Alec Crawford, a first team all-conference pick, got the start for the Gophers on Wednesday night against Michigan in their first game of the Big Ten baseball tournament in Omaha, Neb.
The senior righthander held the Wolverines scoreless for 6⅓ innings, but Travis Maezes’ three-run homer in the seventh off Crawford’s 100th pitch gave Michigan a 3-2 lead and that score held up for the victory.
The Gophers scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Tony Skjefte singled for Minnesota’s first hit in the fourth and scored on Mike Handel’s double. Connor Schaefbauer’s two-out single the next inning drove in the second run.
Minnesota, the No. 4 seed, plays Iowa at 1 p.m. today. The game is on Big Ten Network.
The Wolverines, who had a runner thrown out at home in the second inning, scored their three runs in the seventh on two singles, one that never left the infield, and Maezes’ third homer of the season.
That ended Crawford’s night. Closer Dalton Sawyer relieved him.
The Gophers had a threat in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on, but Jacob Cronenworth, who got his 12th save, got Bobby Juan to ground out on a 3-2 pitch.
In other Day 1 games in the double-elimination tournament:
Indiana 5, Iowa 2: The Hoosiers broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The first scored on Casey Rodrigue’s triple.
Nebraska 7, Ohio State 6: The Cornhuskers rallied to win on four runs in the ninth.
Michigan State 2, Illinois 1: Starter Mick VanVossen of the Spartans allowed just one unearned run against the Illini in six innings.