The University of Minnesota baseball team fell in extra innings to the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks, 10-9. After the 11-inning defeat, the Gophers fall to 11-6 in the regular season, while the Mavericks now stand at 2-7. Minnesota and UNO each earn a win in the two-game series as the Gophers had a 6-1 win over the Mavericks on Tuesday night.
Despite the loss, Minnesota had three players hit home runs; Andy Henkemeyer, Matt Halloran, and Michael Handel all added homers to the board, two of which were with a runner on base. Along with the home run, Henkemeyer also had two hits and three RBI to the afternoon match. Ryan Abrahamson went 1-4 with a RBI, while Dan Motl was also 1-4 with a RBI.
UNO took an early 3-0 lead when three batters loaded the bases on a hit by pitch. After a sacrifice fly by Palensky to score the first run, Cole Gruber plated two with a two-RBI single to center.
Minnesota, however, responded with a five-run inning in the bottom of the frame, led primarily by Henkemeyer's three-run home run. Handel led off the inning with a double to left, moved up to third on a grounder to second and scored on a Ryan Abrahamson RBI single to left. After a single by Juan to put runners on the corners, Motl added a single to center as Abrahamson touched home for the second run. Henkemeyer got a hold of a pitch and hit it off the Dome suites and over the right field baggie for the Gophers' third home run of the season and Henkemeyer's fourth career.
The Gophers added to their lead when Halloran hit a three-run home run to put the Gophers up, 8-3. Olinger led off the third with a single and advance to second on an error by the second baseman. Handel pushed Olinger across with a single to left. Halloran stepped in and delivered a two-run home run that was hit in the right field Dome seats.
The Mavericks, however, got the bats going and pushed across five runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 8-8. Omaha used two hits and a hit by pitch to load the bases before Alex Mortensen singled in one run. After another RBI single by Clayton Taylor, Ryan Keele pushed across another two with single. The final run of the inning came on a delayed steal to home from Tyler Splichal.
Omaha took a 9-8 lead when it pushed across a single run in the sixth inning. After two hits to lead off the inning, Cory Buckley was hit by a pitch to load the bases. As Keele hit into a 6-3 double play, a run scored.
The Gophers, however, tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning when Handel hit a solo home run to left field. That was his second home run of the season and the third Gopher home run of the game. The home run would send the game into extra innings for the second time this season.
UNO would threaten in the top of the 10th when the Mavericks would lead off the inning on a single from Brett Bass and moved to second on sacrifice bunt. On a single from Mortensen, Bass attempted to go home, but was thrown out on a 9-3-2 play and tag at the plate.
The Mavericks, however, would score the game-winning run on back-to-back doubles to right center to take the 10-9 lead.
The Gophers used five pitchers and Billy Soule was credited with the loss. Steven Schoonover held the win. UNO left 13 on base, while Minnesota left four.
The Gophers play Indiana State, Friday-Sunday, March 15-17 at the Dome. The two games are set for 6:35 p.m. Friday, 2:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.