May 22, 2014
The Golden Gopher baseball team (27-24) fell 2-1 to Iowa in a game with eight total hits at TD Ameritrade Park. The Thursday loss eliminated Minnesota from the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska.
A sacrifice fly by Dan Potempa scored Jake Mangler in the bottom of the eighth for the deciding run. Iowa will move on to play the loser of the Indiana-Michigan game.
Through the first three innings of the game, both Meyer and Iowa’s Blake Hickman held each other’s offenses to one hit apiece.
Both teams scored in the fourth. Tony Skjefte led off the inning with a single to left field. Olinger immediately followed with an RBI double to right-center. Two groundballs, one leading to a 6-3 double play, stranded two Gophers on base.
The Hawkeyes countered with an unearned run. With no one out, Jake Yacinich reached on a throw that pulled Olinger off the base. Potempa’s sacrifice bunt moved him to second, allowing him to score on Taylor Zeutenhorst’s (2-for-2) single and tie the game.
Minnesota had its second-best scoring threat of the game when Skjefte walked and Olinger was hit by pitch with no outs in the sixth. But reliever Jared Mandel, who hit Olinger, induced a flyout and struck out two batters to keep the game tied.
A one-out hit batsman followed by a single set up the winning play for Iowa. Mangler was hit in the eighth and advanced to third on Yacinich’s single through the right side. Potempa then plated Mangler with a fly to right.
Austin Athmann drew a leadoff walk in Minnesota’s last turn at the plate. Jake Bergren moved pinch runner Chris Schaaf to third with a sacrifice bunt, but Tyler Radtke retired the next two batters for his third save.
Mandel (2-1) pitched three innings of one-hit relief to earn the win after Hickman’s five innings and three hits. Meyer (4-5) took the loss despite allowing only one earned run.
The Gophers finish the season with a 27-24 overall record, including a 13-11 mark in conference play. They finished fourth in the Big Ten standings and made their conference-record 29th appearance in the postseason tournament.
Updated on May 25: Dan Olinger was selected to the All-Big Ten Tournament team.
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