Baseball team overachieved, Gophers coach Anderson says
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- May 23, 2014 - 2:38 AM
Iowa beat the Gophers 2-1 on Thursday in the losers' bracket of the Big Ten tournament, ending Minnesota's season.
"We left a ton of guys on base the last two days," Anderson said, "and a number of guys in scoring position."
The Gophers lost 3-2 to Michigan in their first game.
"You've got to be able to come up with the big hit. ... Everybody has pretty good pitcher and defense. You can't expect to score three runs in two games and be on the [right] side of the won/loss column."
Junior righthander Ben Meyer pitched a four-hitter against Iowa and gave up only one earned run.
"Ben deserved a better fate, no question about it. But we didn't deliver on offense and that has been out struggle all season long -- to be consistent on offense and be able to have quality at-bats.
"We've got to fix that going ahead into 2015."
The Gophers scored their only run in the fourth inning on Dan Olinger's run-scoring double in the fourth.
But the Hawkeyes tied the score in the bottom of the inning on an unearned run and won on a sacrifice fly in the eight.
"I felt great out there," Meyer said. "I had a really good feel for all three of my pitches. And I probably had the best control of my slider, I had all year."
The hitters, though, did an adequate job of getting on base. Four got hits, three got hit by pitches and two walked. The Gophers stranded nine runners, though.
"We didn't do a good enough job on offense, of executing our end of the bargain," Olinger said. "They changed speeds and hit their spots when they needed to.
"It's a battle between pitchers and hitters and they won today. ... Hitting is contagious. ... Sometimes you don't put the at-bat that you want together at the right time."
Maybe next time. Maybe next year.
Anderson was asked after the loss to Iowa about preparations for next season.
"It starts today," he said. "You've got to start thinking aahead, you've got to start planning.You've got to figure out how to make the team better."
And Anderson is optimistic he and his staff can.
"I like the young players in our program, I really do," he said. "I like the last two classes and we've got a good one coming in. There is something to work with here.
"I just hope we have a better spring next year. We can't have three [bad ones] in a row. We have to have a good one, don't we? ... We've got a lot of work to do, but we are not wilting."
Neither did the Gophers, who finished 27-24 this season.
"At the beginning of the tournament, because of the injuries we had, I said I was surprised," Anderson said. "This was probably a team that very easily could have ended up in 10th or 11th place [in the conference] based on what we went through."
Instead the Gophers tied Michigan for fourth in the Big Ten standings and were the fourth seed in the conference tournament.
'They never gave up, they never gave in. They competed," Anderson said. "They competed here [in Omaha]. We have some things we need to work on, no doubt about it."
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