|Minnesota (27-22, 13-11 B1G) at the Big Ten Tournament|
Wed., May 21 - vs. Michigan, 9 p.m. CDT (BTN)
|Wednesday Probable Pitchers||RHP Alec Crawford (4-1) vs. LHP Trent Szkutnik (1-6)|
|Location||Omaha, Neb. | TD Ameritrade Park|
|Game Day Live||Wednesday|
|Social Media||@GopherBaseball | Facebook|
May 19, 2014
Minnesota earned the 4-seed for the 2014 Big Ten Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska. It will be the first time the conference tournament is played at TD Ameritrade Park, the home of the College World Series. Minnesota opens play against fifth-seeded Michigan on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. CT. The contest will air on BTN.
The Gophers went 1-2 at No. 8/18 Indiana.
Minnesota took game 1 in a pitchers' duel, 2-1 in 10 innings. Alec Crawford allowed three hits and a run in 8.0 innings, and Dalton Sawyer gave up one hit in 2.0 scoreless. Indiana's Joey DeNato gave up one run in 9.0 innings. Connor Schaefbauer doubled in Dan Motl for both of Minnesota's runs in the Gophers' first top-10 win since beating No. 2 UCLA last February.
The loss was just Indiana's third of the conference season. Minnesota also ended Dustin DeMuth's 45-game on base streak.
Only Kentucky held Indiana to fewer hits in a game than the Gophers. The Hoosiers had three hits against Kentucky and four against Minnesota.
Indiana made three errors in Friday's game, but the Gophers committed four and lost 7-3.
On Saturday, Matt Fiedler hit 3-for-4, but the Gophers did not take advantage of any of their eight hits in an 8-0 loss. Indiana hit six doubles.
Thursday's win clinched the 4-seed in the conference tournament. Minnesota won the tiebreaker over Michigan by winning the series in Ann Arbor in April.
GOPHERS IN THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
Minnesota is appearing in its 29th Big Ten Tournament, the most by any team in the conference. This is the Gophers' second straight year as the 4-seed. They went 2-2 in last year's tournament at Target Field, with two wins against Illinois and losses to Indiana and Nebraska.
The most recent of the Gophers' conference-record nine tournament titles was in 2010. The others: 1982, '85, '88, '92, '93, '98, 2000, '03, '04.
The Gophers also have 11 second-place tournament finishes, the most in the conference.
GOPHERS AGAINST TOURNAMENT TEAMS
Minnesota won two of three games at first round opponent Michigan in April, including the game that projected Wednesday starter LHP Trent Szkutnik started.
The Gophers went 1-2 in road series against both of their potential Thursday opponents, Iowa and Indiana.
In all, the Gophers are 5-10 against this year's field. They have not faced Illinois or Ohio State, who are on the other side of the bracket.
CRAWFORD, ATHMANN RECEIVE ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
Senior right-hander Alec Crawford was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team, and catcher Austin Athmann to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team on Tuesday. See the full release here.
STARTERS IN THE BIG TEN RANKINGS
Alec Crawford is fourth in the Big Ten in strikeouts (65), and Ben Meyer is fifth (61). Crawford is tied for fourth in innings pitched (91.0), and Meyer is sixth (90.0). Meyer is sixth in ERA (2.50) and fourth in opposing average (.234). In Big Ten play, Crawford is second in strikeouts (42) and innings pitched (58.0), while Meyer is tied for seventh in strikeouts (34) and innings pitched (54.0). Meyer has the most looking strikeouts (19) in Big Ten play. Neal Kunik is fourth in opposing average (.214) in conference play.
CLOSING THE DOOR
Dalton Sawyer has notched a team-high six saves, and also leads the team in wins with a 6-4 record. Sawyer ranks fourth in opposing average within Big Ten play (.233). Brian Glowicki has three and Kevin Kray has two overall. Lance Thonvold earned the Gophers' one other save. Saywer holds a 2.92 ERA in a team-high 40 relief innings.
Since John Anderson has become the head coach of Golden Gopher baseball, there have been 39 different head coaches in the Big Ten. Penn State entered the Big Ten in 1991 and has had three, while Nebraska entered in 2012 with its current coach, Darin Erstad. Michigan has had the most coaching changes at six, while Michigan State has had five and Illinois four. Between Anderson and his legendary coach, Dick Siebert, the duo has coached in more than 3,000 Gopher games. Anderson coached his 1,900th game at Michigan earlier this year.
Anderson is in his 33rd year as the Gophers' head coach and 36th year overall at the University of Minnesota. Anderson currently holds an all-time record of 1,151-770-3 (.599), including a 519-309 (.627) mark in Big Ten play. He is the conference's all-time wins leader.
The current full-time coaching staff has been together for 16 years. Assistant head coach Rob Fornasiere is in his 29th year and pitching coach Todd Oakes is in his 16th year. The Gophers added volunteer assistant coach Patrick Casey before the season.
Gophers Travel to Illinois for Weekend Tilt
Minnesota faces Illinois for first time since 2013 this weekend in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota Drops Contest to North Dakota State
Gophers upset by Bison in midweek non-conference clash in Fargo, N.D. on Tuesday night
Athmann Selected Big Ten Player of the Week
Junior hit .500, slugged 1.000 and extended his on-base streak to 25 games in a row last week