Poor play across the board leads to baseball team’s 12-3 defeat

by Anthony Maggio

In the rubber match between the University of Minnesota baseball team and 12th ranked Nebraska, on Wednesday, the Cornhuskers bounced the Gophers from windy Lincoln with a 12-3 win. The victory gives Nebraska the series edge this season, as the teams split two meetings last month at the Metrodome.

Minnesota (13-16, 5-3 Big Ten) used seven pitchers in the contest, surrendering 13 hits. Freshman Reid Mahon was credited with the loss.

The trip to Nebraska was the Gopher’s first since 1985, when the teams split two games.

“It’s definitely something that is hard to do, to drive down here and play,” right fielder Jason Kennedy said. “It doesn’t really matter who the opponent is when we play like we did, though. We didn’t play defense. That’s what hurt us today.”

Minnesota committed four errors on the afternoon, the first one -committed by shortstop Scott Welch – snowballed into a four-run first inning.

The early deficit dented the Gophers confidence, but the defensive errors took the wind from Minnesota’s sails.

“It hurts to give up four early runs,” left fielder Scott Howard said. “The four errors hurt us more, though. But their starting pitcher did a really good job on us. He eliminated a lot of what we wanted to do on offense.”

The Gophers got on the board with a run in the third inning and two in the fifth, but were shutout for the last four innings.

“That’s the strength of their team, their pitching,” coach John Anderson said. “They are one of the leaders in ERA in the country, they’re deep, and they’re talented.”

The Gophers pitching, on the other hand, was shaky most of the contest. Matt Loberg and Jeff Moen kept Nebraska off the board in the final two innings, but by then it was too late.

The Cornhuskers posted two runs in the fourth inning, five in the fifth inning, and one in the sixth to put the game out of reach

The middle of the Gophers lineup went 0-for-12 at the plate. Third and fourth batters Luke Appert and Jason Kennedy, the leading RBI hitters in the lineup, both finished 0-for-4, as did fifth hitter Scott Howard.

“We were just a little bit off today,” Kennedy said. “We had several balls hit hard at people and some that were just foul. So things just didn’t go our way. But there will be times when that happens, and other people have to step up.”

Anthony Maggio covers baseball and welcomes
comments at [email protected]