ROSEMONT, Ill. – All 13 Big Ten baseball teams will begin the 2017 season this weekend. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Rutgers will compete in road series, while Indiana, Maryland and Ohio State and will compete in tournaments.
Illinois will play two-game series against Lamar and Milwaukee. Iowa will travel to Tampa, Fla., to take on South Florida in a three-game set, while Michigan will play Seton Hall in a four-game series. Michigan State will hit the diamond against Abilene Christian for a four-game tilt and Minnesota plays UC Irvine in a three-game series. Nebraska takes on UC Riverside in a four-game series and Northwestern battles Arizona State in a three-game set. Penn State will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, for three games against TCU, while Purdue hits the road for four games at Texas State. Rutgers is headed to Miami for a three-game series.
Indiana will travel to Surprise, Ariz., to take on Duke, Gonzaga and Oregon State, while Maryland will head to Clearwater, Fla., to face Alabama State, Ball State and Louisville in the Clearwater Tournament. Ohio State opens up the season at the Sunshine State Classic in Osceola, Fla., and will take on Delaware, Kansas State and Pittsburgh.
Maryland was selected as the preseason Big Ten favorite following a vote of the conference coaches. The Terrapins were followed in the preseason poll by Michigan in second place, No. 3 Nebraska, Indiana in fourth place, No. 5 Michigan State and Iowa and Minnesota tied for sixth place. In addition, the conference coaches selected a Preseason Players to Watch List, which can be found on bigten.org.