Gophers to Conclude Regular Season at Indiana

 Minnesota (26-20, 12-9 B1G) at Indiana (36-12, 19-2 B1G)
Date/Time

 Thurs., May 15 - 7 p.m. CDT (BTN)
 Fri., May 16 - 7 p.m. CDT (BTN)
 Sat., May 17 - 2 p.m. CDT (BTN)

Thursday Probable Pitchers  RHP Alec Crawford (4-1) vs. LHP Joey DeNato (11-1)
Friday Probable Pitchers
 RHP Ben Meyer (4-3) vs. RHP Christian Morris (4-3)
Saturday Probable Pitchers  RHP Neal Kunik (2-1) vs. LHP Brian Korte (2-0)
Location  Bloomington, Ind. | Bart Kaufman Field
TV Coverage  BTN
Game Day Live  ThursdayFriday | Saturday
Social Media  @GopherBaseball | Facebook
Game Notes  Minnesota | Indiana

May 14, 2014

The Golden Gophers (26-20, 12-9 Big Ten) will conclude their regular season with a series at Indiana, the second top-10 team they have faced in the past three weeks. The Hoosiers (36-12, 19-2 Big Ten) are on a nine-game winning streak and are ranked as high as eighth in the national polls. The games Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16 are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CT. Saturday's game is set for 2 p.m. All three contests will air on BTN.

LAST WEEKEND
• The Gophers completed their second Big Ten series sweep of the season, taking three one-run games from Purdue at Siebert Field.
• Purdue went ahead 4-0, but the Gophers came back to win 6-5. Freshmen Troy Traxler, Matt Stemper and Matt Fiedler each had two hits, and Tony Skjefte went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Fiedler hit in the winning run in the eighth.
• The second game was suspended in the eighth inning due to lightning/rain, and resumed on Sunday with the Gophers up 3-2. Sean McHugh hit a three-run homer for Purdue. Tony Skjefte’s two-run homer in the ninth tied it, and Bobby Juan led off the 10th with a walkoff homer to win 6-5.
• Minnesota mounted another ninth-inning comeback in the series finale. Connor Schaefbauer (3-for-5) hit an infield single to tie the game, and Dan Olinger was hit by pitch to end it in a 4-3 win.
Dan Olinger and Jake Bergren both had three hits in the second game.
• Minnesota clinched a Big Ten Tournament berth with its second win of the weekend. 

SERIES NOTABLES
• Minnesota and Indiana last met in last season’s Big Ten Tournament. The Big Ten champions and eventual College World Series participants beat the Gophers 4-2 in the second round.
• The Gophers swept the Hoosiers on the road in 2011 in their last series. Minnesota leads the all-time series 101-40. 

ABOUT THE HOOSIERS
• Indiana swept Penn State last weekend, and beat Louisville, ranked as high as No. 5 in the national polls, on Tuesday. Indiana has won its last nine games
• Dustin DeMuth has reached base in 45 consecutive games, and is batting .389 to lead the team. DeMuth (.467), Scott Donley (.402), Brad Hartong (.397) and Sam Travis (.391)
• Six Hoosiers are hitting over .300, and Indiana holds a team average of .299, including a .330 mark in Big Ten play.
• Projected rotation: LHP Joey DeNato (11-1, 1.91 ERA), RHP Christian Morris (4-3, 2.15 ERA), LHP Brian Korte (2-0, 2.43 ERA). DeNato is 7-0 in Big Ten games. The Hoosiers’ team ERA is 2.30, and 1.61 in Big Ten play.

STARTERS IN THE BIG TEN RANKINGS
Alec Crawford is third in the Big Ten in strikeouts (62), and Ben Meyer is tied for fifth (59). Meyer is second in innings pitched (85.1) and fifth in ERA (2.43) and opposing average (.233). Crawford is tied for sixth in innings (83.0). In Big Ten play, Crawford is first in strikeouts (39) and third in innings pitched (50.0), while Meyer is ninth in strikeouts (32) and tied for fourth innings pitched (49.1). Meyer has the most looking strikeouts (19) in Big Ten play. Neal Kunik is third in opposing average (.188) and 10th in ERA (2.36) in conference play.

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.

OAKES A “MAN OF THE YEAR” CANDIDATE
Pitching coach Todd Oakes, a cancer survivor, accepted a nomination for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Soceity’s Man & Woman of the Year competition to raise money to fight blood cancer. 

Gopher pitching alum Glen Perkins, currently the Minnesota Twins’ closer, joined the campaign, pledging a $100 donation for every batter he struck out during April. The Gophers and Minnesota high school teams also collected pledges for their own strikeouts. The Gophers struck out 87 batters in April, and Perkins fanned 16. The Gophers’ April 12 game against Nebraska was designated as a Strike Out Cancer game, where fans had an opportunity to donate to the campaign. Ohio State contributed to the cause by donating $2 of each May 3 ticket sale to Oakes’ campaign. Locally, Augsburg, where Oakes’ son Tanner pitches, held a Strike Out Cancer game.

The fundraising period ends May 16. To learn more about Oakes and his “Strikeout Cancer” campaign, visit his page at http://www.mwoy.org/pages/mn/MN14/toakes

For full notes and statistics, click the game notes link in the table at the top of the article.