After dropping season opener, Gophers come back to snag two wins

While the Twin Cities dug out of the latest snowfall over the weekend, the Minnesota baseball team opened up its season under the sunny Florida skies. The Gophers came away from the first-ever Big Ten/Big East challenge with a 2-1 record, winning games against West Virginia 5-4 and Michigan State 7-2. Minnesota dropped their season opener to Seton Hall, 11-2. Coach John Anderson blamed some lapses in defense for the Friday loss, but was happy with his teamâÄôs ability to shake it off and come back to get a pair of wins. Sophomore catcher Mike Kvasnicka, who scored four runs and drove in four as well, said the Gophers were able to bounce back well after dropping the Friday game. âÄúThatâÄôs one of our core values is resiliency,âÄù he said. âÄúWeâÄôve really been working on being mentally tough. We played well on Friday but made a few mistakes. But we put it past us and kept our confidence and self esteemâÄù After giving up 11 runs and scoring just two on Friday the Gophers managed to hold their opponents to just six runs and plated 12 themselves. MinnesotaâÄôs hitters found some success over the weekend as after three games, the Gophers have three hitters sporting averages at or above .300, two hitting over .400 and junior Eric DeckerâÄôs 7-for-13 performance has him sporting a .538 average. And the two wins werenâÄôt just important for MinnesotaâÄôs record but as preparation for what the Gophers will have to get done when the conference schedule begins in March. âÄú[The tournament] resembled what our season is going to be like in the Big Ten with the three-game series every weekend,âÄù he said. âÄúThe Sunday game is probably going to be the game that decides who wins the series.âÄù And if it had been a three-game series, Minnesota would have gotten the series win, thanks in large part to a six-inning performance from senior pitcher Tom Buske. Buske gave up only three hits and two runs in his first start of the year. âÄúIt felt good to get out there,âÄù Buske said. âÄúIâÄôm more of a control pitcher and I try to make them put the ball in play. The guys behind me made some good plays in the field.âÄù Though Anderson has not made any decisions as to a consistent starting rotation, he stressed the importance of having a solid arm on the mound Sunday and thought it a good possibility that Buske could end up handling the role. âÄúHeâÄôll be surely a strong consideration for Sunday,âÄù he said. âÄúI think heâÄôs a great match for Sunday. HeâÄôs a senior, heâÄôs got experience, heâÄôs efficient in his pitch count and heâÄôll allow us to use out bullpen a little more the first two days and not have to worry about saving guys for Sunday.âÄù