Title drought no more

Noah Seligman

It took 10 years, but Minnesota’s baseball team took home the title at the Dairy Queen Classic.

After dispatching Nebraska and West Virginia, the Gophers (4-4) topped Florida State 6-1 Sunday at the Metrodome to win the tournament for the first time since 1994.

Tournament MVP Sam Steidl led the offensive attack for Minnesota in the game. Steidl was three-for-four with two runs scored and two RBIs.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the second Steidl helped break the game open.

The senior center fielder singled to right field driving in two runs to give the Gophers a 3-1 lead over Florida State.

“I figured he’d throw me something offspeed,” Steidl said. “I just tried to hit the ball hard. I didn’t do it but it ended up working out.”

Steidl then took second base on a delayed steal, a heads-up play that proved costly for the Seminoles on the next pitch.

Tony Leseman knocked a stand-up double into the left-center field gap bringing in Jared Sanders and Steidl.

“He’s an outstanding player,” Minnesota coach John Anderson said of Steidl. “The leadoff guy, catalyst, sparkplug for our team, the best player in the Big Ten.”

The 5-1 lead after two innings proved enough cushion for the Gophers’ starting pitcher Matt Loberg.

Loberg picked up the win, pitching seven innings. He allowed five hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out three.

Loberg allowed the only Seminoles run in the top of the second and worked out of a jam in the sixth. He did not allow a hit from the third to fifth innings.

Craig Molldrem recorded the save, striking out five Seminoles in two innings of work. Molldrem was perfect in four innings of work in the tournament.

“We had outstanding starting pitching,” Anderson said. “Five runs in three games. That’s quite an accomplishment on this artificial turf.”

Minnesota’s bullpen did not allow a run in 9 2/3 innings during the tournament.

After going 1-3 in the Florida Atlantic Tournament on Feb. 27-29, the Gophers said three wins back in Minneapolis meant a lot.

“It’s huge,” Steidl said. “It answered some questions for us. It just gave us a ton of confidence.”