Gophers host Northwestern for Big Ten series at the Dome

Just two days after suffering its worst loss of the season âÄì a 20-5 shellacking by Missouri âÄì the Gophers will try turn things around with a three-game series against conference foe Northwestern this weekend. Minnesota will take on the Wildcats in game one tonight at 6:35 p.m., before a 2:05 Saturday matchup and then will wrap things up on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. All games are slated to be played at the Metrodome. âÄúIâÄôm going to chalk it up as one of those days and weâÄôll move on,âÄù head coach John Anderson said of the GophersâÄô performance against Mizzou. But, unlike in its loss to the Tigers Wednesday, Minnesota will have its top starting pitchers in action, which should cut down on the 14 walks and five hit batsmen the GophersâÄô pitching staff was responsible for. And with the way MinnesotaâÄôs weekend staff has been throwing, the Gophers could be eyeing their first conference sweep this season. The Wildcats are coming off a pair of midweek wins against Elmhurst and Northern Illinois, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Northwestern has lost 8-of-11 games and during that time the Wildcats pitchers have given up 96 runs. Northwestern itself put up 86 runs, 16 of which came in a 16-0 rout of Elmhurst on Tuesday. The pitching woes the Wildcats are seeing, however, should be good news for Minnesota hitters who are hitting a collective .311; the Gophers have six hitters boasting average over .300 this season.