Minnesota loses three to Nebraska

The Gophers scored only eight runs and have now lost four games in a row.

Michael Handel hits the ball during the baseball game against Nebraska on Sunday afternoon at Siebert Field.

Michael Handel hits the ball during the baseball game against Nebraska on Sunday afternoon at Siebert Field.

by Nate Gotlieb

Nebraska continued its Big Ten dominance over the Gophers this weekend, sweeping Minnesota with a 3-2 win in 10 innings Sunday at Siebert Field.

Cornhuskers shortstop Steven Reveles hit a single that scored a run with two outs in the 10th inning, and Nebraska reliever Josh Roeder held the Gophers scoreless in the bottom of the inning to pick up the save.

The Gophers lost the first two games of the series and are just 1-10 against Nebraska (23-14, 7-2 Big Ten) since 2012. Minnesota (17-14, 5-7 Big Ten) has now lost four games in a row.

“For me, it was the walks this weekend and our inability to get better at-bats,” Gophers coach John Anderson said. “When the game’s that even, you play good competition, there’s not a lot of room for error.”

Nebraska took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly in the first inning Sunday, and the Gophers tied the game in the fifth inning on an RBI single by catcher Mark Tatera. Minnesota took a 2-1 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by third baseman Tony Skjefte, but Nebraska tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Minnesota starter Ben Meyer gave up two runs in 6.2 innings Sunday, but the Gophers managed just two hits over the final five innings.

“When it came down to it, they executed when they needed to and we didn’t,” first baseman Dan Olinger said. “That’s how close the league is. That’s how you lose three pretty close ballgames in the weekend.”

Nebraska starts weekend with 8-6, 5-2 wins

Nebraska’s Jake Placzek scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch Friday as the Cornhuskers defeated Minnesota 8-6.

The Gophers were in position to send the game into the bottom of the ninth inning tied 6-6, but as Dalton Sawyer attempted an intentional walk, he threw a wild pitch that allowed Placzek to score from third.

Nebraska added another run later in the inning and held on, despite allowing Minnesota to climb back from a 5-0 deficit earlier in the game.

“We obviously got in a hole, but I was proud of our guys that they kept fighting and kept battling,” Anderson said Friday. “It’s unfortunate the game ended like it did, but I’ve got no complaints about the effort that went on out here today.”

Nebraska scored four first-inning runs, but the Gophers climbed back with four runs in the fifth inning. They tied the game in the seventh on a Michael Handel double but did not score again.

Minnesota starting pitcher Alec Crawford seemed to settle in after a rocky first inning. In total, he allowed six runs on 10 hits over 6.2 innings, striking out seven.

Handel, the shortstop and cleanup hitter, went 4-for-5 with the game-tying double in the seventh.

Nebraska defeated the Gophers 5-2 on Saturday, thanks in part to a complete game four-hitter from pitcher Christian DeLeon.

Minnesota jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning Saturday on a home run from Bobby Juan, but the Cornhuskers scored three runs in the fourth inning and added two more in the ninth.

Minnesota starting pitcher Jordan Jess lasted just 3.2 innings and fell to 0-6 on the season.