U baseball team pounds Gusties 18-2

Sarah Mitchell

For the second consecutive night, the question for the Gophers baseball team wasn’t if it would win, but by how much. After pounding St. Scholastica 12-2 Tuesday, Minnesota delivered an even more lopsided victory Wednesday, this time 18-2 over Gustavus.
Similar to Tuesday night, the Gophers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.
In a game of southpaw versus southpaw, Gophers pitcher Kelly Werner turned in a stronger mound performance than opposing pitcher Ron Swenson. Werner surrendered one hit and one run while walking two and striking out four through four innings. Swenson, who lasted only three innings, give up six hits, seven runs and three free rides while only striking out one.
Head coach John Anderson was encouraged by Werner’s performance.
“Kelly has come a long way. He redshirted for us last year cause he just wasn’t emotionally ready to be on the mound.” Anderson said. “I think he got the developmental curve going in the right direction. I would just like to see him get better every time he goes out there and he seems to do that.”
Gophers hitters combined for 16 hits against a total of five Gustavus pitchers. Gophers pitchers left the mound with minimal wounds, as they allowed the Gusties only five hits.
“We are trying to develop depth in the bullpen. I think that we have seven or eight guys that appear to be ready to pitch against quality Division I teams,” Anderson said.
While the Gopher defense committed two errors, none were made by starters.
“We got a little careless on defense tonight with two errors. I don’t think it’s excusable that because of the score of the game, that gives you the right to get careless and not concentrate,” Anderson said. “If you are on the field you have to respect the game and play it the same way you would if it were 0-0.”
Senior Mark Groebner created headaches in the Gustavus bullpen. Groebner went 3-for-4, including a two-run home run, and scored three runs.
“I think it’s a matter of the plan you go up there with. In the past I have been looking breaking ball and it hasn’t been working for me. Basically it’s because I have been giving the pitchers we face too much credit,” Groebner said.
The Gophers will try to improve their record to 14-3 when they play Mankato State at the Metrodome on Friday night.
“From what I recall, we lost three out of the last four years to those guys,” Groebner said. “I think there is some motivation to beat those guys.”