Minnesota scores two in the seventh to top Bison

Matt Perkins

Looking to improve on a 1-5 start to the season, Minnesota’s baseball team put together three runs on just two hits over the first six innings Wednesday night against North Dakota State at the Metrodome.

But thanks to Mike Mee, the lack of hits did not result in another loss.

The Gophers, a team that struggled at the plate with just two hits in the first six innings, found themselves in a 4-3 hole after senior right-hander Reid Mahon gave up two runs in the top of the seventh.

“It’s funny because I told the team I think this was one of our best nights offensively,” coach John Anderson said. “We were hitting the ball real hard but right at people.”

But that changed with one swing of the bat from Mee in the seventh. He belted a two-run home run over the baggy in right centerfield to put the Gophers back on top 5-4. The eventual game-winner was Mee’s first home run this season, after hitting eight last year.

“Mike’s maturity has come a long ways since last season,” Anderson said. “Last year, he would maybe let it affect him emotionally when some hits wouldn’t drop and it could have played a role in at-bats later in the ballgames. He stayed tough tonight and drove the ball out of here to give us a big win.”

Although it was just the third hit of the game for the Gophers, it gave them a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Sophomore Gary Perinar pitched a scoerless ninth for the save.

“It felt good and it felt confident,” Perinar said. “You know, I knew we had good enough hitting that they would come through. It was just a matter of us closing things out for the win.”

Despite its problems at the plate, Minnesota held a two-run lead going into the seventh inning.

After a walk, a hit batter and a balk in the top of the seventh, senior right-hander Reid Mahon gave up a one-out, two-RBI single to Nick Schommer that tied the game at 3-3.

After a two-out, bases-empty double to the Bison’s Gavin Hofer, Anderson lifted Mahon from the game.

Minnesota then brought in southpaw Andy Peters to try to stop the bleeding.

After Peters got out of the inning with only Mahon’s run scoring, Mee saved Mahon from the loss and made a winner out of Peters.

“Our record doesn’t give justice to how good we’ve been playing,” Mee said. “But hopefully this will be like a weight off all of our shoulders. If we all just keep hitting the ball hard and get good pitching, we’ll turn things around fast.”