March 16, 2013
Ben Meyer had a career-high 11 strikeouts, did not issue a walk and scattered just five hits in a complete-game 3-0 shutout over Indiana State, today, at the H.H.H. Metrodome. Meyer improved his record to 3-2 this season and lowered his ERA to 2.14 as the Golden Gophers collected their 12th win of the season (12-7). The Sycamores dropped to 6-7 this year as they had their second shutout this season.
The last Gopher pitcher to have over 10 strikeouts in a game was TJ Oakes, May 4, 2012 against Penn State. Meyer's previous career high was six, which was just last week against Western Illinois. Meyer struck out seven of nine batters in the Indiana State lineup, including Casey McCurdy three times. A previous Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, Meyer's last three starts have been outstanding. Holding a 0.36 earned run average, Meyer has gone 3-0 in 25.0 innings pitched. Scattering 14 hits in the last three games, he's struck out 22 batters and has not issued a walk or an extra base hit.
Offensively, Minnesota was led by Ryan Abrahamson when he went 2-3 with a run scored, while Mark Tatera was also 2-3 with a run scored and a run batted in. Matt Halloran and Andy Henkemeyer each had a RBI.
Minnesota plated two in the third inning and another in the seventh for the win. With one out in the third inning, Bobby Juan and Tatera provided back-to-back singles to put two on before Henkemeyer came to the plate. He delivered a single to left on a 2-0 count to score Juan from second. Halloran would add to the lead when he hit a RBI grounder to short for a 2-0 lead. The Tatera single was the first Minnesota hit of his career, who joined the Gophers as a transfer from Duke.
The Gophers would add their third and final run in the bottom of the seventh. Abrahamson led off the frame with a double to left center and came home to score on a single from Tatera.
The three runs would be all that Meyer would need to complete the shutout. Throwing 121 pitches, Meyer held 86 strikes as he collected his first collegiate shutout of his short career. Of his 11 strikeouts, eight were looking. Making quick work of the Sycamores, the game ended in an hour and 53 minutes, the fastest game for the Gophers this season.
In the top of the eighth inning, Minnesota head coach John Anderson was ejected from the game. After a hit by pitch dispute on Landon Curry, Anderson went out to argue the call and was tossed from the game. The last time he was ejected was at Illinois in the final game of the year.
The two teams will play the rubber game tomorrow at 12:05 p.m.
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Around the Bases with Jeff Fasching
Jeff Fasching, a sophomore pitcher, tossed eight innings of relief for the Gophers last season.
Around the Bases with Luke Pettersen
After a successful first season with the Gophers, Luke Pettersen enters his sophomore season on campus.