Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm / Updated at 12:50 am
Big Ten baseball rankings, Feb. 13

The World-Herald's Jon Nyatawa ranks the Big Ten baseball teams.

* * *

1. Indiana

The reigning Big Ten champion returns virtually its entire roster. The Hoosiers are a top-10 squad for a reason. They’re loaded.

2. Nebraska

With three starters back in their weekend rotation, the Huskers are confidently predicting an NCAA regional appearance.

3. Michigan State

The Spartans just missed the postseason last year. They’ll be plenty motivated to finish strong this time.

4. Michigan

A highly regarded recruiting class joined the team last fall, bolstering a group of sophomore studs. Lots of potential in Ann Arbor.

5. Ohio State

With several holes to fill, the Buckeyes need a big year from two-way standout Josh Dezse, who missed 2013 with a back injury.

6. Illinois

Pitcher Kevin Duchene headlines a strong group of sophomores on a team that’ll need to replace much of its offensive firepower.

7. Minnesota

No Metrodome means a rare nonconference set of road trips for the Gophers, who’ll have to reload at the starting pitching spot now that their top two arms are gone.

8. Purdue

If the Boilermakers don’t collapse during a brutal nonconference slate, the young club will be much-improved.

9. Iowa

There seems to be a renewed focus and increased level of commitment among a now-seasoned team under first-year coach Rick Heller.

10. Northwestern

The Wildcats have just 15 league wins in the last two seasons. They can be pesky, but they lack depth in an improving conference.

11. Penn State

New coach Rob Cooper takes over a team that suffered a 10-game losing streak and then a separate 1-9 stretch during this past season.

Contact the writer: Jon Nyatawa    |   402-473-9585    |  

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football and baseball, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008.

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