April 24, 2013
Sophomore shortstop Michael Handel hit a two-run home run and drove in three runs to help the University of Minnesota baseball team to a 5-3 win, today, over North Dakota State. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 24-13 overall the season, while NDSU drops to 15-15 this year.
Hitting in the No. 2 spot, Handel went 2-3 with three RBI, a run scored and a walk. Connor Schaefbauer was 1-3 with a run scored and a walk, while Dan Olinger was 1-4 with a RBI. Minnesota utilized five pitchers in the win. Ty McDevitt started the game and went 2.2 innings pitched and allowed one run. Ben Meyer picked up his fourth win of the season (4-4), followed by Dalton Sawyer and Lance Thonvold. Billy Soule ended the game and earned the save.
NDSU took an early 1-0 lead when Wes Satzinger belted a solo home run over the left field wall. NDSU threatened in the third inning when it had the bases loaded. Meyer worked his way out of a jam after he allowed a single, a double and a walk to load the bases. He kept the deficit to one run when he struck out Kyle Kleinendorst to end the inning.
Minnesota took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth when it scored two unearned runs. Troy Larson reached base on an error and would later score on a Bison passed ball. After a Schaefbauer walk, he moved to second on a passed ball. Handel drove in his 13th RBI with a single to put the Gophers up, 2-1.
The Golden Gophers added to their lead when Handel hit his third home run of the season. Larson reached base on an error to put one on. On a 3-1 count, Handel stepped up and hit one deep to left field as he plated two additional runs. Ryan Abrahamson kept the inning alive and singled through the left side and was pinch run for by Jake Bergren. Olinger doubled to right field and plated the Gophers' fifth and final run as Minnesota extended its lead to 5-1.
NDSU, however, cut the Gopher lead to 5-3 in the top of the eighth. Jon Hechtner and Kirk Kenneally both walked to put two runners on, two outs. Kleindorst hit a shot deep off the dead center field wall to triple and score two runs. Minnesota, however, got out of the inning when Wes Stazinger popped up to end the inning.
The Gophers, however, would close the door in ninth inning. After a leadoff walk, Minnesota turned its 27th double play of the season for two quick outs. Soule got the final out of the game on a strikeout swinging for his eighth win of the season.
After a three-game series cancellation last weekend, Minnesota returns to Big Ten Conference play this weekend as it travels to Iowa, April 26-28. Friday's game is televised on the Big Ten Network at 6:05 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's games are scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. start time.
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