Minnesota hosts St. Thomas at Siebert

The Minnesota football team overtook St. ThomasâÄô OâÄôShaughnessy Stadium in St. Paul Saturday for its annual spring game. Tonight, the Tommies repay the visit, albeit for a different kind of ballgame. The Minnesota baseball team hosts St. Thomas under the lights of Siebert Field at 6:35 p.m. On paper, the game is an egregious mismatch, pitting a Division I program against a cross-town Division III school with an undergraduate enrollment roughly the size of MinnesotaâÄôs freshman class. The Tommies (23-8 overall) are ranked No. 7 in the most recent Division III poll and sit atop the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 12-4 record, but a 12-4 MIAC record doesnâÄôt exactly carry the same weight as a 10-4 Big Ten record. Regardless, St. ThomasâÄô .350 team batting average and 3.61 combined ERA are impressive. The Gophers (27-12 overall, 10-4 Big Ten) have the momentum of a three-game sweep of Purdue and loads of confidence in their defense after committing no errors in 4-3, 3-1 and 5-2 victories against the Boilermakers. MinnesotaâÄôs bullpen had little to do but watch starters Chauncy Handran, Tom Buske and Seth Rosin befuddle hitters all weekend so tonightâÄôs game will be a chance for head coach John Anderson to utilize more arms, as he typically does in midweek games. Junior second baseman Derek McCallumâÄôs 3-for-8 weekend, which included his 11th home run of the year, reclaimed him the conferenceâÄôs top batting average. In 2009, McCallum is hitting .395 with a Big Ten-leading 55 RBIs. Buske earns first career Big Ten honors Tom Buske is having the kind of senior year pitchers dream about. HeâÄôs 6-3, owns the conferenceâÄôs lowest opposing batting average (.203) and is second in the Big Ten with a 2.34 ERA. And Saturday, the Apple Valley native had a career day. Buske tossed a career-high 8 2/3 innings, fanned a season-high seven and surrendered just a single earned run as he outdueled PurdueâÄôs Matt Jansen in MinnesotaâÄôs 3-1 win. On Monday, he was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week alongside MichiganâÄôs Chris Fetter. It was BuskeâÄôs first career Big Ten award and the GophersâÄô second in as many weeks. Last week, McCallum was named Big Ten Player of the Week after he batted .636, hit six home runs and drove in 20 in five games.