Baseball drops two over weekend

by Tim Klobuchar

As decisive as Sunday’s 14-2 loss to Southern Mississippi and the Gophers 1-6 record sounds, Minnesota coach John Anderson wasn’t willing to let the numbers do all the talking for his team.
The Gophers have Big Ten championship aspirations, but the poor start, accumulated on their season-opening road trip through the Deep South, shouldn’t dampen those hopes, Anderson said.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win more games,” he said. “But we had more positives than negatives. If you just focus on the wins and losses, you can get disillusioned and discouraged.”
Many teams have written off early-season failures. But Anderson, who has long promoted a later start to the college baseball season, thinks northern teams such as the Gophers have a legitimate gripe.
“You can’t duplicate playing on a real field by playing indoors,” he said. “It’s like (Gophers men’s basketball coach) Clem Haskins preparing his team to play top 25 or 30 teams without playing on a basketball court.”
Minnesota finally got some of that real-game experience the last 10 days, which it hopes will pay off quickly as the Hormel Classic at the Metrodome begins this weekend. The immediate results, however, were not good, except for a few areas.
Senior pitchers Justin Pederson and Mike Diebolt each threw two solid games. They combined to allow just six earned runs in 31 innings, while striking out 34.
“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it a lot more before the end of the season — they’re two of the best pitchers in the country,” Anderson said. “They proved it this week. Every time one of them is on the mound, we have a chance to win.”
On offense, the Gophers failed to score more than two runs, five times on the trip. Still, Minnesota showed some pop, hitting four home runs. The Gophers didn’t hit their fourth home run until the 24th game last season.
Gophers 000 110 000 — 2 8 3
S. Miss. 030 302 51x — 14 17 0
Pautz, Felling (4), Freeman (7) and Guse, Negen; Brown, Schemmel (5), Johnston (8), Smith (9) and Whitehead, Federico. W – Schemmel, 1-0. L – Pautz, 0-1. HR – USM, Martin (1).

Gophers hitting statistics (3 games)

Birk 8 0 0 2
Welter 12 0 3 2
Guse 13 1 5 1
McDermott 11 0 2 1
Selander 7 2 2 0
Keeney 13 2 4 0
Griffin 12 2 3 4
Stein 9 3 3 1
Quinlan 4 2 0 0
Groebner 5 1 1 0
Arlt 3 1 1 0
Brosseau 3 1 1 1
DeVore 1 0 0 0
Beers 1 0 0 0
Egan 1 0 0 0
Softball team takes six
The No. 20 Gophers won the Triangle Classic Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., this weekend, winning six consecutive games while outscoring their opponents 35-2.
Minnesota (13-2) beat East Carolina in the championship game Sunday as Steph Klaviter (5-1) got the victory. On Saturday, Rachel Nelson was 3-for-4 at the plate while recording her school-record 260th career hit.
The team travels to Las Cruces, N.M., next weekend for the Troy Cox Invitational.
Men’s tennis loses two
The Gophers opened their Big Ten season with two losses on the road this weekend. The team lost to Indiana 5-4 on Friday night when Scott Lippitt beat Gophers senior Martin Kristofferson in three sets to break a four-all tie.
Ohio State beat Minnesota the next night 6-1. In the loss, the Gophers won only the doubles point.