The Gophers will send Alec Crawford to the mound against Illinois on Friday in a Big Ten Tournament elimination game.

Minnesota would need to win five consecutive games, including two today, to win this tournament and secure the Big Ten’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Gophers probably won’t qualify for an at-large bid.

Illinois can make a strong case to make the tournament regardless of today’s outcome. The Fighting Illini rank 30th in the latest RPI rankings.

One hour after this game ends, the winner will face third-seeded Nebraska.

ILLINOIS (34-17)
1. Lindauer, SS
2. Hurwitz, DH
3. Justin Parr, CF
4. Jordan Parr, LF
5. Hohl, 3B
6. Kerian, 1B
7. Roper, 2B
8. Hendrickson, RF
9. Norris-Jones, C

Starting pitcher: RH Castellanos (3-1, 5.20 ERA)

GOPHERS (31-21)
1. Schaefbauer, 2B
2. Schlangen, RF
3. Henkemeyer, LF
4. Halloran, C
5. Olinger, 1B
6. TBA, DH
7. Handel, SS
8. Abrahamson, 3B
9. Larson, CF

Starting pitcher: RH Crawford (3-2, 2.62 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. TV: Big Ten Network


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Indiana defeats Gophers 4-2, sending Minnesota to losers bracket in Big Ten Tournament

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Crawford, Thonvold keep Gophers alive in Big Ten baseball