April 6, 2014
The University of Minnesota (17-10, 5-4 Big Ten) baseball team dropped a Wednesday game 13-4 at South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits (15-15, 2-4 Summit) scored nine of their runs in the first two innings of the game.
Third baseman Tony Skjefte hit 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI for the Golden Gophers. Aaron Machbitz batted 2-for-3, hit a two-run homer and scored four runs for the Jackrabbits. South Dakota State had nine hits to Minnesota’s eight. Each team committed two errors.
The Gophers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first when Skjefte hit a double to right center, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a grounder by designated hitter Dan Olinger.
South Dakota State came back with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Two hits, four walks and two hit batters gave the Jackrabbits all the runs they would need in the game. Three of the runs were scored on walks or hit batters with the bases loaded. Toby Anderson relieved started Cody Campbell after one third of an inning.
The Jackrabbits added four runs in the second inning to build a 9-1 lead. Machbitz’s home run to left center came after Jake Ratz led off the inning with a walk. South Dakota State added two more runs on three hits the rest of the inning.
Neal Kunik’s relief appearance was a bright spot for Minnesota in the loss. He pitched 3 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings.
Minnesota scored its second run in the fifth. Second baseman Connor Schaefbauer hit a double to left field, and Skjefte’s single through the right side sent him home. The Gophers later added two runs in the eighth on three walks, two hit batters and a fielder’s choice.
The Jackrabbits tacked on three runs in the seventh, aided by errors and a two-run double from Matt Johnson.
South Dakota State starter Tyler Shannon improved to 1-1 on the season with the win. He pitched three innings and gave up three hits, two walks and a run. Campbell (0-1) took the loss for Minnesota.
The Gophers return to Siebert Field to host a series against Nebraska this weekend, April 11-13. Saturday’s game has been designated a Strike Out Cancer game as part of pitching coach Todd Oakes’ Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year fundraising campaign.
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Around the Bases with Luke Pettersen
After a successful first season with the Gophers, Luke Pettersen enters his sophomore season on campus.