Eric Best did not live up to his name today as the #1 seeded Buckeyes were knocked out of the Big Ten Tournament by the #2 seeded Minnesota Gophers by a score of 9-6 on Saturday afternoon.
Best came out of the gates stale, giving up four runs in the first inning, a lead Minnesota would never lose. Despite the Buckeyes battling back in the bottom of the first by scoring three runs, they were never able to get on top and put pressure on the Golden Gopher pitching staff which played it's fourth game in three days.
One thing of note today was that Minnesota wide receiver and 2009 football captain, Eric Decker, played center field for the baseball Gophers. Decker continued to keep a hot bat during the tournament, including a solo home run in the top of the second inning. Decker is a tremendous athlete who could go pro in football or baseball after his senior season.
Minnesota takes on Indiana in the championship game, which is now scheduled at 7:30 tonight at Huntington Park. If the Hoosiers win they are the Big Ten Tournament Champions and receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. If Minnesota wins, they force an elimination game which would be played at 12:05 PM tomorrow at 'The Hunt'.
The Buckeyes are still in good shape as Big Ten Champions in the regular season and will most likely get an at-large bid to the Road To Omaha. Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois are the three other conference teams that have a chance to advance to the tournament and if Indiana beats the Gophers for the tournament crown, it will most likely leave Illinois as the lone member of that group to be left out of the bracket. Stay tuned as the entire bracket of 64 teams of the NCAA Tournament will be released on Monday.