Big Ten Wins Inaugural Big East-Big Ten Challenge
Feb. 23, 2009
The Big Ten Conference won the inaugural Big East-Big Ten Challenge by taking 15 of the 24 games played between the two conferences. The Challenge was held Feb. 20-22 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Big Ten jumped out to a 5-3 lead on Day 1 with wins from Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue. The Spartans won the first game of the Challenge, knocking off Connecticut, 4-2. The Wolverines followed with a 6-5 victory against South Florida on a walk-off hit by senior Kenny Fellows. The Buckeyes then shut out Notre Dame, 2-0, while the Boilermakers outlasted Cincinnati, 11-10, and the Wildcats took down Georgetown, 5-3. Also on Friday, Illinois defeated Iowa, 8-3, in an intraconference matchup.
The Big Ten and Big East split Saturday’s eight-game interconference schedule with wins from Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State. The Hoosiers’ first win of the season came in a 12-4 decision over Georgetown, while the Wolverines improved to 2-0 with a 6-1 triumph over Cincinnati. The Golden Gophers picked up a 5-4 win over West Virginia, and the Buckeyes took down Connecticut, 6-4. Michigan also won a non-challenge game over Purdue, 4-3 in 10 innings, while Penn State defeated Northwestern, 9-1.
On the final day of the event, the Big Ten won six of eight games to put the conference’s final win total at 15. Illinois out-slugged West Virginia, 17-10, while Indiana bested South Florida, 9-7. Michigan improved to 4-0 on the year with a 4-2 win over St. John’s, while Ohio State out-lasted Cincinnati, 6-5, and Penn State earned a 6-1 win over Seton Hall. In an intraconference contest, Minnesota recorded a 7-2 win over Michigan State.
At the conclusion of the event, nine Big Ten players were named to the All-Tournament team by CollegeBaseball360.com, while 11 more received honorable mention recognition. The complete All-Tournament team can be found below.
2009 Big East/Big Ten Challenge All-Tournament Team (presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)