The Illinois Fighting Illini will play their third game of the Big Ten Tournament today against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This game will be a re-match of Wednesday’s meeting between the Illini and Golden Gophers where Minnesota won, 4-3.
The Illini picked things up on Thursday against the Michigan Wolverines. There offense played better against the Wolverines, but it was John Kravetz’s pitching that won the game for the Fighting Illini.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers come into today’s game after losing to the Indiana Hoosiers, 4-2, on Thursday. The Golden Gophers have an overall record of 31-21 and a Big Ten Conference record of 13-8.
Offensively, Minnesota has one of the lowest batting averages in the Big Ten (.258). Although, they have two players hitting over .300.
These players are Troy Larson and Andy Henkemeyer.
Henkemeyer is arguably the best hitter on the team as he leads the team in hits (61), triples (tied with 3), RBIs (28), and slugging percentage (.423).
Illinois can win Friday’s first game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. They just need their offense to be there as it has been all season.
The Illini left thirteen runners in scoring position and were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday against Minnesota. This cannot happen today.
If the pitching can be half as good as it was on Thursday and the offense can avoid leaving runners in scoring position, then Illinois should be able to defeat the Golden Gophers.
The winner of this game will face off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 3:35 CT on Friday.
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