Big Ten Announces Bracket for 2009 Baseball Tournament
May 16, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced on Saturday the bracket for the 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, held May 20-23 at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. The Big Ten title was decided during the final game of the last day of the season when an Ohio State win, combined with a Minnesota loss, gave the Buckeyes their first conference championship since 2001.
Ohio State earns its first No. 1 seed since that 2001 championship season and is a top-two seed for the first time since 2004. The Buckeyes finished the conference slate 18-6 and are making their 13th consecutive appearance in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament. Ohio State will receive a bye in the first round and will start tournament competition on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET, facing the lowest seeds of the winners of Games 1 and 2.
Minnesota takes the No. 2 seed in this year’s tournament, finishing the conference season with a 17-6 mark. The Golden Gophers are making their Big Ten-leading 25th appearance in the tournament, having advanced to 11 of the last 12 events. Receiving a first-round bye, Minnesota will begin Tournament play on Thursday at 3:35 p.m. ET and will take on the highest seeds of the winners from Wednesday’s games.
In the No. 3 seed, Indiana (16-7) is making its second consecutive tournament appearance and the team’s seventh overall. This year marks the Hoosiers’ highest seed since the tournament expanded to six teams in 2000 and the squad’s best placement since 1996 when it was the No. 2 seed. The Hoosiers will play in-state rival No. 6 Purdue in Game 2 of the tournament at 3:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The Boilermakers (11-12) earned the final spot in the tournament on the last day of the season with a win over Illinois. Purdue is making its second straight trip to the tournament and its fifth in the last six years.
The No. 4 seed, Illinois (16-8) earned its fifth straight invitation to the Big Ten Baseball Tournament and the program’s 17th overall. The Fighting Illini are the tournament’s No. 4 seed for the second consecutive year, tying the team’s highest placement since 2005 when the they were the tournament’s top seed. Illinois will open the 2009 tournament at Noon ET on Wednesday, going against No. 5 seed Michigan State. The Spartans (13-11) are making their first tournament appearance since 2004 and the program’s eighth overall showing.
The 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament is the conference’s first neutral-site baseball tournament since 1994. Every game of the event will reach a live, national television audience with complete coverage provided by the Big Ten Network. The tournament bracket can be found by clicking the link at the top of the story.