Michigan To Host Big Ten Baseball Tournament For Second Consecutive Year
May 20, 2007
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The University of Michigan will serve as host for the 2007 Big Ten Baseball Tournament after repeating as the regular season conference champion. The Wolverines will welcome Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State to Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor for the 27th annual event, which will begin on Wednesday, May 23, and run through Saturday, May 26.
Michigan clinched its 34th conference title on Saturday evening after splitting a doubleheader with Iowa in Iowa City. That same day, Minnesota, who entered the weekend 1.5 games back of the Wolverines, split its doubleheader with Indiana, while Penn State, who opened their series with Ohio State two games behind, swept the Buckeyes. Having already defeated the Hawkeyes in extra innings on Friday night, the one win on Saturday was all the Wolverines needed to clinch the crown and earn the right to host the tournament for the second straight season. Michigan then went on to win the series finale, 7-2, finishing its conference schedule with a 21-7 record.
The remaining teams in the tournament were also decided over the weekend with the final seeds not determined until Sunday evening. Minnesota went 2-2 in its series with Indiana to finish with an 18-9 conference record, while Penn State won its series against Ohio State, 3-1, to put up a 20-10 record. The Gophers and Nittany Lions both finished with winning percentages of .667, but Minnesota earned the higher seed by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker having taken two out of three games from Penn State earlier in the season. Iowa earned the fourth seed after going 1-3 against the Wolverines over the weekend, while Illinois needed its very last game to earn a tournament bid with the fifth seed. Having dropped two of their first three games to Michigan State on Friday and Saturday, the Illini had to win in the finale to clinch a tournament bid or risk surrendering the spot to the Spartans. Illinois trailed 7-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, but put up eight unanswered runs down the stretch to earn a tournament invitation with a 16-14 conference record, while Michigan State finished 15-16. Rounding out the bracket, Ohio State defeated Penn State, 3-2, in its regular-season finale to end its schedule at 15-15, earning the six seed.
The 2007 Big Ten Tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 23 as No. 4 Iowa takes on No. 5 Illinois at 12:05 p.m. ET, while No. 3 Penn State will battle No. 6 Ohio State at approximately 3:35 p.m. ET. The top two seeds in the bracket will begin competition on Thursday as No. 1 Michigan will take on the lower seed of the first- and second-game winners, and No. 2 Minnesota will face the higher seed of the first- and second-game winners. The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.