Northwestern delivered the last blow in Friday morning’s Big Ten Tournament slugfest with the Gophers. The Wildcats scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh and one more in the eighth to hold on for an 11-7 victory and advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
The Gophers’ final rally effort was spoiled after stranding two runners on base in the ninth inning. They drop into the loser’s bracket and face Indiana in an elimination game Friday at 4 p.m.
The Gophers built an early lead against Northwestern with two runs in the top of the first inning when Micah Coffey hit a two-run home run on the eighth pitch of the game. The lead did not last long.
Northwestern scored three runs with two outs in the bottom half of the first. Connor Lind doubled with the bases loaded, driving in all three runs for a 3-2 lead. The Gophers rallied for a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning and tied the game 7-7 in the seventh, but ran out of offense in the final two innings.
The teams combined for 21 hits, eight extra-base hits, and four home runs. Coffey led the Gophers going 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI.
The game was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday but pushed to Friday morning due to the length of other games. Friday morning’s game lasted nearly four hours.
Game results, brackets and more tournament information are here.