Big Ten Opens Baseball Season at Big East-Big Ten Challenge
Feb. 19, 2009
The Big Ten opens the 2009 baseball season on Friday at the Big East-Big Ten Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla. Each of the Big Ten’s 10 baseball-playing schools will take part in the challenge and will face off against eight Big East opponents.
Each day of the three-day event will feature eight games between a Big Ten and a Big East team as well as one contest between a pair of Big Ten squads.
Michigan State will play the first game of the event, taking on Connecticut at 10 a.m. ET. The Spartans are led by first-year head coach Jake Boss Jr. The entire Big East-Big Ten Challenge schedule can be found below.
Several All-Big Ten players from a year ago return to highlight the 2009 season. Among them, Indiana catcher Josh Phegley, a unanimous All-Big Ten selection in 2008, is a preseason All-American as named by Baseball America, the NCBWA, Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Ping!Baseball and Rivals.com and is a member of the Brooks Wallace Award and Golden Spikes Award watch lists.
In addition to Phegley, several other Big Ten players are up for national awards. Illinois’ Brandon Wikoff, Indiana’s Matt Bashore, Iowa’s Justin Toole, Michigan’s Chris Fetter, Minnesota’s Matt Nohelty, Northwestern’s Jake Goebbert, Ohio State’s Justin Miller and Purdue’s Dan Black all landed spots on the Wallace Watch list. Fetter was also named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list, and Ohio State’s Jake Hale was named to the preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award.
The Big Ten Network will broadcast up to 30 games during the 2009 season, including the entire Big Ten Baseball Tournament which will be held at a neutral site for the first time since 1994. The 2009 tournament will take place May 20-23 at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio, the home of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.
BIG EAST/BIG TEN CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
February 20-22, 2009
Friday, February 20
Saturday, February 21
* Game televised by Bright House Sports Network
Sunday, February 22