Omaha – Junior righthander Reggie Meyer pitched a three-hit shutout as the No. 11 Gophers won for the second time in as many games at the Big Ten baseball tournament, beating Illinois 3-0 in a game that ended early Friday morning.
The top-seeded Gophers (39-13) will have Friday off before returning to T.D. Ameritrade Park on Saturday to play either Michigan or Ohio State at 9 a.m. If the Gophers lose that game, the winner will have to beat them a second time to advance to Sunday’s championship game.
Meyer improved to 7-3 on the season, striking out eight and walking one in lowering his ERA to 2.75. The junior from Totino-Grace is the reigning Big Ten pitcher of the week after he gave up three hits in eight scoreless innings against Rutgers a week ago.
“I just wanted to give it my all, give my team a chance to win,” Meyer said. “… That’s always big when you can stay in the winners bracket.”
Meyer escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the first by getting a double-play grounder. In the bottom of the inning, the Gophers took a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Eli Wilson and Cole McDevitt.
The Gophers scored another run in the fifth when they started the inning with two bunt hits, the first a rare double. Toby Hanson’s hard-hit bunt hugged the third base line, and third baseman Grant Van Scoy let it go — hoping it would go foul. Instead, it hit the bag and rolled into left field and Hanson reached second base.
Luke Pettersen’s bunt was placed well, too, and he beat it out, putting runners on first and third. Pettersen later scored on Terrin Vavra’s groundout.
In other Day 2 games:
Purdue 5, Michigan 4: Evan Warden singled with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to send the Boilermakers to a walkoff victory in the other winners’ bracket game.
Indiana 6, Michigan State 5 (10, Spartans eliminated): Matt Gorski hit a three-run homer for the Hoosiers with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie it, and Indiana won in the next inning on Wyatt Cross’ RBI single.
Ohio State 2, Iowa 0 (Hawkeyes eliminated): Ryan Feltner gave up three hits in six innings and Seth Kinker gave up one in the final three as the Buckeyes shut out the Hawkeyes.