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April 24, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 24, 2014 - Penn State heads northwest, as the squad is set to play a three-game away series at Minnesota in a Big Ten matchup. The three games are scheduled for Friday at 7:35 p.m., Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday at 2:05 p.m. All times are Eastern.
On Deck: Penn State hosts Kent State for their second meeting with the Golden Flashes in as many weeks next Tuesday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. After the game against KSU, the Nittany Lions welcome Mount St. Mary’s to Happy Valley on Wednesday, April 30 for their first and only matchup of 2014.
Follow the Games Live: This weekend’s games will have a number of options in ways fans can follow the action. The games can be listened to live on State College ESPN 1450 or can be heard on GoPSUsports.com. Fans can also follow along with the live stats found on GoPSUsports.com, which allows users to get up to the minute stats and plays from the game.
All-Time Series vs. Minnesota: Penn State and Minnesota have met a total of 62 times on the diamond in program history. The Golden Gophers hold the edge in the all-time series with a record of 37-25 against the Blue and White. The two sides have split the last 10 matchups with each team winning five games. In the last two matchups the road team has found success, as Penn State claimed victories in two games in 2012 and Minnesota returned the favor by taking two in Happy Valley last season. PSU is 13-22 all-time when playing at Minnesota.
Minnesota at a Glance: After jumping out to a 17-10 start to the season, the Golden Gophers have hit a losing skid lately, dropping six of their last eight games for a record of 19-16. Minnesota is 4-1 versus common opponents with Penn State, going 2-0 at Saint Mary’s and taking 2-of-3 against Northwestern. After the Big Ten series against Penn State, the Gophers finish conference play against Purdue and Indiana.
Gophers at the Dish: Minnesota’s offense has struggled through the first 35 games this season. The team has a cumulative batting average of .246, with no player with at least 75 at bats having a batting average over .270. Mark Tatera leads the squad in run production, driving in 23 runs this season. Connor Schaefbauer has the team’s highest average (.267), most runs (26), and most stolen bases (10).
Gophers on the Mound: Entering this weekend’s showdown, Minnesota’s pitching staff has combined for an ERA of 4.12. The duo of Ben Meyer and Alec Crawford have each recorded 62.2 innings of work on 10 starts, which lead the team. Meyer sports an ERA of 2.73, the best of all Golden Gopher starters. Crawford has a team-best 43 punchouts on the season. Out of the pen Dalton Sawyer has been the team’s stopper, recording five saves with a team-best 2.35 earned run average.
Last Season vs. Minnesota: The Golden Gophers took two out of three games in 2013 against the Nittany Lions. Minnesota won game one by a final of 11-2 and followed it by claiming a 7-3 victory in the second game of the series. Penn State prevented a Minnesota sweep in Happy Valley by outscoring the Gophers 4-3 in the finale to salvage the sweep. James Coates went 5-for-10 at the plate in the series, driving in two runs and adding a walk.
Last Time Out: The Nittany Lions struggled offensively in the midweek matchup at Kent State, falling by a final of 4-1. The Blue and White recorded just four hits over the nine innings. The bright spot of the evening came from Geoff Boylston. In the pitcher’s second start of the season, Boylston went five innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out a career-high six opposing batters.
Getting it Dunn: Senior pitcher Tim Dunn has gone from starting the season coming out of the bullpen to now serving as the Friday starter for the Nittany Lions. The senior has an overall ERA of just 1.17 and has stymied opposing bats, allowing a batting average against of .176 in 30.2 innings of work. For Big Ten games only Dunn ranks in the top 10 in ERA (8th; 1.66), batting average allowed (6th; .186), earned runs allowed (5th; 3) and hits allowed (T-6th; 11).
Guering Up in the Big Ten: Redshirt sophomore Greg Guers has taken his play to another level for Big Ten games. Guers leads the team lead in batting average over the 11 conference games with a mark of .311. The sophomore has driven in six runs and scored six himself during league play.