Gophers host Augsburg midweek

Minnesota had to postpone its game with North Dakota State on Tuesday.

by Betsy Helfand

Minnesota’s baseball team struggled Sunday afternoon. It lost two games and was outscored 20-0 in those two contests.

But with the addition of a game Wednesday, the Gophers will have a chance to put those losses behind them before their next Big Ten series.

Minnesota was scheduled to play a midweek game against North Dakota State on Tuesday, but it was postponed because of weather.

The Gophers picked up a Wednesday game against Augsburg after the game was cancelled.

“We’ve had lots of differences in plans — travel plans, flights getting canceled,” freshman outfielder Jordan Smith said. “So far, I’ve seen that we’ve been pretty able to adapt … well to changes.”

The Gophers lost 15-0 in the first game of the doubleheader Sunday and fell again 5-0 in the second game against Michigan State.

Minnesota didn’t pitch well in those games, surrendering 18 walks. It also struggled at the dish, recording just nine hits in the two games.

Gophers head coach John Anderson said Sunday the team didn’t put together competitive at-bats against the Spartans. His team also seemed to lack energy across the diamond.

Minnesota junior Mark Tatera said after Sunday’s game that the doubleheader was an eye-opener for the team.

A game against a Division III foe Wednesday will give the team a chance to bounce back.

“I think a game on Wednesday will help us a lot in just refocusing and getting ready for the weekend,” he said.

Smith said offensive execution will be a definite focus for the team after last weekend’s woes.

“We didn’t score any runs on Sunday,” he said. “You need to score runs in baseball to win, obviously, so I’m sure we’ll get a lot of at-bats tomorrow.”

Augsburg won’t offer Minnesota the same level of competition as Big Ten opponents, but at this point in the season, any games are helpful for the team’s development.

“I think [midweek games] always [help] just because you get extra at-bats, especially going into the weekend,” junior Tony Skjefte said. “The more at-bats, the better you’re going to feel at the plate.”