MSU baseball: Big Ten race update

The Spartans throttled Penn State 16-1 on Thursday in their series opener, and the two teams meet again at 2:05 p.m. today. It remains clear for MSU that a sweep gets it into the Big Ten Tournament, thanks in part to a fortunate schedule quirk.

Finishing with the last-place Nittany Lions is a break for the Spartans. The other top six teams in the conference are all playing each other this weekend. Ohio State defeated Indiana to move into a tie for first place on Thursday. Illinois topped Minnesota and Michigan edged Nebraska, meaning the Illini and Wolverines remain in a tie for fifth place. Those series continue today and Saturday as well.

Winning percentage will determine who makes the field for the six-team Big Ten Tournament, which runs May 22-25 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Here’s a look at what can happen in the final two days of the regular season, broken down by the possible winning percentages.

  • .7083 – Indiana or Ohio State with 2 wins
  • .6667 – Nebraska and Minnesota with 2 wins; Indiana and Ohio State with 1 win
  • .6250 – Michigan and Illinois with 2 wins; Nebraska with 1 win; Ohio State or Indiana with 0 wins
  • .6190 – MSU with 2 wins; Minnesota with 1 win
  • .5833 – Nebraska with 0 wins;┬áMichigan and Illinois with 1 win
  • .5714 – MSU with 1 win, Minnesota with 0 wins
  • .5466 -┬áMichigan and Illinois with 0 wins
  • .5238 – MSU with 0 wins.

The Spartans are assured of getting in with two more wins, since the series cancellation at Minnesota cut three games off their conference schedule and skews their percentages favorably compared to most other teams. Lose one to Penn State, and MSU still can make the Big Ten tourney field – but it will need some help.

Even though the Spartans say they won’t be scoreboard watching, there will be plenty of it the next two days around the entire Big Ten. Only Indiana and Ohio State have booked their reservations for Minneapolis. Buckle up for a wild finish.

Also, here’s my feature on senior pitcher Andrew Waszak, the No. 1 pitcher in MSU’s rotation who turned in another stellar outing in Thursday’s win. Junior right-hander David Garner throws today for the Spartans.

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38 Responses to MSU baseball: Big Ten race update

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Chris can you also tweet the results of the Iillinois and Michigan games today?
    Thanks for the help with this.

  2. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Hoke made an arrogant quote, too. Saying they could win just as easily in EL as AA. As a genius tweeted, that’s bold talk for a one eyed fat man. Betting 1-4 becomes 1-6 before the Spartans darken the door of the big sink hole in Arrogant Arbor again.

  3. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Spartan Baseball: how many times in games after routs does one wish they could have saved some of that offense for the next game? Let’s hope yesterday was an example of the Spartans showing that they have learned how to finish.

  4. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Chris , correct me If I am wrong we were percentage points behind heading into the weekend. MSU at 10-8 was odd man out to Illinois and Michigans 12-9. If all three teams go 1-1 MSU is
    12-9 and the other two teams ate 14-10 . Would not 14-10 be percentage points ahead of 12-9?

    • avatar Chris Solari says:

      Rechecked my sheet and made fixes. Slip of the finger computed those for 25 games instead of 24. Thanks, Spartan81.

  5. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    I have a lot riding on this, Lubeck and others are coming to the BTT at Target Field next week and things are getting dicey now. I appreciate it if you would post the Illinois and Michigan Scores when they are final tonight.

    • avatar Chris Solari says:

      Juggling a few things, so I will try to update when I can. Illinois is up 1-0 right now on Minnesota, but they’re in a rain delay. Michigan-Nebraska doesn’t begin until 7:30 EDT tonight.

  6. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Chris ,

    What if Minny and Illinois split, MSU wins tomorrow and Michigan loses two, can MSU at 12-9 edge out UM at 13-11 in that scenario?

  7. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Spartans need to win today and let the other chips fall where they may. Any time one delves into the what if scenario’s and there are as many variables as this in play – the plan is to complex, the probability favors the enemy.

  8. avatar Spartan 81 says:


  9. avatar Spartan 81 says:


  10. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Chris, what’s the next tie breaker after record, we didn’t play Minny this year?

    • avatar Chris Solari says:

      MSU wins tiebreaker with Minnesota due to having a better record vs. teams above the two if they end up tied.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Thanks did not know you had a family event Illinois controls our fate it would be cruel to deny Jake Boss the postseason after this 9 inning comeback. MSu played like a champion today

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          See recent Tweets above right. And credit is due to MI if they win at NE.

          [Dear MI fans: That's what good sportsmanship looks like. It won't kill you to try it once or twice.]

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            We played like champions today 89 we deserve a postseason

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            Which is why I referenced the Chris Webb Tweet. It’s preposterous to have a six-team tourney. Eight teams would set up fair brackets without rewarding cellar-dwellers. No vagaries of double-elimination; teams just go one-on-one until a winner advances.

          • avatar Chris Solari says:

            Bottom line: If you are a top-6 team, you don’t go 3-3 in the final two weekends against Iowa and Penn State. MSU finished 4-5 against the three Big Ten teams it played that didn’t make the six-team tournament field.

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        Absolutely, thanks. Right now it looks moot

  11. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    It’s over in Minny and they go and we don’t

  12. avatar Chris Solari says:

    Game over: Minnesota 2, Illinois 0. Gophers are in. Michigan up 19-5 on Nebraska and appears headed to Big Ten Tournament. Barring a miracle, MSU’s season is over.

  13. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    No miracle dammit

  14. avatar jimb says:

    GO BLUE!!!!!! NO miracles needed!!!

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