|Minnesota (15-9, 3-3 Big Ten) at Michigan (13-5-1, 3-3 Big Ten)|
Fri., April 4 - 3 p.m. CDT
|Friday Probable Pitchers||RHP Alec Crawford (3-1) vs. RHP Ben Ballantine (2-1)|
|Saturday Probable Pitchers
||LHP Jordan Jess (0-4) vs. LHP Evan Hill (1-3)|
|Sunday Probable Pitchers||RHP Ben Meyer (2-2) vs. LHP Trent Szkutnik (0-3)|
|Location||Ann Arbor, Mich. | Wilpon Complex|
|Game Day Live||Friday | Saturday | Sunday|
|Social Media||@GopherBaseball | Facebook|
|Game Notes||Minnesota | Michigan|
April 3, 2014
After its first four home games of the year, the University of Minnesota (15-9, 3-3 Big Ten) baseball team heads back on the road for a series at Michigan (13-5-1, 3-3 Big Ten). The Gophers and Wolverines are scheduled to play Friday, April 4 (3 p.m. CDT), Saturday, April 5 (1 p.m. CDT) and Sunday, April 6 (12 p.m. CDT).
• The Gophers opened their home season by going 1-2 in a series against Michigan State to even their conference record at 3-3.
• Minnesota won the series opener Saturday 4-2. Alec Crawford gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings.Three Gophers--Dan Olinger, Michael Handel and Jordan Smith--collected two hits apiece.
• Michigan State swept a doubleheader on Sunday to win the series. The Spartans drew 16 walks and had 13 hits in a 15-0 win in the first game. They won the shortened (eight-inning) second game 5-0.
• The Gophers also added a Wednesday game against Augsburg when their Tuesday game against North Dakota State was postponed. Minnesota won 1-0. Connor Schaefbauer tripled and scored the only run on a sacrifice fly by Tony Skjefte.
• The Gophers lead the all-time series with Michigan 99-87. Minnesota won two of three games in Ann Arbor last year, including a 13-strikeout complete game for Tom Windle.
• Minnesota’s next game will be its 1,900th game with John Anderson as head coach. He is the program’s all-time winningest coach, with 1,139 wins.
• The Gophers are undefeated when leading after six (12-0), seven (12-0) and eight (11-0) innings. They have not won when trailing after six (0-8), seven (0-7) and eight (0-9) innings.
• Minnesota has played four doubleheaders this season, three of which were against the same team in both games. The Gophers are 3-5 in those games.
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES
• Michigan won its weekend series against Iowa, 2-1. The Wolverines lost a 3-2 opener before scoring late to win both of the next two games. Jackson Glines drove in the winning run in a walk-off win on Sunday.
• Glines leads Michigan with a .324 batting average. Of hitters with at least 75 at bats, Kyle Jusick (.305) and Travis Maezes (.303) are also hitting above .300.
• Left-hander Trent Szkutnik has a 2.80 ERA to lead the Wolverines’ starting rotation.
• Twenty of Michigan’s 29 games this year have been decided by one or two runs.
CRAWFORD FINDING HIS GROOVE
Alec Crawford has a 1.35 ERA in his past three starts, all wins. The streak started with a six-inning outing against Sacramento State, in which he gave up one unearned run. Crawford’s last two starts have lasted seven innings each. He allowed one run against Northwestern and two against Michigan State. Crawford struck out 16 batters in the trio of games, including seven against the Spartans.
MEYER IN THE BIG TEN RANKINGS
Although Ben Meyer gave up five runs in his last start against Michigan State, he has had a hot hand for Minnesota. He had given up one run in each of his four previous starts, including a complete game win against Northwestern. Meyer currently ranks tied for second in the conference in stirkeouts (33), seventh in opposing average (.219) and innings pitched (43.2) and 12th in ERA (2.89). Even in the loss to the Spartans, Meyer struck out a career-high eight batters.
WALK THIS WAY
Minnesota has walked 105 times this season, 18 more times than it has walked its opponents. The Gophers rank fourth in the Big Ten in walks and fifth in walks allowed (87). Connor Schaefbauer has walked 17 times, tied for sixth in the conference. The Gophers have currently struck out 10 more times than they have walked. Last season, they struck out 135 more times than they walked, a 296-to-161 ratio.
SAWYER LEADS THE BULLPEN
Left-hander Dalton Sawyer has pitched 17.0 relief innings, the most on the team, and has yet to allow an earned run. He has only given up one unearned run and held opposing batters to a .203 average, as well as earning a win and four saves. Neal Kunik also has a 0.00 ERA. Kunik has one win and 5 1/3 scoreless innings pitched.
A series of injuries has resulted in five different Gophers starting at catcher this season. Senior Matt Halloran caught the first game of the season, but freshman Austin Athmann became the regular backstop after that. Redshirt junior Mark Tatera caught a few games during that time, until an injury to Athmann made Tatera the first option. Redshirt freshman Troy Traxler has also spent time behind the dish. Most recently, Matt Stemper began catching for the first time since ninth grade. He started the Wednesday game against Augsburg.
Redshirt junior Mark Tatera is the only Gopher listed on the roster as a “utility” player, and that has proven true this season. Tatera has started games at three different positions: first base (four games), third base (seven games) and catcher (12 games). He has also moved among positions during games.
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