Reusse: Gophers baseball eyes a No. 1 seed for Big Ten tourney

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2013 - 6:37 PM

The Gophers baseball team moved back on top of the Big Ten by percentage points after beating Nebraska to end a three-game skid.

hide

Connor Schaefbauer slid into home while playing Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.

Photo: Nicola Losik, Special To The Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Gophers had been in first place in the Big Ten baseball race since sweeping three games from Northwestern a month ago. That changed Friday, when Nebraska opened a weekend series with a 6-0 victory over the Gophers.

Indiana was beating Northwestern and that allowed the Hoosiers to move past the Gophers by percentage points.

“We had lost three straight for the first time [in 2013] — the last game to Penn State, to Milwaukee and then yesterday,” Gophers coach John Anderson said Saturday. “This was a big game; we had to turn it around.”

Anderson is a lifelong Minnesotan. He grew up on the Iron Range. He has been associated with the Gophers baseball program for four decades.

And he agrees with many Minnesota lifers: This is the most miserable spring in our frozen history.

“The difference this year has been you get a couple of nice days and say, ‘Here we go,’ and then back comes the cold, snow and ice,” Anderson said.

Meaning, this wasn’t the choice year for the Gophers to debut the new Siebert Field. Entering this weekend, there was an even split with games scheduled at Siebert: six played and six canceled.

On Friday, the weather and the crowd were good. Only the result was distressing.

On Saturday, back came the cold on the wings of a strong northwest wind. The paid attendance was 1,064 — at least triple what the Gophers would have drawn on a similar afternoon in the last few years at the old, falling-down Siebert.

Righthander Alec Crawford was the Game 2 starter. He was able to get ground balls from coach Darin Erstad’s Cornhuskers in the top of the first.

That’s supposed to be a good thing. This time, it produced three errors from Gophers infielders — all on bobbles, none on throws.

“I know those guys have made those plays 500 times,” Crawford said. “I had to keep throwing good pitches and limit the damage.”

Crawford limited it to two runs that were as unearned as unearned runs can get.

The Gophers came back with a run in the second, and took a 3-2 lead on Kurt Schlangen’s two-run double in the third. Nebraska tied it in the fourth and it still was 3-3 when Crawford departed with two outs in the seventh.

In came Dalton Sawyer, a 6-foot-4 freshman lefthander from Waconia. He left two runners on base, and followed with a scoreless eighth.

Sawyer’s one previous win had come over Augsburg, 4-1 on April 16. The big hit in that victory was Mark Tatera’s two-run single as a pinch hitter.

The result was bit more crucial for the Gophers on Saturday. Another home loss to the Huskers would have decreased greatly the chance of Anderson’s team being able to enter the Big Ten tournament May 22-24 at Target Field as the regular-season champ and No. 1 seed.

Ryan Abrahamson opened the bottom of the eighth inning with a single and was bunted to second. The lefthanded-hitting Tatera came off the bench to pinch hit for designated hitter Alex LaShomb.

  • related content

  • Gophers beat Nebraska to take first in Big Ten again

    Saturday May 11, 2013

    Mark Tatera’s pinch hit single in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Gophers a 4-3 victory over Nebraska...

  • Former major leaguer Darin Erstad watched Saturday’s game from the dugout at Siebert Field. Now coaching at Nebraska, Erstad saw his Cornhuskers fall to the Gophers 4-3 on Saturday thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 4 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 4
NY Yankees 10 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 3 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 6
Texas 6 FINAL
Oakland 7
Cleveland 2 FINAL
Arizona 3
Arizona 7 FINAL
LA Angels 2
Miami 0 Cancelled
Houston 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 5
San Francisco 8 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 FINAL
San Diego 7
Milwaukee 8 FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Detroit 111 FINAL
Orlando 97
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Philadelphia 98
Charlotte 107 FINAL
Washington 110
Boston 96 FINAL
New York 92
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Brooklyn 106
LA Lakers 83 FINAL
Toronto 94
Miami 86 FINAL
Atlanta 99
Golden State 107 FINAL
Memphis 84
Sacramento 88 FINAL
New Orleans 102
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Houston 120
Dallas 76 FINAL
San Antonio 94
Utah 91 FINAL
Denver 107
Portland 87 FINAL
Phoenix 81
Calgary 2 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 5 FINAL
Chicago 2
Dallas 0 FINAL
Edmonton 4
UCLA 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 74
NC State 65 FINAL
Louisville 75
Utah 57 FINAL
Duke 63
Kent State 73 FINAL
Northern Ariz 74
Michigan State 62 FINAL
Oklahoma 58
(15) North Carolina 65 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 67
(18) Iowa 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 81
(9) Arizona State 65 FINAL
(7) Florida State 66
(14) Stanford 60 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 81
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close