Gophers Suffer Two Close Losses at FSU

Go Gophers! Olinger had three hits on Saturday, including an RBI double.
Go Gophers!
Olinger had three hits on Saturday, including an RBI double.
Go Gophers!

May 3, 2014

The University of Minnesota baseball team (22-18) dropped both games of a doubleheader at Florida State (35-11) by one run. The Golden Gophers lost 5-4 and 3-2 Saturday at Dick Howser Stadium.

Game 1: Florida State 5, Gophers 4 - Box Score

After losing an early lead and taking it back in the ninth inning, the Gophers lost a heartbreaker in the bottom of the ninth. Minnesota scored three runs in the top of the inning, but the Seminoles got back-to-back RBI singles to win.

Minnesota trailed 3-1 entering the ninth to face reliever Gage Smith. Mark Tatera hit a one-out single. Chris Schaaf followed with a walk. After fouling off several pitches and working to a 3-2 count, Dan Motl (2-for-4) singled to left to load the bases. Connor Schaefbauer's grounder to first scored one run. Then a double down the line by Tony Skjefte scored two and put the Gophers ahead 4-3.

Josh Delph was hit by pitch to lead off the Seminoles' half of the inning. Brett Knief's sacrifice bunt moved him to second. DJ Stewart singled to left to score Delph and tie the game. He advanced to second on an error, and stole third. John Nogowski (3-for-5) then hit a single to left to score Stewart and win 5-4.

The Gophers had taken the first lead of the game early. They loaded the bases in the first, starting with a Connor Schaefbauer single. With one out, Dan Olinger singled through the right side and Michael Handel singled to left field. Bobby Juan hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Schaefbauer.

Gophers' starter Alec Crawford retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. Then the Seminoles tied the game 1-all in the fourth. Stewart doubled off the wall in center and scored on a single by Nogowski.

Florida State starter Luke Weaver left the game in the fifth after being hit with a line drive. Left-hander Billy Strode pitched the next 3 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and three walks and striking out four. Alec Byrd, who got the last out of the Gophers' ninth, got the win in his first decision of the season.

Florida State took its first lead in the sixth. Nogowski singled and Jose Brizuela (3-for-4) doubled off the right-center fence with no one out. Both scored on a two-out double down the line by Ben DeLuzio to make it 3-1.

Florida State had 12 hits to the Gophers' eight. Minnesota committed one error.

Crawford gave up three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Sawyer (3-4) relieved Crawford to get the last out in the sixth and took the loss after pitching through the ninth.

Game 2: Florida State 3, Gophers 2 - Box Score

Minnesota fell behind 3-0, and its late comeback attempt fell one run short. Despite out-hitting the Seminoles 9 to 7, the Gophers lost Saturday's nightcap 3-2.

After a leadoff walk, the Gophers got the next two outs, but a single by Nogowski and an RBI double by Brizuela kept the inning alive and gave the Seminoles a 1-0 lead.

After two 1-2-3 innings for Ben Meyer, Florida State scored two runs in the fourth, one earned and one unearned. Nogowski and Brizuela hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Both advanced on a fly ball by DeLuzio. Nogowski came home on an errant pickoff attempt, and Brizuela scored on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez.

In the second inning, Minnesota had two baserunners with no one out when Handel was hit by pitch and Juan singled to center. But Schaaf, pinch running for Handel, and Juan were stranded when Mike Compton retired the next three batters.

The Gophers again put two men on base to start the seventh. Olinger hit a single and Schaaf drew a walk. Tatera hit a single that scored Olinger to make it 3-1. Schaaf tried to take third but was thrown out. Austin Athmann's single extended the inning, but a strikeout ended the scoring threat.

Minnesota cut the lead to one in the eighth. Olinger's double over first base scored Schaefbauer, who reached on a fielder's choice. Brian Glowicki then pitched a shutout inning of relief to keep the game at 3-2 heading to the ninth.

Juan started the inning with a double on a chopper that took a hop past the first baseman. Jake Bergren pinch ran for Juan. After a missed bunt opportunity, Athmann hit a one-out single that moved Bergren to third. Pinch hitter David Bettenburg hit a foul fly that may have scored Bergren had it been caught, but it fell next to a running Florida State fielder. Peter Miller struck out the final two Gopher batters to end the game and earn the save.

Compton moved to 5-1 with the win. Meyer (4-3) took the loss despite allowing just two earned runs in seven innings. He gave up six hits and two walks and struck out six.             

Olinger, Juan, Tatera and Athmann all hit 2-for-4 in the second game of the doubleheader. Nogowski hit 4-for-4 for Florida State, bringing his daily number to 7-for-9.                          

The series will conclude with a game starting at 12 p.m. CDT Sunday. Like the first two games, the series finale will be available on ESPN3.