The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: May 18, 2024

May 18—Big Ten tournament titles won by the Illinois baseball program. The first happened in 1989, the second in 1990, the third in 2000 and the fourth in 2011. The winner of next week's tournament, which started in 1981 and has been held at Charles Schwab Field Omaha in Omaha, Neb., since 2018, earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The double-elimination tournament begins on Tuesday.

➜ . They are the latest News-Gazette High School Athletes of the Week, powered by Copper Creek Contractors. Read more about the duo in Monday's paper.

➜ at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. It's part of Illini Night at the ballpark.

➜ . Detry is tied for fourth place after building upon his 5-under 66 on Thursday with a 67 on Friday.

➜ . How many state titles could Tuscola junior standout Lia Patterson win for the Warriors? What other area athletes and teams might vie for IHSA hardware? We'll find out Saturday in Charleston.

➜ . The Parkland men's golf team has the capabilities to potentially win the program's second national title since 2021. The first round in the four-day tournament tees off Tuesday at Twin Hills Country Club in Joplin, Mo.

➜ . The area's big school baseball teams start their postseason when the first pitch of this Class 3A regional semifinal game gets thrown at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

➜ the Chicago Cubs.

➜ Patty Gasso, Joe Maddon and Coach Mo, my old DACC coach.

➜ when a parent carries a player's ball bag.