May 11, 2007

Baseball - Minnesota vs. Ohio State

After a disappointing split with Big Ten cellar dweller Northwestern last weekend, the Golden Gophers take on Ohio State at home this weekend. Prior to the Big Ten season, Ohio State was widely considered to be the clear #2 team in the conference. Since the injury to pitcher Dan DeLucia they have floundered to 12-8 in conference play but this will no doubt be an important series for Big Ten tourney seedings. Here is what little info I can muster up on this weekend's series.

Game 1 Friday Night - Ohio State is very good on Friday nights going 4-1 losing only to Michigan in extra innings. They will put one of the Big Ten's best pitchers on the mound in Cory Luebke who is 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA. Minnesota's Friday night pitcher will be sophomore Tom Buske (1-2, 3.13 ERA). This looks to be a bad matchup and we'll rely on the bats to get to Luebke which appears to be a difficult task.

Game 2 - MN will put out Jr. Gary Perinar who has been solid leading the gophers to 4 straight Game 2 wins. Ohio State will pitch Jake Hale (1-2, 5.45 ERA and 10 saves). This is should be our best opportunity for a W.

Game 3 - Sr. Marcus McKenzie will take his 7-0 record (5.44 ERA) against the Buckeyes in this big game 3. This appears to be the most closely matched pitching matchup as Ohio State goes with reigning Big Ten Freshman of the year JB Shuck (3-2, 4.19 ERA). Minnesota is undefeated this Big Ten season in Game 3s (5-0).

Sunday Game 4 - Jr. Dustin Brabender (5-1, 4.53 ERA) will throw for the gophers and I'm guessing this will be to take 3 of 4 or split (if we lose).

Hitters of note...

Mike Mee is putting up some of the best numbers in the Big Ten hitting .423, 42 RBIs and 4 HRs. He'll need to keep a hot bat and let others use it this weekend.

JB Shuck (gm 3 starter) is also very good at the plate (.415, 31 RBIs, 1 HR).

This weekend Michigan is taking on a decent Penn State team. If Minnesota wants any chance of a Big Ten title they have to sweep Ohio State and hope for some help. Michigan losing 3 games over the next 2 weekends isn't too far fetched to believe, but that means Minnesota has to go 8-0. Should be a fun weekend and great weather to get Gopher Nation out to Seibert Field for the last home stand of the season.

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