Michigan State (18-27, 9-10 Big Ten) struck for a big inning of their own for the second-straight game, scoring four runs, chasing starter Patrick Fredrickson from the game after allowing three earned on eight hits in 5.0 innings. No. 15 Minnesota (33-13, 15-4 Big Ten) answered back by doubling up the Spartans’ big inning in the seventh and scoring at least a run in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
Terrin Vavra tripled and scored on an MSU error in the sixth, a precursor to the Gophers’ 8-run, 8-hit seventh. Cole McDevitt lifted a home run to center leading off the inning and added an RBI single in the second time through the order as the Maroon & Gold had 13 plate appearances in the inning. Vavra brought home Alex Boxwell with the game-tying run on a sacrifice fly, and the Gophers took advantage of two Michigan State errors in the inning. Riley Smith, who pinch hit earlier in the inning, got a second chance with two outs and singled home the final two runs to put an exclamation point on the inning.
The Spartans used four different pitchers in the seventh but allowed just two earned runs on the day, with Jake Lowery (4-3) taking the defeat after allowing two runs in just 0.1 inning. Jackson Rose (4-1) picked up the win in relief of Fredrickson, allowing a run on a home run but striking out three in 4.0 innings.
Jackson Rose’s 4.0 innings represented a Gophers career high … Terrin Vavra extended his team-leading nine-game hitting streak. He’s now just one hit off the team season-long of 10 set by Ben Mezzenga earlier this season .. Luke Pettersen has now reached base in 21 consecutive games, and Mezzenga in 19.
The rubber match for the series is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday at Siebert Field and will be the home regular season finale for Minnesota.
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