No. 19 Minnesota used nine runs in the opening two innings to guide the team to a 12-7 win versus Kansas on Wednesday afternoon at Siebert Field. The Gophers (29-13) recorded 18 hits from eight different sources in the non-conference clash.
For the second consecutive game, the offense was paced by a pair of four-hit performers. Micah Coffey drilled four base knocks, including a double, while Matt Fiedler went 4-for-6 with three runs and three RBI that was highlighted by a two-run home run.
Austin Athmann and Connor Schaefbauer added two home runs and combined for four RBI as the home team produced six extra-base hits in the nine-inning affair.
Tyler Hanson earned the win on the hill and improved his record to 3-2.
Kansas (19-26) raced out to a 3-0 lead in its opening chance at the plate behind three hits and one error from the Gophers.
Minnesota got two runs back in the home half of the first by way of a two-run shot to left field from Athmann with two outs and bring the score to 3-2 in favor of the Jayhawks.
The Maroon and Gold then matched their largest output in an inning when they scored seven runs in the bottom of the second stanza.
After Coffey led off with a ground-rule double, Jordan Smith flared a single up the middle that scored Coffey and tied the game up at 3-3. Dan Motl then smashed a double to the left-center gap that scored J. Smith and gave Minnesota the lead. The very next batter, Schaefbauer drilled his fourth home run of the season on a fastball that was left over the middle of the plate.
With the score at 6-3, the Gophers then rattled off a pair of run-scoring hits from Toby Hanson and Coffey that plated three runs have sent Minnesota to a six-run advantage at 9-3.
However, Kansas responded by matching its run production from the first inning. The Jayhawks scored three runs on as many hits, including an RBI single to bring the margin down to three.
In the top of the fourth, a run-scoring single to center from Kansas made the score line 9-7.
The Gophers answered and put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth. Once Schaefbauer reached on a fielder’s choice, Fiedler put a drive into one and launched his fifth home run of 2016 to make Minnesota the leaders by three runs at 11-7.
Fiedler grounded out for an RBI in the bottom of the eighth and Jordan Jess slammed the door in the ninth to send the Gophers to their 29th win of the season.
In the series, Minnesota totaled 31 runs on 41 hits, including 15 extra-base hits that featured seven doubles, one triple and seven home runs.
The Gophers return to the diamond this weekend when they host Indiana in a battle with the top two teams in the Big Ten, May 6-8, at Siebert Field.
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