A late comeback keeps the Gophers undefeated in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers rallied late against UCLA to remain undefeated in the NCAA Tournament

Pitcher Max Meyer walks off the field as his teammates fist bump to his successful inning during the game against UCLA on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Siebert Field. The Gophers won 3-2.

Ellen Schmidt

Pitcher Max Meyer walks off the field as his teammates fist bump to his successful inning during the game against UCLA on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Siebert Field. The Gophers won 3-2.

David Mullen

In an extra inning nail biter at the Gophers’ (43-20) won their second NCAA Tournament Regional game.

In a game plagued by delays the Gophers managed to come back late to beat the UCLA Bruins (37-20) 3-2 in a 10-inning battle shortly after midnight Sunday.

The bats for the Gophers were not as lively as they were Friday, but that was due to the defensive play by the Bruins.

“Teams that pitch and play good defense make it hard,” Head Coach John Anderson said. 

Luckily for the Gophers, the bats sparked up when they needed it most.

The top of the 10th inning started with a single by shortstop All-American Terrin Vavra. He advanced to second base after a sacrifice bunt was put down by catcher Eli Wilson. 

On a 1-1 count to third baseman Micah Coffey, he lit up Siebert Field by lining the ball to right field, scoring Vavra, and ending up on second base, which put the Gophers ahead 3-2. 

“It felt really good to come through,” Coffey said. “I was trying to slow the game down and do my best to get a pitch I could hit.”

Freshman pitcher Max Meyer, finished off the game striking out the side, and keeping the Gophers undefeated in the NCAA Tournament. 

This was the freshman’s’ first appearance in an NCAA Tournament game and he said he was ready for the pressure

“I was thankful he [Coffey] got the run so I could get three more outs and get out of there,” Meyer said.

Meyer pitched three innings, striking out six batters, while only allowing one hit and walk. 

UCLA took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning after first baseman Michael Toglia, hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring their leadoff batter Jeremy Ydens who led the Bruins off with a single before 38-minute lightning delay.

The second game Saturday was already pushed back an hour due to a rain delay during the Gonzaga, Canisius matchup.

Outfielder Alex Boxwell, answered UCLAs run by hitting a solo shot to center field in the top of the second leaving the game tied at 1 a piece.

A leadoff walk to outfielder Daniel Amaral, turned into the final tally for the Bruins in the scoring column during the bottom of the second inning.

After six innings of scoreless baseball, the Gophers bats ignited.

A pair of hits tied the game, where Vavra led off with a double down the leftfield line, which was followed up by Wilson who hit a line shot up the middle scoring Vavra.

Starting pitcher Patrick Fredrickson, came into the game with an undefeated record of 9 and 0. 

“Fredrickson hung in there pretty good,” Anderson said. “He found a way once again to make the big pitch for us and kept the game in balance.”

Fredrickson gave up two runs on four hits by the Bruins, striking out seven and walking five.

The Gophers will face the winner of the elimination game between UCLA and Gonzaga, 6 p.m., Sunday at Siebert Field.