How Maryland can still clinch a spot in the Big Ten tournament

Maryland baseball can still qualify for the Big Ten tournament despite back-to-back losses against Indiana to start the final series of the regular season, but it’ll take some help from the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Terps must win their game tomorrow against Indiana and have Ohio State beat Michigan State on Saturday. If either of the two things doesn’t happen, Maryland will not be playing in the postseason for the first time since 2013.

Seven of the eight spots have been punched to the Big Ten tournament, awaiting  Maryland or Michigan State to officially claim the No. 8 seed. Whichever team makes it will face Minnesota, who clinched the Big Ten regular season title on Friday.

Here are the current conference standings heading into the final day of the regular season:

  1. Minnesota (18-4)
  2. Michigan (15-6)
  3. Purdue (15-6) 
  4. Illinois (15-8)
  5. Ohio State (14-9)
  6. Indiana (12-9)
  7. Iowa (12-9)
  8. Michigan State (10-12)
  9. Maryland (9-12)
  10. Nebraska (7-14)
  11. Rutgers (7-16)
  12. Northwestern (6-18)
  13. Penn State (3-20)

 = clinched postseason berth
Strikethrough  = eliminated from contention

The Terps began the series with the opportunity to control their own destiny, but after losing the first two games of the series, handed that advantage over to Michigan State. Maryland’s loss Friday afternoon gave Michigan State the ability to pass the Terps in the standings later in the evening at home against Ohio State. They took advantage, beating the Buckeyes, 6-2.

The result put Michigan State one game ahead of Maryland in the standings with one game left in the regular season. It also eliminated Nebraska from contention. Because the Terps won two of three games against the Spartans earlier this season, Maryland owns the tiebreaker if both teams finish 10-12.

Here’s the schedule for Saturday’s influential games:

1:05 p.m. ET — Ohio State at Michigan State

5:00 p.m. ET — Maryland at Indiana

Maryland’s game was originally scheduled for 2:05 p.m., which would’ve overlapped with the one in East Lansing. Now, Maryland will know for sure whether or not its regular season finale against Indiana will matter. Maryland has participated in the Big Ten tournament in each of its first three years as a part of the conference, but is in jeopardy of continuing the streak.

Freshman right-hander Mark DiLuia (3-4, 5.17 ERA) will be Maryland’s starting pitcher against junior left-hander Tim Herrin (4-0, 3.00 ERA).

This story has been updated to reflect Maryland’s game vs. Indiana starting at 5 p.m. instead of the originally-scheduled 2:05 p.m.