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Minnesota Baseball: Gophers Control Big Title Destiny in Final Weekend

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Gopher pitcher Toby Anderson
Gopher pitcher Toby Anderson

After sweeping Purdue over the weekend, and Indiana taking 2 of 3 from Ohio State, the Gophers enter the final weekend of the Big Ten regular season with a 1/2 game lead as they seek their 23rd Big Ten regular season title and first since 2010.

The standings look like this...

  1. Minnesota (15-5) - hosting Ohio State
  2. Indiana (15-6) - @ Nebraska
  3. Ohio State (13-8) - @ Minnesota
  4. Nebraska (13-8) - hosting Indiana
  5. Michigan (12-8)
  6. Michigan State (12-9)

So as you can see, there is a lot at stake this weekend in Minnesota and Nebraska with all four teams who have a chance to win the Big Ten facing off against each other.  Ohio State and Nebraska are looking for some help from each other, both needing sweeps for either to have claim to the title.

The Gophers control their own destiny owning the 1/2 game lead over Indiana and just needs to match the Hoosier's record this weekend.

The good news is that Ohio State has to come here, the bad news is that the Buckeyes are surging.  They just finished a sweep of Michigan, eliminating the preseason favorites from contention for a regular season title, and have won seven of their last eight.

These two teams are the top power-hitting teams in the league and rank 2nd (MN) and 3rd (OSU) in runs scored.  A quick look at the weekend matchups before I implore you to get your butts to Seibert Field this weekend.

THURSDAY

Yes, this weekend series begins on Thursday.

  • OSU - Tanner Tully (7-3, 2.26 ERA, 67 Ks) - Tully leads the Big Ten in ERA and just went 8 innings giving up 1 run with 8 Ks over Michigan.
  • MN - Matt Fielder (7-2, 3.86 ERA, 56 Ks) - the Gopher's MVP but hasn't had a pitching W since April 30 at Illinois
FRIDAY
  • OSU - John Havird (6-2, 3.14 ERA, 52 Ks) - senior lefty
  • MN - Dalton Sawyer (6-5, 3.41 ERA, 92 Ks) - second in Big Ten in strikeouts and a great 2nd day pitcher. A strikeout pitcher who is facing the team who tends to strike out more than any other Big Ten team.
SATURDAY
  • OSU - Adam Niemeyer (4-2, 3.38, 62 Ks) - sophomore right hander
  • MN - Toby Anderson (7-1, 3.12 ERA, 33 Ks) - complete game shutout of Purdue to secure the series sweep over the weekend. 

Those are the pitching matchups.  Should be a great series and a great opportunity for the Gophers.  The weather looks to be fantastic.  You absolutely should get out to Seibert and cheer on the Gophers to a Big Ten Championship. Thursday is supposed to be 70 and sunny, then you get this for the weekend...

I took my family to Seibert for the Friday night game against Indiana.  It is a beautiful complex and you will get to see some great baseball at an affordable price.  Get out and enjoy.

Go Gophers!