May 8, 2014
The Golden Gophers welcome Purdue to Siebert Field for a three-game series May 9-11.
LAST WEEKEND/THIS WEEK
• No. 4/6 Florida State swept a three-game series against the Gophers in Tallahassee.
• In the first game of a doubleheader, the Gophers scored three runs on three hits in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Seminoles tied the game and won 5-4 on a walkoff hit by John Nogowski.
• Minnesota cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2, but could not complete the comeback in the second game. Dan Olinger, Mark Tatera, Bobby Juan and Austin Athmann each had two hits.
• After the Gophers’ initial 1-0 lead on Sunday, Florida State scored seven unanswered runs.
• Minnesota tallied 14 hits in a midweek matchup against Augsburg. Matt Stemper went 3-for-3 with a triple.
• The Gophers dropped a Wednesday game against Concordia-Moorhead 3-2 despite outhitting the Cobbers 9-3.
• Minnesota and Purdue have not played each other since 2011. The Gophers swept a series at Target Field, and later eliminated the Boilermakers from the Big Ten Tournament. Minnesota leads the all-time series 107-50-2.
• The Gophers have won three and lost three Big Ten series entering the week.
• At Saturday’s game, the Gophers will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1964 College World Series title, the third in school history. Members of the team will be in attendance for on-field recognition.
• Minnesota will honor seniors David Bettenburg, Alec Crawford, Bobby Juan, Kevin Kray and Dan Olinger at Sunday’s game.
ABOUT THE BOILERMAKERS
• Indiana swept Purdue last weekend in Bloomington. The Hoosiers won 6-0, 7-3 and 12-3 with 42 hits in all.
• Sean McHugh and Kyle Wood lead the Boilermakers in hitting with .301 averages. McHugh also leads the team in slugging at .420 and has three home runs.
• Purdue’s projected rotation for the weekend: LHP Jordan Minch (5.14 ERA), RHP Gavin Downs (4.26 ERA) and RHP Connor Podkul (8.05 ERA).
• Head coach Doug Schreiber is in his 16th season with the Boilermakers. He holds a 454-428 career coaching record.
STARTERS IN THE BIG TEN RANKINGS
Ben Meyer and Alec Crawford are tied for fifth in the Big Ten in strikeouts (56), and Meyer is tied for first with 22 looking strikeouts. Meyer is fifth in innings pitched (77.2), seventh in ERA (2.43) and eighth in opposing average (.238). Crawford is eighth in innings (76.1). In Big Ten play, Crawford is tied for first in strikeouts (33) and fourth in innings pitched (43.1), while Meyer is seventh in strikeouts (29) and innings pitched (41.2). Meyer also has the most looking strikeouts (18) in Big Ten play. Neal Kunik is fourth in ERA (1.74) in conference play.
GOOD WEEKEND FOR PITCHERS
Against Penn State, Minnesota pitchers allowed only one run and combined for 33 strikeouts, including career highs for all three starters. Alec Crawford struck out nine in 8.0 innings, Ben Meyer struck out eight in 8.0 scoreless and Neal Kunik struck out nine in 7.0 scoreless.
BIG TEN PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Shortstop Michael Handel was named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 21 after hitting 6-for-13 with a home run, four doubles and six RBIs against North Dakota State and Iowa. After his performance against Penn State, Neal Kunik was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week on April 28.
CLOSING THE DOOR
Dalton Sawyer has notched a team-high six saves. Brian Glowicki has three and Kevin Kray has two overall. Lance Thonvold earned the Gophers’ one other save. Saywer holds a 2.27 ERA in a team-high 31 2/3 relief innings, and is tied for second with four saves in Big Ten play.
Twice this season Minnesota has poured on 19 hits in a game. The Gophers had 19 hits, including seven doubles, in a 15-11 win at St. Mary’s (Calif.) in March. They equaled their season-high hit total in a 12-0 win against Penn State. The Gophers have scored 10-plus runs six times this year, all wins.
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 at catcher (24 games), first base (six games), second base (one game), third base (nine games) and DH (one game). He has also moved among positions during games.