Gophers split Big Ten opener

Minnesota picked up the first two games but Indiana came right back to steal a pair of wins.

The schedule finally caught up with the Gophers.

up next

Ohio State
what: Baseball
when: 5:35 p.m., Friday
where: Columbus, Ohio

Minnesota polished off a stretch of 14 games in 18 days with a four-game set against Indiana to open the Big Ten season.

The last 18 days have been a rollercoaster ride for the Gophers baseball team as it saw them lose a series, split a set, sweep a series, split a two-game set with then-No. 2 Missouri and wind up with a split against Indiana.

“It’s been a grind both mentally and physically,” sophomore catcher Kyle Knudson said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and I think we’re starting to come around as a ball club.”

Minnesota (12-11 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) grabbed the first two games of the four game series behind the strength of a rejuvenated lineup.

The Gophers pounded out 17 hits in a 10-2 win over the Hoosiers as senior starting pitcher Tom Buske moved to 3-2 on the year.

Minnesota took the first game of a Saturday double-header as it held on for a 5-4 victory and junior Kyle Carr earned his first win of the season.

Buske and Carr worked effectively out of jams in the first two games to limit the damage, but the Gophers could not do the same in the next two games.

Indiana (12-9 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) scored an 8-3 win in the second half of the double header and won the Sunday finale 8-7.

“We came out playing hard,” junior third baseman Nate Hanson said. “We took advantage of their freshmen pitchers the first couple of games, but we didn’t make as many plays in the field as we would have liked to.”

Minnesota turned two double plays Friday night and another Saturday to help their starters work out of jams, but the second game Saturday saw the Gophers commit three errors in the field leading to three unearned runs.

“We’d rather take three-of-four, but to get a split we really can’t complain about that,” Hanson said. “Our staff just didn’t locate as well as they would have liked to.”

Minnesota pitchers allowed 52 hits over the weekend while the Gophers’ bats only mustered 42 hits.

“If you go back and study the game they had a lot of base runners every game,” head coach John Anderson said. “It seems like we were pitching with guys on base all the time.”

Freshman Seth Rosin made his first collegiate start Sunday and went five innings allowing three runs on seven hits.

“He was outstanding again,” Anderson said. “I was real happy with him.”

After going 11-6 at the Metrodome, Minnesota leaves the friendly confines for the rest of the season.

“I’m going to miss this place a little bit, fielding-wise,” Hanson said. “It’s always nice to play outside.”

Playing outside and on the road have not treated the Gophers well as they have a 1-5 record on the season. Next weekend they travel to Ohio State for a four-game set.