April 9, 2009
NU Game Notes vs. Minnesota (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern hits the road for the second consecutive weekend as it travels to nationally ranked Minnesota for a three-game series at the Metrodome. Friday's contest gets underway at 6:30 p.m., Saturday's game is slated for a 2 p.m. and first pitch for Sunday's finale is set for 1 p.m.
Live stats and an audio webcast can be accessed for all three games via gophersports.com. The final two contests can also be heard at mighty1220.com.
The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back mid-week home wins in decidedly different fashion. NU pounded out 21 hits in crushing Elmhurst 16-0 on Tuesday. Sophomore third baseman Chris Lashmet led the way, going 5-for-5 with a walk. Northwestern then went down to the wire with Northern Illinois on Wednesday, getting a two-run walk-off homer from junior left fielder Jake Goebbert to earn a dramatic 6-5 victory. Tommy Finn, who led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, collected a team-high three hits.
NU's bats came to life in the two victories, pounding out 33 hits while batting .440. The Wildcats entered the game against Northern Illinois just 3-9 in games decided by two runs or less and had dropped their first 17 games in which they trailed entering the ninth inning.
Lashmet got his 2009 season off to a slow start, but he has started to heat up. He has gone 12-for-24 the past six games, including the 5-for-5 effort against Elmhurst. He has raised his season average 70 points over the stretch to .283. Lashmet drove in just two runs in his first 13 games, but has driven in at least one in nine of the last 14 contests and currently ranks second on the team with 17 RBI.
Freshman right fielder Quentin Williams has also been swinging a hot bat. He has three straight multi-hit games to his credit and is tied for second on the team with three home runs this season, two of which have come in the last three contests. With six hits in his last 10 at-bats, he has raised his average 110 points to .289.
The Golden Gophers (17-10, 3-2) split a pair of mid-week games at Missouri, winning 7-3 Tuesday before falling 20-5 Wednesday. A.J. Pettersen leads Minnesota with a .384 batting average, while Michael Kvasnicka is hitting .378 with 29 RBI and a team-high 11 doubles. On the mound, Chauncy Handran sports a 5-1 record and a 2.80 ERA, while Tom Buske is 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA. Overall, the pitching staff's 4.56 ERA leads the Big Ten.
Series History: Minnesota leads, 142-71-1.
Last Season: The Wildcats and the Golden Gophers split a four-game series April 13-14, 2008 in Evanston. Minnesota won the first contest 7-4 and the last game 9-3, while NU won the middle two contests 10-0 and 6-5.
A reminder to fans that tickets are still on sale for the Wildcats' game against Notre Dame at U.S. Cellular Field next Wednesday, April 15. Tickets cost just $10 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com.