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Boiler baseball picked to finish 8th in Big Ten preseason poll

Big Ten coaches voted for the top Big Ten teams on Tuesday

On Tuesday the Big Ten released its conference preseason predictions picked by the coaches (top 6 teams only). Here’s how the poll turned out:

1. Indiana

2. Nebraska

3. Michigan State

4. Ohio State

5. Minnesota

6. Illinois

The Boilermakers were picked to finish 8th. Let me first start off by saying that these rankings don’t really mean anything, which I’m sure most of you realize anyway. Two years ago when the Boilers were picked to finish 8th in the Big Ten, they came within one game of winning the conference.

Also of note is Purdue’s conference record from 2008-2012. The Boilermakers own the most wins and highest winning percentage of any of the teams (75-51 overall, .595), have three 1st-3rd place finishes, and are the only team to make the Big Ten tournament in each of the past 5 years.

Of the 2013 Big Ten baseball players to watch, junior 3B/C Sean Mchugh, junior RHP Brad Schreiber, and freshman P/OF/1B Kyle Wood were selected from the Boilermaker squad.

The Boilermakers open the season in Dunedin, Florida with the Big Ten/Big East challenge on Friday at 4 against Connecticut. The probable pitching matchups for the weekend are as follows:

2/15/13 at 4 p.m. Purdue vs. Connecticut – Brad Schreiber vs. Anthony Marzi

2/16/13 at 7:30 p.m. Purdue vs. South Florida – Jordan Minch vs. Joey Lovecchio

2/17/13 at 10 a.m. Purdue vs. Louisville – Kyle Wood vs. Jared Ruxer

2/17/13 at 1 p.m. Purdue vs. Connecticut – Robert Ramer vs. Brian Ward

The game versus Louisville will be the game to watch. Louisville was picked #4 in the preseason polls by Baseball America. For those who don’t remember, the Boilermakers faced off against Jared Ruxer last year (Louisville was ranked #19) and won that game in the bottom of the 9th thanks to a walk-off single by Stephen Talbott:

Stephen Talbott walk-off single vs. #19 Louisville 3/27/12 (via Alex Urbanski)

Both Wood and Ruxer are expected to have big years, so it should be a fun game to watch.

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