March 8, 2014
The University of Minnesota baseball team (7-4) went 1-1 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Saturday. The Golden Gophers lost 5-2 to Elon and beat Coastal Carolina 5-2 in the Chanticleer Classic at TicketReturn.com Field.
Game 1: Elon 5, Gophers 2 - Box Score
The Gophers took an early lead, but could not capitalize on leadoff baserunners in the next few innings to add to that lead. Elon (9-4)starter Lucas Bakker pitched a complete game, including a stretch of 18 consecutive Minnesota batters retired.
Using two hits and two errors, Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Left fielder Jake Bergren reached on an error by the shortstop, then advanced to third on a single by first baseman Dan Olinger. Right fielder Bobby Juan batted a ball through the first baseman’s legs to score Bergren. Olinger then scored on a single by third baseman Mark Tatera.
Center fielder Jordan Smith walked to load the bases with one out, but the Phoenix retired the next two Gophers to end the inning.
Elon scored a run on two hits in the bottom of the first, with center fielder Ryan Cooper singling and scoring on a double by second baseman Sebastian Gomez.
Designated hitter Troy Traxler and second baseman Connor Schaefbauer hit back-to-back singles to start the second, but the next three Gophers went down in order. Tatera was hit by pitch to lead off the third, but was picked off after the next two batters made outs.
The Phoenix went ahead 4-2 in the fourth inning. Designated hitter Chris King walked, shortstop Andy Moore singled and third baseman Nick Zammarelli hit them in with a triple to deep right center. Zammarelli scored on an RBI groundout by first baseman Tucker Norton.
Elon added a run in the fifth on singles by left fielder Casey Jones and catcher Danny Lynch.
Bakker (2-1) held Minnesota to five hits on the game, striking out six, hitting three and walking none. Neither run he gave up was earned. The right-hander retired 18 consecutive Gophers between the third and ninth innings, broken up by Smith’s single.
Alec Crawford (0-1) gave up nine hits, struck out two and walked one in seven innings, his longest start of the season. He retired the Phoenix in order in each of his last two innings. Tyler Hanson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth in relief.
Game 2: Gophers 5, Coastal Carolina 2 - Box Score
With a ninth-inning scoring burst, the Gophers broke a 2-2 tie to win 5-2 against Coastal Carolina (4-8). Schaefbauer doubled in Smith for the deciding run. Each team had six hits in the game.
The Chanticleers plated a run in their first turn at bat. Second baseman Jake Kane led off with a single and scored on a single by third baseman Zach Remillard.
The Gophers went the first 4 1/3 innings without a hit in the game. Their first six baserunners were from four walks and two errors (including a catcher’s interference). Schaefbauer hit a single for Minnesota’s first hit in the fifth.
The next inning, the Gophers took a 2-1 lead. Catcher Tatera reached on an error, and shortstop Michael Handel hit a one-out single. Smith reached on a fielder’s choice, and Traxler hit both of them in with a single.
The Chanticleers tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the sixth. Center fielder Michael Paez walked and scored on a hit by left fielder Connor Owings off of reliever Matt Fiedler.
Smith led off the Gophers’ half of the ninth with a walk, and Traxler’s sacrifice bunt allowed him to advance to second. Schaefbauer doubled down the left line to drive in Smith. Fiedler (2-1), who earned the win, walked and then Olinger and Juan followed with RBI singles to make it 5-2. Olinger extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Starter Ben Smith threw seven innings for Coastal Carolina, giving up two runs (both unearned). He walked five and struck out five. Andrew Beckwith (0-1), who walked Smith before Austin Kerr relieved him, took the loss.
The Gophers will close out their road trip with a game against UNC Greensboro at 10 a.m. CT Sunday.
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