Friday, April 3, 2009

#25 Minnesota Hosts #18 Ohio State at Metrodome

The Minnesota baseball team (14-8, 1-1) welcomes Ohio State (21-5, 2-1) to the Metrodome for a three-game series. The games will be on Friday, Apr. 3 at 6:35 p.m., Saturday, Apr. 4 at 2:05 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 5 at 12:15 p.m.

Sunday's game was initially supposed to be played at Siebert Field at 1 p.m., but was moved to the Metrodome at 12:15 p.m. Gates will opened at 11:30 a.m. for that game.

All three games will be shown live on the Gold Zone and can be heard on The final two games can also be heard on KLBB (1220).

The Golden Gophers enter week tied for fourth in the Big Ten after the first weekend at 1-1, after splitting a pair of games at Indiana in an abbreviated two-game series due to weather. Ohio State is tied for second at 2-1, after winning two out of three at Penn State last week.

Minnesota enters the week ranked No. 25 in the Baseball America Top 25, while the Buckeyes are No. 18 in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine poll and No. 22 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.

It marks the first time since 1999 that the two teams have both been ranked when playing each other. In that meeting, then No. 23 Minnesota defeated No. 9 Ohio State 10-1 in the Big Ten Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.

Minnesota and Ohio State have also played each other 38 times since the 2002, and have played 13 times in the Big Ten Tournament since 2001.

The Golden Gophers are led offensively by Michael Kvasnicka (Lakeville, Minn.) who is batting .418 with 21 runs, three home runs and 27 RBI. Derek McCallum, who has knocked in 16 runs in the last six games, is batting .375 with a team-high four home runs and 27 RBI. Redshirt freshmen AJ Pettersen is also batting .367 with 22 runs and 16 RBI, while Matt Nohelty is batting .363 with a team-high 23 runs, 12 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

Ohio State is led by Zach Hurley who is batting .385 with 29 runs, four home runs and 33 RBI. Dan Burkhart is batting .384 with 26 runs, four home runs and 31 RBI, while Michael Stephens has a team-high six home runs, 24 RBI, 27 runs and is batting .345.

The pitching match up Friday features senior righthander Chauncy Handran against Ohio State's Alex Wimmers. Handran, who has four straight decisions, is 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 38.0 innings. Wimmers is 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Saturday's matchup will feature Senior Tom Buske against the Buckeyes' Dean Wolosiansky. Buske is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 36.1 innings, while Wolosiansky is 5-1 with a 6.49 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Sunday's matchup will feature sophomore righthander Seth Rosin against Ohio State's Eric Best. Rosin is 1-1 with a 4.55 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 27.2 innings, while Best is 4-0 with a 5.08 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 28.1 innings.

Minnesota enters the week with the lowest ERA in the Big Ten at 4.06 and has a .309 batting average. Ohio State is second in the Big Ten in batting average at .340, and has a 5.51 ERA. The Golden Gophers will have faced the top two hitting teams in the Big Ten in Indiana and ohio State after this week.

This weekend's series will be the first time that Ohio State has faced the Golden Gophers in the Metrodome since the 1994 Dairy Queen Classic.

Courtesy University of Minnesota

No comments: