B1G day for Baseball

  • BY Lisa Byington
  • 5.28.12

“Put our blind resume up against other bubble teams and we should be in.”

That’s what MSU’s Jake Boss Jr. told me Saturday before losing to Indiana in the B1G tournament semifinals. Up until this strong case he gave me while standing next to the underground batting cages, I didn’t think the Spartans had a shot at an at-large.

Boss also added, “Regardless of what happens today. I am going to have my team watch the selection show together. I want them to experience the highs and lows. I want them to know that making the NCAA’s is now an expectation.”

Expectation realized.

Kyle Kallander, chairman of the selection committee, told ESPNU Monday that MSU was one of the last teams in. He said the Spartans joined bubble teams like (in no particular order) Indiana State, College of Charleston, Sam Houston State, and Ole Miss.

Some of the last out according to Kallander (again in no particular order): Texas, Wake Forest, and Utah Valley.

The bid for the Spartans is big for them. But also big for B1G.

With Purdue already in and hosting in Gary, many anticipated this being another year of the B1G conference being a one-bid league.

Not this time.

Speaking of Purdue. What a season. I REEEEAALLLY hope fans come out and support the Boilers in Gary. Due to construction delays on their new field, they couldn’t host a tournament this year. The field is ready. The stands for the fans are not. So Purdue is off to Gary, and I hope fans are as well.

The Boilers got the first B1G tournament title in school history Saturday. Not a bad encore for their first B1G regular season title since 1909. No one in the program, let alone Huntington Park last Saturday, was alive when that happened. Not even Purdue pitcher Cal Gunter’s 99-year-old Great, Great Aunt Louise Milton!

Milton was healthy and happy enough to be in Columbus this past weekend to cheer on Cal and the Boilers to another title this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in Gary as well. (For the record, she told me the secret to a long life? “No snacking.” Milton is shooting for 100 Sept. 12)

So are YOU thinking about going to cheer on the Boilers?

Maybe Head Coach Doug Schreiber’s words to me Saturday after winning the tourney title will help:

“When I see these guys win, when I see these guys dogpile, when I see these guys shake hands after winning the B1G tournament and the B1G season, I draw back to some of the previous teams. Because they’ve given to the program. They’ve taught the people after them, and it’s a chain reaction. This program has been building towards this….it’s a result of a lot of teams before them.”

So keep the chain moving forward.

Congrats, Purdue, MSU and the B1G.

about the author

Lisa Byington has worked for BTN, FOX, CBS, Turner, and ESPN. She earned her BSJ and MSJ from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She also played four years of basketball and two years of soccer for the Wildcats.