Buske stellar as Minn. wraps up series win

The first inning set the stage. It took senior starter Tom Buske just five pitches âÄì all of them strikes âÄì to record three outs. Though he couldnâÄôt possibly maintain that kind of efficiency for 9 innings, Buske came remarkably close; he needed just 93 pitches to go 8 2/3 innings and lead the Minnesota baseball team (26-12, 9-4 Big Ten) to a 3-1 win over Purdue (17-20, 5-8) Saturday afternoon at the Metrodome. The Gophers wrapped up a series win in the process after a 4-3 come-from-behind win Friday night. Buske retired the first two batters he faced in the 9th and appeared poised to turn his already longest career outing into his first career complete game. But David BlountâÄôs single prompted pitching coach Todd Oakes to bring in Scott Matyas to face John Cummins, who was about the only Boilermakers hitter to have any success against Buske. âÄúI kind of had a feeling if someone got on or something happened IâÄôd be out right away just because Matyas is great under pressure, a great closer,âÄù Buske said. Purdue knew Buske would pound the strike zone and remained aggressive throughout the game, but Buske moved the ball around the plate and maintained the upper hand all afternoon. As the Boilermakers began connecting with his changeup, he peppered in more fastballs to keep hitters off balance. âÄúI donâÄôt think I threw an inside fastball the first two times through the order, but they started to sit on my changeup a little more,âÄù Buske said. âÄúThey got a couple hits off my changeup and I thought that inside fastball really helped me get through those last two or three innings.âÄù Balls were there for Purdue to hit. Buske walked no one and threw just 24 balls. âÄúWith his command, he wants to pitch to contact,âÄù head coach John Anderson said. âÄúHe wants them to swing early and because of his command he can pitch to a place where they canâÄôt make great contact, especially if theyâÄôre going to be aggressive.âÄù When the Boilermakers made contact, it was rarely solid. And Buske made them miss with regularity, too; he struck out a season-high seven. Of course, BuskeâÄôs performance was especially important since he was just one half of a pitchers dual. Matt Jansen went toe-to-toe with Buske for 6 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits and striking out six. Though almost all the Gophers reached base at least once, no player recorded multiple hits. âÄúGotta give them credit,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúBoth their [Friday and Saturday] starters did an excellent job so I donâÄôt think we can necessarily fault our hitters. Fortunately, we pitched well and played defense. ThatâÄôs the only reason we won the first two games.âÄù Minnesota will try to complete the sweep tomorrow at the Metrodome at 1:05 p.m.