Big Ten Baseball Season in Review
July 13, 2010
Minnesota came out on top of the 2010 Big Ten baseball season, winning the conference’s regular season crown and tournament championship.
The Big Ten championship was decided on the final weekend of play with the Golden Gophers guaranteeing themselves at least a share of the crown on Friday, May 21, before clinching the outright title the following afternoon. The conference championship marked the 22nd in team history and the program’s first since 2004.
Minnesota and Michigan were the first two teams to secure berths into the Big Ten Tournament, not doing so until the first day of the final weekend of the regular season. The rest of the field was determined on the final day of the regular season with No. 3 Northwestern, No. 4 Iowa, No. 5 Purdue and No. 6 Indiana filling out the bracket.
The 2010 Big Ten Baseball Tournament was held at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, marking the conference’s second consecutive neutral-site baseball tournament. Minnesota stormed through the top half of the bracket to earn one spot in the championship game, while Iowa came through the bottom portion, marking the first time since 1983 that the Hawkeyes advanced to the title contest. The Golden Gophers came out on top of a 15-5 affair to take home the program’s ninth tournament title, which leads all Big Ten teams. For more information on the 2010 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, including the All-Tournament Team, see Page 3 of this release.
With the tournament victory, Minnesota earned the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Championship. The Gophers made their conference-leading 30th appearance in the bracket as the No. 4 seed in the Fullerton, Calif., Regional, where they opened tournament play with a 3-1 win over the host Titans. With the victory, Minnesota became the only No. 4 seed to beat a No. 1 seed on the opening day of the 2010 tournament. The Gophers also posted a win over No. 3 New Mexico in regional competition before their season ended with two consecutive losses to Cal State Fullerton. Michael Kvasnicka, Kyle Knudson and Seth Rosin earned spots on the NCAA All-Regional Team.
In early June, 26 Big Ten players were taken in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, including Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers who went to the Minnesota Twins with the 21st overall selection, marking the Big Ten’s highest draftee since 2002. Wimmers was one of 11 conference players taken in the draft’s first 10 rounds, which is the Big Ten’s highest total in at least the past decade. A complete list of Big Ten draft picks can be found on Page 6 of this release.
Wimmers grabbed another honor on July 2, named national Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation. The right-hander was the second recipient in the award’s history, earning the hardware after compiling a 9-0 record with a 1.61 ERA. Wimmers, along with several other Big Ten players, earned All-America status and placement on other national awards lists. For a complete list, view Page 3 of this release.
The Big Ten Conference also bid farewell to a Hall of Fame coach during the 2010 season. Ohio State’s Bob Todd announced his plans to retire at the end of the season on May 5, following 39 seasons as a head coach, including 37 years at the Division I level. Todd picked up career win No. 1,000 during the 2010 season, and accumulated 901 wins in 23 years with the Buckeyes. Ohio State named Todd’s successor, Greg Beals, on June 17. Beals spent the previous eight seasons at Ball State.