Minn. stumbles at K-State

The Gophers fell behind 8-0 early to the ‘Cats, eventually losing the game 12-6.

by Aleutian Calabay

The Minnesota baseball team has little reason to worry, even after losing 12-6 at Kansas State on Tuesday. The Gophers can come away feeling good about having played a solid game, including giving the Wildcats a scare late despite falling behind early 8-0. The nonconference loss hardly hurts the Gophers’ playoff chances. Without harsh ramifications on their season, the Gophers (19-26 overall, 8-7 Big Ten) can just look at the game as another learning experience. “The guys didnâÄôt give up, and we had some good at-bats,âÄù Minnesota head coach John Anderson said. âÄúI was impressed with our offensive ability and error-less defense. We just didnâÄôt get good starting pitching from Allen Bechstein . You just canâÄôt spot a team like Kansas State seven (later eight) runs.âÄù Another sign of encouragement for the Gophers has been the development of their younger hitters, especially as they continue to show more power outside the confines of the Metrodome. Sophomore Nick OâÄôShea continues to have a red-hot May as he smashed another home run Wednesday, giving him four dingers already in the month. Meanwhile, sophomore Trip Schultz smashed a late two-run shot to join the ranks of Minnesota home run hitters. âÄúA lot of us younger guys are starting to look better as weâÄôre putting better swings on the ball,âÄù Schultz said. âÄúA lot of that just comes from experience, and the more at-bats we get, the more comfortable we seem to be at the plate.âÄù The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the board. A pair of first inning triples by Nick Martini and Kent Urban led the way to a three-run inning. The runs continued to come in for Kansas State when it batted around to score four more runs in the second inning. An RBI single by Martini in the third inning gave the Wildcats and early 8-0 lead. The Gophers finally began answering back with an O’Shea solo home run in the fourth inning. Minnesota then started stringing a few hits together in the fifth inning as RBI singles by Andy Henkemeyer and Michael Kvasnicka , and an RBI fielder’s choice by Kyle Knudson closed the gap to four runs. The Wildcats responded with a four run seventh inning, led by a solo home run by Carter Jurica and a two-run double by Blair DeBord . SchultzâÄôs two run blast in the eighth inning cut Kansas StateâÄôs lead to 12-6, the eventual ending tally. The Gophers will wrap up their six-game road trip on Wednesday as they play their second game at Kansas State. Minnesota will be sending sophomore Austin Lubinsky (0-2, 6.89 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. âÄúWe want to come out and win the game,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúObviously you want to come out and instill confidence in the younger players and that comes from playing well against good teams on the road.âÄù