Minnesota Wins the Big Ten Tournament

The Gophers will host the NCAA Minneapolis Regional.

The Gophers made it through the Big Ten Tournament unscathed with a perfect 4-0 record.

Minnesota (42-13) outlasted Purdue 6-4 in the championship game Sunday night in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a close game that went back and forth with five lead changes. The Gophers had to come back from one run down three different times.

With the win, Minnesota earned its tenth Big Ten Championship in program history. The Gophers also secured an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and will now host Canisius on Friday at Siebert Field. 

“They just kept competing for nine innings and that’s been the story,” head coach John Anderson told Big Ten Network. “This is a veteran team that’s played at a high level all year long. We’ll go anywhere and compete with anybody.”

Purdue (37-19) scored one run in the first inning, but Minnesota was quick to respond in the bottom of the second when catcher Eli Wilson hit a solo homerun over the leftfield wall. Shortstop Terrin Vavra continued the trend in the third inning and hit another solo homerun to give Minnesota its first lead of the game. 

The Boilermakers regained the lead with two runs in the fifth inning. First baseman Jacson McGowan hit an RBI double off the left field wall to put the Gophers down by one. Ben Mezzenga answered with an RBI single to centerfield to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Purdue responded quickly by scoring one run in the top of the sixth inning.

The Gophers took the lead for good with a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the sixth from Mezzenga and second baseman Luke Pettersen. Minnesota added an insurance run in eighth inning when Vavra belted an RBI double to centerfield. 

Patrick Fredrickson, Reggie Meyer, Jordan Kozicky, Toby Hanson and Pettersen were all named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Kozicky was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after hitting 5-13 with three RBIs. 

Minnesota routs Ohio State in the semifinals

The Gophers scored six runs in the sixth inning to push their winning streak to nine games. 

Minnesota beat Ohio State (36-22) 8-1 on Friday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Nebraska. The Gophers earned a spot in Sunday’s championship game with the win.

The Buckeyes started the game off with a solo homerun in the first inning and held the lead until the Gophers scored a run off of a sac fly from designated hitter Toby Hanson. 

Hanson kickstarted Minnesota’s huge sixth inning with an RBI triple. Luke Pettersen kept the momentum going with an RBI single to leftfield. Later in the inning, Cole McDevitt drove two runners home with a single up the middle. Shortstop Jordan Kozicky capped the inning with a single to leftfield that drove in two runs. 

“We’ve worked really hard for this, and we’ve started to reach some of our goals” Hanson told Big Ten Network. “We feel like we’re just getting started, we have a lot of important games ahead of us. We just got to keep taking it one day at a time and keep having fun.”