MINNEAPOLIS - The Gopher Baseball team could not manufacture its third come-from-behind victory of the week as Creighton plated three runs in the first and defeated the Gophers 7-3 on Friday night in the first of a three-game series at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Creighton (7-4) scored three runs in the opening frame, jumping out to an early lead on Minnesota (10-5) as the Bluejays jumped on pitches early in the count against starting pitcher Reggie Meyer (1-2) with two RBI singles and a fielder's choice driving in the third run all on the first pitch of an at-bat. Catcher Michael Emodi lifted a pair of home runs in the game.
"Reggie stayed out there and competed and battled," said head coach John Anderson. "I hope the young guys watched. He didn't want us to come get him out of the game. He's disappointed. He's a very competitive young man. The encouraging part is how he competed and got us through seven innings. That will help us in the next two games."
The Gophers got on the board stringing together two singles and a walk in the bottom of the third as Max Meyer led off the inning with a hit to right and came around to score on a single off the bat of Terrin Vavra.
Meyer would work through his early struggles to finish with 6.2 innings pitched, striking out four while allowing seven runs on eight hits on the day. The Bluejays added to the lead in the seventh with a double from Isaac Collins and Emodi's second homer to chase him from the game. Ryan Tapani (3-0) did the rest on the mound for Creighton as he worked 7.0 innings, striking out 10.
With Vavra and pinch runner Drew Hmliewski on base after a single by pinch hitter Riley Smith, Jordan Kozicky ripped a double to right center in the eighth inning to pull the #Gophers within 7-3.
"There's a book on him now. They're moving the defense to his pull side, and he has to fight the shifts. We're trying to get him to hit the ball to right center because they're going to pitch him that way now. That at-bat was huge. Hopefully he'll be able to take something positive out of that." - John Anderson on Jordan Kozicky's eighth-inning double
Bubba Horton's 1.1 scoreless innings of relief work doubled his season total to this point as he had entered the year with just one inning pitched. He struck out three, a career-high ... Terrin Vavra had his fifth three-hit game of the season. He has more three-hit games (five) than hitless games (three) ... Minnesota had out-scored opponents 17-0 in the seventh inning during their first 14 games before Creighton scored three runs in the seventh on Friday night.
Minnesota and Creighton will continue their series on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium. First pitch between the Gophers and Bluejays is set for 2 p.m.Single-game tickets, season tickets, and group ticket packages are available for all 2018 Gopher Baseball games.
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