Early lead squandered as Senne explodes

Rochester, Minn. native Aaron Senne tied a Mizzou school record with eight RBIs.

The Gophers’ loss Tuesday night was so miserable that Missouri couldn’t score one more run to trigger the 10-run mercy rule.

Instead the Minnesota baseball team suffered through a 17-8 dismantling that featured a nine-run sixth inning as the Tigers won their 14th consecutive game.

Missouri (19-2 overall, 3-0 Big 12) sent 15 batters to the plate in that inning and drew seven walks. Only three reached on-base hits, but one of those hits included a monster blast to right field.

Rochester native Aaron Senne tied a school record with 8 RBIs on the night. Senne went 4-for-5 with two homeruns. He drove in four runs alone in the sixth inning, highlighted by his three-run homer to right field.

“I just want to come in and do as much as I could for these people,” Senne said. “For most of them these are the only two games they’re going to see me play and I got lucky.”

Three Gophers pitchers combined for 67 pitches in the sixth inning alone.

Prior to the sixth inning, Minnesota made a game of it. The Gophers were locked in a 7-7 game with No. 2 Missouri.

Junior third baseman Nate Hanson gave Minnesota a 6-5 lead in the second inning when he crushed a pitch to the alley in left center for his first homer and RBI of the season. Hanson led the team in both categories last season.

“It felt good to get that,” Hanson said. “I felt like we were swinging the bats pretty well.”

The Gophers (9-9 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) pounded out 16 hits on the night, actually outhitting the Tigers, but the 14 walks issued by Minnesota pitchers hurt the cause.

“Now they have something to work on,” head coach John Anderson said. “We’re not going to beat them up because of the fact the performance doesn’t indicate what all of us would like.”

Anderson cited the offensive fireworks as a product of a midweek game where already stretched rotations are tested even further.

“You’re going to see this in midweek games, when everybody’s putting out there the bottom half of their staff,” Anderson said. “The bats stay the same, the pitching goes down.”

In three midweek games this season the Gophers have scored a total of 29 runs. The Tigers have 48 runs in four games.

Minnesota has another shot at Missouri today at 1:35 p.m. while they begin to close out a stretch where they’ve had to play 14 games in 18 days.

“It’s a long stretch, but we chose to play this schedule because we wanted to try to help our team develop,” Anderson said. “This was helpful tonight.