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B1G Baseball Weekly Update (4/29 - 5/5)‏‏

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B1G baseball is in the final month of the season and the race is still wide open. Here we will recap last week and examine what each team needs to do to make that final push for Omaha.

That should be a strike.
That should be a strike.
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The B1G tournament is at the end of the month so included in this update is what remaining B1G series each team faces and the probability they'll be part of the final eight at TD Ameritrade Park. First the standings as of now:

Standings Conference Overall
Minnesota 11-3 29-13
Indiana 11-4 26-16
Michigan St. 10-5 30-11
Michigan 9-5 31-12
Nebraska 9-6 28-16
Maryland 9-6 24-19
Penn St. 10-8 25-20
Ohio St. 8-7 29-15-1
Illinois 7-8 23-19
Iowa 7-8 21-21
Rutgers 6-9 23-22
Northwestern 2-16 10-34
Purdue 2-16 7-34

Illinois (23-19, 7-8) RPI: 87

04/29/16 MINNESOTA L 1-3
04/29/16 MINNESOTA W 2-0
05/01/16 MINNESOTA L 6-14
05/03/16 vs. Missouri W 6-4
05/04/16 SOUTHERN ILL. W 6-3

Gave Minnesota a good fight but the Gophers stepped on the gas Sunday to take the series. Did notch a nice win over an SEC school in the mid-week match up with Missouri and retained "Braggin' Rights" for the year.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 @Maryland

B1G Road to Omaha: @Maryland, @Indiana, Michigan
Current position: 9th
Tough final stretch for the Illini and being only 7-8 right now they'll have to play out of their minds in these last three series to make it.

Indiana (26-16, 11-4) RPI: 131

04/29/16 NORTHWESTERN W 2-1
04/30/16 NORTHWESTERN W 4-3
05/01/16 NORTHWESTERN W 7-6

Posted a tight sweep of Northwestern which assisted in the Hoosiers rocketing up to second place currently in the B1G standings. Will face a tougher task this coming weekend with a road trip to current first place Minnesota.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 @Minnesota; 5/10 Kentucky

B1G Road to Omaha: @Minnesota, Illinois, @Nebraska
Current position: 2nd
Indiana's final three series isn't much easier with a huge matchup this weekend on who is top dog in the B1G. That plus two other series against teams still in the fight mean the Hoosiers need to bring their A game.

Iowa (21-21, 7-8) RPI: 115

04/29/16 KANSAS ST. L 2-3
05/01/16 KANSAS ST. W 2-1
05/01/16 KANSAS ST. L 2-4
05/03/16 WESTERN ILL. W 10-4

Dropped a tight series to KSU which certainly didn't help things in the RPI department considering the Wildcats are in the 200+ range. Did rebound with a 'pad the stats' win against Western Illinois.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 @aOSU

B1G Road to Omaha: @aOSU, MSU, @PSU
Current position: 10th
Uphill battle for the Hawkeyes considering the Spartans will be trying to win the regular season and aOSU/PSU will be fighting to stay above the cut line.

Maryland (24-19, 9-6) RPI: 46

04/29/16 at Penn State W 7-1
04/30/16 at Penn State L 0-2
04/30/16 at Penn State W 8-3

Won the series against their 'bestest buds' PSU and keeps their RPI in great shape.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 Illinois; 5/10 @West Virginia

B1G Road to Omaha: Illinois, Rutgers, @MSU
Current position: 6th
Not in a bad spot for the Terps although they shouldn't sleep on Illinois and MSU will be tough. However should get some wins against Rutgers.

Michigan (31-12, 9-5) RPI: 27

04/29/16 MICHIGAN STATE W 4-3
04/30/16 at Michigan State L 6-7
05/01/16 MICHIGAN STATE L 4-7
05/03/16 EASTERN MICH. W 12-4
05/04/16 at Eastern Mich. W 12-0

Dropped a tight series against MSU creating a log jam at the top of the standings. Then took out their aggression on losing to 'little brother' on 'little cousin' Eastern Michigan. Wolverines need to pull a Tay-Tay and "shake it off" since a trip down to College Park will be a tough task.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 Rutgers; 5/11 @Central Michigan

B1G Road to Omaha: Rutgers, @aOSU, @Illinois
Current position: 4th
Not a bad set up for Michigan and should be in Omaha unless they suffer a huge breakdown at the end of the year. Will get some wins vs. Rutgers but should still be weary of the final two road tests against teams that will be desperate.

Michigan State (30-11, 10-5) RPI: 47


04/29/16 at Michigan L 3-4
04/30/16 MICHIGAN W 7-6
05/01/16 at Michigan W 7-4

Huge weekend for MSU in that not only did they beat 'big brother' but it got them back into the mix at the top of the conference and moved them up 30 spots in RPI.

Up next: 5/7 - 5/9 Nebraska; 5/10 @ Western Michigan; 5/11 Eastern Michigan

B1G Road to Omaha: Nebraska, @Iowa, Maryland
Current position: 3rd
Not exactly easy street for the Spartans but doable. Nebraska and Maryland will be fighting to stay in contention and Iowa will want to get in as well so MSU needs to not celebrate too much for last week's accomplishments and stay focused.

#19 Minnesota (29-13, 11-3) RPI: 24

04/29/16 at Illinois W 3-1
04/29/16 at Illinois L 0-2
05/01/16 at Illinois W 14-6
05/03/16 KANSAS W 19-7
05/04/16 KANSAS W 12-7

Good series win over Illinois to keep pace as the B1G conference leader. Also showed the offensive power against a not so great KU squad. Big matchup this weekend as 1 vs. 2 face off to see who is king of the B1G mountain.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 Indiana

B1G Road to Omaha: Indiana, @Purdue, aOSU
Current position: Numero Uno (Happy Cinco de Mayo!)
Toughest test will be the Hoosiers this weekend. After that Minnesota should handle their business so expect the Gophs in Omaha.

Nebraska (28-16, 9-6) RPI: 72

04/29/16 at Rutgers L 2-3
04/30/16 at Rutgers W 8-1
04/30/16 at Rutgers W 8-4

Series win against Rutgers keeps the Huskers within striking distance of the top but this weekend's matchup against MSU will determine a whole lot more for Nebraska.

Up next: 5/7 - 5/9 @MSU; 5/11 UNO

B1G Road to Omaha: @MSU, PSU, Indiana
Current position: 5th
Tough tests for the Huskers down the stretch but doable depending on what Husker squad shows up. Thankfully for them they close out the season with two series at home.

Northwestern (10-34, 2-16) RPI: 262

04/29/16 at Indiana L 1-2
04/30/16 at Indiana L 3-4
05/01/16 at Indiana L 6-7
05/04/16 at Ill.-Chicago L 4-5

Another series, another swept moment for Northwestern. And this counts double since this is the third loss to Ill-Chicago this season. Seriously, the Flames NW? Also, PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK ALERT coming up this weekend.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 Purdue

B1G Road to Omaha: Purdue, @Rutgers
Current position: 12th
LOL probably won't be seeing the Wildcats in Omaha this time around although they do have a shot to end the season on a high note.

Ohio State (29-15, 8-7) RPI: 104

04/29/16 at Purdue W 3-1
04/29/16 at Purdue W 3-2
05/01/16 at Purdue W 5-1
05/03/16 UAB L 3-6
05/04/16 UAB W 12-3

Swept Purdue and split against UAB so not much movement in RPI action. Will certainly get their chance toward the end of the season though.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 Iowa; 5/10 & 11 Florida Atlantic

B1G Road to Omaha: Iowa, Michigan, @Minnesota
Current position: 8th
Like Aerosmith the Buckeyes are 'livin' on the edge' at that cut line and the games aren't going to get much easier. They may get some wins against the Hawkeyes but after that it's going to be tough sledding. Succeed though and not only will the Bucks get to play in Omaha but may even sneak into the NCAAs.

Penn State (25-20, 10-8) RPI: 100

04/29/16 MARYLAND L 1-7
04/30/16 MARYLAND W 2-0
04/30/16 MARYLAND L 3-8

Dropped the series to the Terps which can't sit well with them especially since that pushes the Nits closer to the cut line. PSU will take a break from B1G play and take on TCU (at home amazingly!) which certainly can help the RPI if they get some wins (good luck with that).

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 TCU; 5/11 @Pitt (which is it btw)

B1G Road to Omaha: @Nebraska, Iowa
Current position: 7th
Have a shot at staying just inside the line by going to the Western reaches of the B1G for the remaining games.

Purdue (7-34, 2-16) RPI: 260

04/29/16 OHIO STATE L 1-3
04/29/16 OHIO STATE L 2-3
05/01/16 OHIO STATE L 1-5

If you took a wild stab in the dark and said Purdue got swept you'd be right for the 5th time this year. Don't worry Purdue the sweet release of season's end is coming soon. Plus, you'll get a shot at getting to ten wins this weekend against Northwestern.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 @Northwestern; 5/10 IPFW; 5/11 @Valparaiso

B1G Road to Omaha: @Northwestern, Minnesota
Current position: 13th
Uhh...no. Just no.

Rutgers (23-22, 6-9) RPI: 79


04/29/16 NEBRASKA W 3-2
04/30/16 NEBRASKA L 1-8
04/30/16 NEBRASKA L 4-8
05/03/16 SAINT PETER'S W 10-1

Dropped the series against Nebraska which puts them in a tight spot if they want to make the B1G tourney.

Up next: 5/6 - 5/8 @Michigan

B1G Road to Omaha: @Michigan, @Maryland, Northwestern
Current position: 11th
Have a shot at some wins versus the Wildcats but outside of that it will be a tough go for the Knights.

Wisconsin

Andy is stranded

Well, Andy, the bad news is that Wisconsin still doesn't have baseball team (and I'm running out of Wisconsin gags).

RPI as of 5/3/16 courtesy of d1baseball.com

Players of the Week

Player of the Week: Zack McGuire DH, So., MSU
Hit .545 on the week with five RBIs on seven hits as well as one homerun and three doubles. This is his first Big Ten Player of the Week award.

Pitcher of the Week: Doug Hayes P, So., ILL
Had a scoreless complete game in Friday's win over Minnesota. In that outing he tallied six strikeouts and walked just one batter. This is his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor.

Freshman of the Week: Marty Costes OF, MD
Hit .417 on the week with four runs on six hits including a triple and a double. Keep an eye out for this kid in the future since this is his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor.

What to Watch This Week

BTN is doing its part to broadcast more and more B1G baseball games so here is what you can find for baseball coverage this week. All times Eastern

Baseball
Saturday, May 07 Purdue - Northwestern 3:00 PM
Saturday, May 07 Rutgers - Michigan 6:00 PM
Monday, May 09 Nebraska - Michigan State 1:00 PM

Players of the week, schedule, and results courtesy of bigten.org & btn.com