BIG EAST Wins BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge for Second Straight Year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -For the second straight year, the BIG EAST conference has topped the Big Ten in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge, winning 14 of the 24 contests last week. Over the three years of the challenge, the BIG EAST owns a 40-38 advantage against the Big Ten. The BIG EAST won the challenge 17-13 in 2010 before winning by a 14-10 margin this season. Eight BIG EAST squads competed in this year's challenge, including Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Rutgers and West Virginia. Each of the eight schools registered at least one victory, while Louisville went undefeated with a 3-0 record. Cardinals' sophomore Justin Amlung was named Most Valuable Pitcher of the tournament by CollegeBaseball360.com after throwing 7.2 innings of shutout baseball in a win over Ohio State. Other BIG EAST players named to the CollegeBaseball36.com All-Tournament team were Connecticut shortstop Nick Ahmed, Pittsburgh righthander Corey Baker, St. John's outfielder Jeremy Baltz, Seton Hall righthander Joe DiRocco, Cincinnati designated hitter Justin Glass, West Virignia lefthander Harrison Musgrave, Notre Dame outfielder Herman Petzold and Louisville third baseman Cade Stallings. Louisville improved to 6-0 in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge with its 3-0 record this season. The Cardinals held opponents scoreless over the last 23 innings of play and recorded two shutouts in the three games, defeating Ohio State 2-0 and Big Ten favorite Minnesota 3-0. Seton Hall grabbed a 2-0 win over Iowa on the final day of competition behind eight shutout innings from DiRocco. The senior righthander struck out six batters while only allowing two hits and one walk to record the victory. Notre Dame established Challenge records for both runs (19) and hits (25) in a game after thumping Purdue 19-2 on the second day of the tournament. The Irish also recorded the largest margin of victory (17) in a Challenge game. Four BIG EAST squads finished 2-1 including Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John's and West Virginia. Pittsburgh, playing in its first year of the Challenge, was the final baseball-playing member of the two conferences to compete in the Challenge. Scores of 2011 Games Friday, Feb. 18 West Virginia 5, Iowa 0 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, Clearwater Penn State 8, Seton Hall 6 - Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg St. John's 14, Minnesota 1 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium Cincinnati 11, Ohio State 5 - Al Lang Field Pittsburgh 10, Illinois 6 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium Louisville 6, Michigan 3 - Al Lang Field Michigan State 2, Notre Dame 1 - Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin Purdue 10, Connecticut 2 - Florida Auto Exchange Stadium Saturday, Feb. 19 Illinois 7, Cincinnati 3 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium Michigan State 5, Seton Hall 4 - Al Lang Field Penn State 3, West Virginia 2 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium St. John's 13, Michigan 6 - Al Lang Field Minnesota 3, Connecticut 2 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium Notre Dame 19, Purdue 2 - Al Lang Field Louisville 2, Ohio State 0 - Bright House Field Pittsburgh 3, Iowa 2 (11 innings) - Bright House Field Sunday, Feb. 20 Connecticut 16, Michigan 9 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium Louisville 3, Minnesota 0 - Al Lang Field Notre Dame 8, Penn State 5 - Walter Fuller Baseball Complex, St. Petersburg Ohio State 8, St. John's 7 (11 inn.) - Walter Fuller Baseball Complex Michigan State 8, Cincinnati 4 - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium West Virginia 5, Illinois 4 - Al Lang Field Seton Hall 2, Iowa 0 - Walter Fuller Baseball Complex Purdue 5, Pittsburgh 3 - Walter Fuller Baseball Complex 2011 Challenge Records - Big East wins 14-10 Louisville 3-0 Michigan State 3-0 Notre Dame 2-1 Penn State 2-1 Pittsburgh 2-1 Purdue 2-1 St. John's 2-1 West Virginia 2-1 Cincinnati 1-2 Connecticut 1-2 Illinois 1-2 Iowa 1-2 Ohio State 1-2 Seton Hall 1-2 Minnesota 1-2 Michigan 0-3 2011 BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge All-Tournament Team (presented by CollegeBaseball360.com) MVP (Most Valuable Position Player) Brandon Eckerle (Michigan State) MVP (Most Valuable Pitcher) Justin Amlung (Louisville) All-Tournament Team Nick Ahmed (Connecticut) Corey Baker (Pittsburgh) Jeremy Baltz (St. John's) Ryan Clark (Penn State) Joe DeRicco (Seton Hall) John Dezse (Ohio State) Justin Glass (Cincinnati) Matt Morgan (Purdue) Harrison Musgrave (West Virginia) Kevin Plawecki (Purdue) Herman Petzold (Notre Dame) Cade Stallings (Louisville) Honorable Mention Nick Brown (Iowa) Grant Buckner (West Virginia) Sean Hagan (St. John's) Drew Haynes (Louisville) Steven Hill (Penn State) Phil Isaksson (Minnesota) Jeff Holm (Michigan State) Trey Mancini (Notre Dame) Michael O'Neill (Michigan) Josh Parr (Illinois) Barrett Serrato (Purdue) Kurt Wunderlich (Michigan State)