MINNEAPOLIS – Cole McDevitt’s five RBIs including a sixth-inning grand slam lifted the Gopher Baseball team to a comeback 5-4 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
For the second straight night, opponents jumped on Minnesota (10-4) pitching early as Milwaukee (2-9) scored in each of the first and second innings to take a 3-0 lead using a pair of lead-off doubles in each inning, and then two infield hits in the second to eventually chase starting pitcher Jake Stevenson after just 1.2 innings with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks. A lead-off double in the fourth helped Milwaukee add a fourth run to its total.
The Gophers put one on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when Micah Coffey led off the inning with a double, eventually coming around to score on a single off the bat of Cole McDevitt. McDevitt would do the majority of the damage for Minnesota when he lifted his third home run of the season, this time with the bases loaded in the sixth as he gave the Gophers the lead with a grand slam.
“It was a tough day for us offensively. A lot of guys had some well-hit balls that didn’t fall in,” said McDevitt after the game. “There was a tough call on Micah hitting before me when he struck out. [The grand slam] was a big hit.”
From there, Minnesota turned it over to the bullpen. Brett Schulze (3-0) scattered three hits in 2.0 innings of work, striking out four. Jackson Rose struck out two in 1.0 inning of work, and for the second straight night, the Gophers turned to rookie Max Meyer who earned his fourth save of the season, with catcher Eli Wilson throwing out a would-be base stealer for the final out of the game.
"Once again, the team has played all nine innings all year long. They've been determined to play the game out and see what happens. There's been no quit in them,” said head coach John Anderson after the game. “The bullpen did a fabulous job to keep us in the game, and we obviously had a big hit from Cole. It's good when you can win these games, coming from behind.”
McDevitt finished 3-for-3 with all five of the Gophers’ RBIs. Luke Pettersen and Ben Mezzenga added singles to Coffey’s double early in the game to represent the team’s offense.
“We like him in that role. He's been very valuable to us, and we're going to leave him there. He's having success, he's winning games. There's no reason to bump him up as a starter right now. We thought we'd change his role this year and just see if he would adapt to coming out of the bullpen. So far, so good.” – Anderson on Brett Schulze’s transition to the bullpen.
Cole McDevitt hit the first grand slam for the Gophers since Michael Handel hit one against Northwestern back on March 23, 2014 … the game marked the second time this season McDevitt has driven in five runs, having done so back on Feb. 24 against Chicago State.
Minnesota will conclude its two-week homestand this weekend as the team welcomes Creighton to U.S. Bank Stadium for a three-game series. First pitch between the Gophers and Bluejays is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
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