This is shaping up as a pretty good season for Gophers baseball coach John Anderson.
After years and years of waiting, his team has a new on-campus ballpark. Now if the weather would just get better.
Anderson got his 500 career victory in the Big Ten on Sunday when his players pounded Northwestern 7-1 in Evanston, Ill., to sweep a three-game series.
"We just seemed to be able to make the big pitch, have the big at-bar or get the big hit at the right time," Anderson said.
The U is now 22-13 overall, 7-2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is tied for first place in the conference with Michigan.
Anderson's chances of winning Sunday were pretty good when he wrote in DJ Snelten's name as the pitcher.
Snelten is a 6-7 lefty from Ingleside, Ill. He is 3-0 now with a 0.73 ERA and 19 Ks in 24.2 innings. Opponents are hitting a mere .138 off him.
He went 6.2 innings, giving up the one run and four hits.
"DJ made some big pitches early, then eventually we were able to put together a big inning, late again," Anderson said. "We had some crummy weather hee the last two days. It is a compliment to the player for their resiliency and passion showed here this weekend."
The Gophers scored two run in the fifth inning and five in the seventh.
Andy Henkemeyer was 3-5 with two RBI for the Gophers and Connor Schaefbauer was 2-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Henkemeyer is hitting a team-high .331 and had 20 RBI.
Relievers Ben Meyer and Drew Ghelfit shut out the Wildcats over the last 2.1 innings.
"We have had outstanding pitching for the most part out of the bullpen," Anderson said, "as well as from our starting pitching. That has been the key to our season. For most of the year, our pitching staff has given us a chance most every game."
How about the 500th win? "There is a lot of losses in there, too," Anderson said. "Longevity is a wonderful thing. I have been blessed in my career. I have been surrounded by great players and great coaches. And I am happy for those people who contributed along the way."
Anderson's conference record is 500-293.
The Gophers play Augsburg at 3 p.m. Tuesday, then host Michigan State Friday thru Sunday. All games are at Siebert Field.
* The Gophers' staff is third in the conference in team ERA at 2.79. ... Junior lefthander Tom Windle leads the Big Ten with a 1.35 ERA and in strikeouts with 57. Snelten does not have enough innings yet to be considered for the individual leaders list.