March 2, 2014
Junior Ben Meyer allowed just two hits in seven innings as the University of Minnesota (6-3) baseball team beat Louisiana Tech (3-6) 6-1 in Ruston, La., Sunday.
Meyer retired the Bulldogs in order in every inning except the second. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk in the second. He struck out four batters during the longest start for any Gopher pitcher so far this season.
Minnesota scored the first three runs of the game. The Golden Gophers put two runs on the board in the second inning. Right fielder Bobby Juan reached on an infield single, then shortstop Michael Handel singled and catcher Austin Athmann walked. Juan and Handel scored when left fielder Tony Skjefte hit a double.
Louisiana Tech’s lone run came in the bottom of the third. Nichols hit an infield single and advanced to third on Thomas Simoneaux’s double. Johnson’s sacrifice fly plated Nichols to cut the lead to 3-1.
Both teams were then scoreless until Minnesota’s three-run outburst in the ninth. Athmann was hit by pitch and advanced on a Jake Bergren sacrifice bunt. After second baseman Connor Schaefbauer was intentionally walked, Jordan Smith drove in Athmann with a pinch hit double. First baseman Dan Olinger singled to score Schaefbauer. Then Chris Schaaf hit a sacrifice fly to score Smith.
Schaefbauer hit 2-for-4 in Sunday’s game and 6-for-12 in the series. He stole five bases over the weekend, including two on Sunday.
Lance Thonvold pitched the last two innings and earned a save for the Gophers, while Meyer got his first win of the season. Starter Jared Keating took the loss for Louisiana Tech.
Minnesota will next travel to Myrtle Beach for Coastal Carolina’s Chanticleer Classic March 7-9.
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Around the Bases with Jeff Fasching
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Around the Bases with Luke Pettersen
After a successful first season with the Gophers, Luke Pettersen enters his sophomore season on campus.