March 14, 2014
The University of Minnesota (8-5) baseball team won at Sacramento State (7-10) behind the pitching of Alec Crawford and Dalton Sawyer. Crawford (1-1) got the win, giving up an unearned run on six hits and striking out four in six innings. Sawyer earned his second save in a three-inning, no-hit outing.
First baseman Dan Olinger, whose hitting streak came to an end at 12 games, drove in the go-ahead run for the Golden Gophers in the fifth inning. Left fielder Jake Bergren had led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a single by second baseman Connor Schaefbauer and a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Tony Skjefte. Bergren (2-for-3) scored on Olinger’s grounder to first.
Minnesota scored its other run in the first inning. Skjefte singled and went on to score on right fielder Bobby Juan’s single up the middle to put the Gophers up 1-0. Juan hit 2-for-4 on the day.
The Hornets’ lone run came in the bottom of the fourth. An error on a pop fly allowed third baseman Will Soto to reach base, and advanced designated hitter Ryan Locke to third. Shortstop Scotty Burcham’s second double of the game scored Locke to tie the game 1-1. Burcham (2-for-4) was the only Hornet with more than one hit.
Crawford and Sawyer got out of several jams to hold Sacramento State to one run. In the first inning, center fielder David Del Grande hit a one-out double followed by a single by left fielder Chris Lewis. Crawford got a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat. There was also only one out in the fourth after Burcham’s RBI double, but two fly outs ended the inning before the Hornets could do more damage.
Sawyer entered the game in the seventh with two baserunners who were hit by pitch. He got a fly out and hit another batter before inducing a double play groundout to end the inning.
Sacramento State had a baserunner with one out in the ninth, but a double play started by center fielder Jordan Smith ended the game. Smith made a diving catch, and a relay from Smith to shortstop Michael Handel to Olinger completed the double play.
Minnesota and Sacramento State will play the second game of their series Saturday at 4 p.m. CDT.
Gophers Adapt and Grow in Fresh Fall Format
A string of injuries to position players proved a blessing in disguise as Gopher Baseball changed up the format during fall ball and saw growth around the diamond.
Gophers welcome fans to six open scrimmage dates
As the fall practice season continues, Gopher Baseball can announce dates for six open scrimmages over the next three weeks.
Minor League Wrap-Up: Sept. 15
University of Minnesota alumni concluded their minor league seasons this week with several cracking postseason play.