Handel Homers in Gophers' 8-1 Loss
April 5, 2014
Shortstop Michael Handel’s home run was the University of Minnesota (16-10, 4-4 Big Ten) baseball team’s only score in an 8-1 loss at Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines (14-16-1, 4-4 Big Ten) took the lead in the first inning and kept it the rest of the game to tie the weekend series.
Handel hit 2-for-4 on the day, hitting his second home run of the year to left field in the eighth inning. By that time, the Wolverines had scored six of their eight runs. Michigan had 11 hits in the game, while the Gophers had eight hits and two errors.
Travis Maezes led off the game with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Kyle Jusick’s hit to center. The Gophers started their second inning the same way, with a walk by right fielder Bobby Juan and a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Troy Traxler, but did not score.
Michigan scored two unearned runs in the second. Eric Jacobson reached on an error and scored on a Maezes single. Harrison Wenson, who was hit by a Jordan Jess pitch, scored on a sacrifice fly that made the second out.
Minnesota’s best scoring threat against left-handed starter Evan Hill came in the fourth inning. Singles by first baseman Dan Olinger (2-for-4) and Handel started the inning. Traxler walked with one out to load the bases. But two outs in the infield ended the opportunity.
A two-run home by Jackson Lamb (3-for-4) and an RBI double by Jacobson gave Michigan a 6-0 lead in the fifth, with Tyler Hanson pitching.
Handel’s home run off right-handed reliever Keith Lehmann cut the lead to 6-1, but the Wolverines tacked on two more in the bottom of the inning, the first runs given up by Neal Kunik this season.
Hill (2-3) gave up five hits and four walks in 6 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. Jess (0-5) took the loss after a four-inning outing in which he gave up four hits, three walks and three runs (one earned).
Minnesota and Michigan will finish their series on Sunday with a 12 p.m. CDT game at the Wilpon Complex.