Iowa pushed a run across in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Gophers 2-1 on Thursday in the losers’ bracket of the Big Ten baseball tournament in Omaha.
Minnesota, seeded fourth, lost both its games in the tournament by one run to finish the season 27-24.
The Hawkeyes’ winning rally started with a hit batter and Jake Yacinich’s single, putting runners at the corners with one out. Dan Potempa’s sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run.
Junior righthander Ben Meyer of the Gophers gave up only four hits, struck out six and walked one.
“We were able to scrape [for] two runs and that was about it,” Iowa coach Rick Heller said. “We didn’t do much offensively against Meyer, but we were able to get enough.”
The Gophers, who also had only four hits, took a 1-0 lead in the fourth against Iowa starter Blake Hickman. Tony Skjefte singled to lead off the inning and scored on Dan Olinger’s double to right-center. A groundout and a double play, sandwiched around a walk, ended the inning.
But eighth-seeded Iowa (30-22) answered right back. Yacinich reached on a throwing error. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second. And Taylor Zeutenhorst’s single brought home an unearned run.
The Gophers put runners in scoring position in three of the final four innings but couldn’t score. They stranded nine runners in the game, including a runner at second base in the ninth after a walk and a sacrifice bunt, to Iowa’s six.
‘‘We felt like we were good enough to win some games here,” Heller said.