May 11, 2013
After a 6-0 loss to Nebraska on Friday, the University of Minnesota baseball team tied up the series with a 4-3 victory over Cornhuskers, today at Siebert Field. The Golden Gophers now stand at 29-17, 12-5 in the Big Ten. With the win the Gophers return to the top of the Big Ten standings after Indiana lost, 12-1 to Northwestern. Nebraska falls to 22-26 in the season and 13-7 in the conference.
Mark Tatera delivered the game-winning RBI when he pinch hit and singled to center. Ryan Abrahamson and Matt Halloran both had multiple-hit days. Abrahamson went 2-4 and scored two runs, while Halloran had two hits and one run scored in the game. Kurt Schlangen had two RBI double.
Dalton Sawyer picked up the win for Minnesota as a relief pitcher in the sixth inning. Striking out his last four batters faced, he improved to 2-2 this year and earned his first Big Ten career win. Alec Crawford started the game and went 6.2 innings pitched, scattered seven hits, allowed three runs, one of which was earned. He walked two, struck out three in the no decision.
Nebraska got on the board in the first when Minnesota had three errors in the first inning of play to take a 2-0 lead. With two on, Michael Pritchard had a strikeout looking. The Gophers had back-to-back errors while Kash Kalkowski had a RBI grounder, followed by Blake Headley hit a sacrifice RBI to put the game at 2-0.
Minnesota responded when it plated a run in the second and two runs in the bottom of the third for a 3-2 lead. Abrahamson hit a double to the right-field corner and moved to third on an infield grounder. Abrahamson came in to score on a Nebraska passed ball to cut the Husker lead to one. Minnesota added another two runs when Schlangen drove in two runs on a double down the right field line. Halloran led off the inning with a single, moved to second and third on back-to-back wild pitches by Nebraska starter Kyle Kubat. After Schaefbauer walked, Schlangen brought home both baserunners for his fourth double of the season.
Nebraska, however, tied the game in the top of the fourth when Austin Darby hit a triple, which scored Headley as he reached on a walk.
The two teams went scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning. Following the fourth inning, the Huskers stranded runners in three innings and had a tag and play at the plate in the fifth to end the threat. Minnesota left two runners on in the fifth and one in the seventh prior to the bottom of the eighth. Abrahamson collected his second hit of the day when he singled to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Abrahamson moved into scoring position before Tatera pinch hit. Tatera delivered a blooper single to center as Abrahamson came around to score the game-winning run and his second run scored of the day.
The one-run would be all that Sawyer would need to finish off the Huskers. Darby would start off the inning on a strikeout swinging, while pinch hitter Josh Scheffert also struck out swinging on an 0-2 count. Up the final batter, Sawyer would again get top of the order Rich Sanguinetti to strike out swinging on a 3-2 count.
The win marked the first against Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten Conference. Minnesota went 0-4 last year against Nebraska (one non-conference game in the 2012 Dairy Queen Classic) and earned its first one-run win after getting swept by the Huskers last year, all by one runs.
The two teams will go for the series win tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. DJ Snelten is set to start for Minnesota, while Aaron Bummer is scheduled to start for Nebraska.
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