As this article on the series finale notes, after dropping the opener on Friday, IU beat Michigan on Saturday and Sunday to take the series. Matt Bashore continued his recovery from the pre-conference season, allowing only one run in 7 and 2/3 innings (although he did allow 11 baserunners). His ERA is now down to 4.48. According to the updated standings at Behind the Plate, IU is in third place in the Big Ten, half a game behind co-leaders Ohio State and Illinois (11-4). IU is tied with Minnesota with a 10-4 record. No other Big Ten team has fewer than 7 conference losses. Here is how the remaining schedules (all are three game series) shape up for the four main contenders:
IU: at Purdue (5-9); Northwestern (3-10); at Michigan State (8-7).
Illinois: at Northwestern (3-10); Ohio State (11-4); at Purdue (5-9)
Ohio State: Northwestern (3-10); Michigan (6-9); at Illinois (11-4).
Minnesota: Iowa (3-11); at Michigan (6-9); at Penn State (5-10).
The two second-place teams have moderately easier schedules than the two first teams. Minnesota, in particular, doesn't play any team in the top half of the Big Ten standings. Also, Northwestern, despite a poor seasom, will have a say in who wins the Big Ten. All of the Wildcats' remaining games are against the top 4.