads out West to take on one of college baseball’s biggest names, Stanford. The Cardinal are ranked No. 22 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, and the Hawkeyes will try to get something done in a three-games series there.
Michigan travels to Long Beach State for a weekend series, but amazingly the dirtbags (yes that’s the LBSU team nickname) aren’t ranked in the preseason coaches poll and the trip could really help the Wolverines. After all, they did come in to the season picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll in the Big Ten.
However, the Big Ten isn’t done with tough competition, as Minnesota will travel to No. 11 Houston for a weekend series and rounding out the non-tournament play is Penn State traveling to Elon for its season opener, and Purdue at Western Carolina.
As for the teams opening up in tournaments, it will be an interesting start to the season for quite a few Big Ten teams.
Illinois’ first game is slated against New Mexico State at the Lamar University Cardinal Classic in Beaumont, Texas. Iowa takes on Kansas State in Port Charlotte, Fla., as part of the Snowbird Baseball Classic and are joined by Ohio State in the same tournament, but they will face George Mason.
The Big Ten’s only ranked team, No. 20 Maryland, opens the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., against Western Kentucky, while Michigan State and Northwestern each travel to Surprise, Ariz., for the Oregon State Tournament.
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