Evanston, Ill. - The Gophers ended their regular season with a 6-5 victory over Northwestern in Big Ten baseball. They were 8-2 in their final 10 games — and finished one game above .500 — after starting the season 2-11.
Jordan Kozicky hit a two-run homer for Minnesota (26-25, 15-9 Big Ten) in the fourth inning and had an RBI double in the sixth.
The Wildcats took leads of 2-0 in the second inning and 3-2 in the third before Kozicky’s homer — his team-leading 10th of the season — put Minnesota ahead to stay.
The Gophers’ three other runs came on Easton Bertrand’s RBI triple and Ben Mezzenga’s RBI single in the third inning and on Eduardo Estrada Jr.’s fielder’s choice in the fifth, which scored Bertrand who had reached base on an infield hit.
Joshua Culliver got the start for Minnesota, but Bubba Horton, who gave up two runs in three innings, got the win. Brett Schulze pitched the ninth and got his seventh save.
The game began at 1:15 p.m. but was stopped for three hours in the fourth inning with the Gophers batting because of rain. So it took 6 hours, 14 minutes to complete.
Next the Gophers, who finished in a three-way tie for third in the conference race with Illinois and Nebraska, will play the Cornhuskers at 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at in Omaha.
Based on tiebreakers, the Gophers are seeded No. 4, behind No. 3 Illinois but ahead of No. 5 Nebraska.
Indiana (36-19, 17-7) won the outright conference title, thereby securing the top seed next week, following its 13-3 win over Rutgers on Saturday. The Hoosiers’ Big Ten regular-season title was their seventh in program history and first since 2014.