Gophers’ bats drop SDSU in 10 innings

After blowing a ninth-inning lead, Minnesota scored six runs in the 10th inning.

Matt Anderson

Minnesota’s baseball team defeated South Dakota State 19-13 in 10 innings Wednesday in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Gophers scored six times in the top of the 10th, highlighted by freshman second baseman Joe Maciej’s first home run of the year, a three-run shot to put Minnesota ahead for good.

Shortstop Matt Fornasiere rebounded nicely after having his 18-game hitting streak snapped.

Batting leadoff, Fornasiere was 4-for-6 with a home run, a double, five RBIs, a stolen base and three runs scored.

“He’s a pretty resilient kid,” coach John Anderson said. “He had his hitting streak stopped at Penn State on Sunday, and jumped right back out there, and got it going again. That kind of epitomizes his career so far. He’s been pretty good at bouncing back.”

The Jackrabbits forced the game to extra innings by scoring three times in the bottom of the ninth.

Junior lefthander Andy Peters inherited a ninth-inning jam from freshman Dustin Brabender. Entering with a 13-11 lead, no outs and two men on, Peters gave up a game-tying, two-run, two-out single to Tim Hanigan, extending the game into extras.

Minnesota jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning. South Dakota State scored three times in the last of the third and four times in the fourth to take a 7-5 lead.

Trailing by two in the sixth, the Gophers tallied six runs to take an 11-7 lead, on the strength of run-scoring hits by Fornasiere, Mike Mee, Andy Hunter and Dave Hrncirik.

“I think we’re starting to learn how to stay in the present moment and come back in there, have a good at-bat and try to win the game,” Anderson said. “It’s a good sign we may be growing and maturing as a team.”

Peters picked up the win for Minnesota, improving to 2-0 on the season, while Gary Olechoski took the loss for South Dakota State, falling to 0-4.