Your Gopher nine struggled early this season but they seem to have found their groove in this Big Ten season. Currently the Gophers hold a 1 game lead over Michigan and Purdue in the Big Ten standings with just one weekend left to play. They gave themselves a one-game cushion and separated from the pack just a little with a weekend sweep of Penn State.
The closest game of the weekend was a 5-1 win on Saturday behind freshman TJ Oakes 8 inning, four-hitter. Friday was a 12-7 win and Sunday was an 8-1 drubbing behind senior catcher, Kyle Knudson's 5-5 day at the plate. For their efforts Oakes and Knudson received Big Ten weekly awards.
Knudson received Big Ten Player of the Week honors, while Oakes claimed Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors. It marked only the second time this season that one team swept the weekly honors, as the Gophers joined Penn State who did so the week of May 3. Oakes becomes the third Golden Gopher pitcher to receive the honors, along with Scott Matyas and Seth Rosin. Minnesota is the only team to have three different pitchers claim the honors in 2010. Knudson joins Michael Kvasnicka as the second Gopher to win Big Ten Player of the Week honors this year for Minnesota.
With the season's first series sweep the Gophers are in first place, but their work is not done. Nor does it get easy as they are heading to Ohio State (preseason Big Ten favorites) for the season's final series.
Michigan is also going on the road to face the same Penn State squad Minnesota just swept. Purdue will head to Iowa City for a weekend series with the Hawkeyes.
Should be an interesting weekend with a Big Ten title and conference tournament seeding on the line.