Minnesota baseball wins home opener, 7-1

The Gophers are on a 10-game win streak.

Freshman infielder Eddie Estrada slides through home plate at Siebert Field on Tuesday. After six innings with no runs during a game versus North Dakota State, the Gophers scored seven runs in the seventh inning, later closing the match 10-0.

Niti Gupta

Freshman infielder Eddie Estrada slides through home plate at Siebert Field on Tuesday. After six innings with no runs during a game versus North Dakota State, the Gophers scored seven runs in the seventh inning, later closing the match 10-0.

Luke Hanlon

With a start-time temperature of 62 degrees, it was prime condition for Minnesota’s Tuesday home opener.

The day went about as well as it could for the Gophers, who won their first game at Siebert Field this season, and defeated North Dakota State 7-1.

“We had that 11-game stretch on the road in four different states and three different time zones,” said head coach John Anderson. “You get tired of living out of your suitcase and sleeping in hotel rooms, so it was nice to be back here.”

Tuesday’s victory extends the Minnesota’s current win streak to 10 games.

The Bison got on the board first, scoring a run in the second inning, but it could have been much worse if not for a great play by Eduardo Estrada.

With runners on first and third and only one out, Nick Emanuel hit a line drive down the left field line. Estrada sprinted toward the line and made a diving catch.

Emanuel was credited with a sacrifice fly, as Mason Pierzchalski tagged and scored from third, but the damage could have been much worse if Estrada didn’t make the play.

The Gophers took the lead in the third inning after Estrada singled and Ben Mezzenga and Eli Wilson both walked to load the bases. Micah Coffey grounded out to first base, allowing Estrada to score. Toby Hanson followed with a two-run single to give the Gophers a 3-1 lead.

They would hold onto that lead for the rest of the game, as the combination of Nolan Burchill, Reggie Meyer and Jackson Rose pitched seven shutout innings after the Bison scored in the second.

The Gophers added runs in the fifth and sixth innings, benefitting from the great hitting all the way down the lineup.

Wilson and Coffey both got hits in the fifth, and brought up Hanson with one out. Wilson was able to advance to third on a wild pitch by Blake Stockert, and Hanson grounded out to second base to score Wilson.

Stockert’s lack of control would come back to haunt him in the sixth. With Estrada and Mezzenga on first and second, he threw another wild pitch, allowing each of them to advance. Wilson made him pay for it and hit a two-run single.

This was Wilson’s first game since March 18 when he caught in a win against Sacramento State. The freshman said he was glad to give Cole McDevitt and Matt Stemper a rest after the amount of games they’ve played recently.

“We had a long weekend on the road so I know they were exhausted. I was just glad to get in there,” Wilson said.

The combination of Mezzenga and Estrada got on base frequently in this game, giving the top of the order plenty of chances for RBI. The two combined to reach base on five of their eight plate appearances, scoring five of the team’s seven runs.

“It’s really good to have those guys out there…they’ve been swinging it really well lately,” Wilson said.