Gophers drop game to Sooners 2-1 at Target Field

Starting pitcher Max Meyer let up two runs to take the loss on the mound.

Outfielder Easton Bertrand swings at bat at Siebert Field on Friday, March 29. 

Jack Rodgers

Outfielder Easton Bertrand swings at bat at Siebert Field on Friday, March 29. 

Jack Warrick

A change of scenery yielded a different result on Saturday as the Gophers played the second game of the series against the Sooners at Target Field.

Minnesota’s offense fell off in the 39,504-person capacity stadium, and Oklahoma took a 2-1 victory. The Gophers won 8-1 in the first game of the series at Siebert Field on Friday.

“[Pitching] wasn’t our problem tonight. We just couldn’t generate enough offense,” said Gophers head coach John Anderson. “[The Sooners] got just enough offense to match up with their pitching.”

Gophers’ starting pitcher Max Meyer recorded the loss on the mound, pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing both runs, though one was unearned. Meyer walked Sooners’ first baseman Tyler Hardman with the bases loaded in the top of the third, giving up an unearned run. Then, Meyer gave up a double to Hardman in the top of the fifth inning, which narrowly landed fair down the first baseline to score the baserunner from third base. Oklahoma led 2-0 after the top of the fifth inning.

Minnesota sophomore outfielder Easton Bertrand provided all of Minnesota’s offense with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning. The one-run blast was Bertrand’s sixth of the season, and it cut the Sooners’ lead to 2-1. It was Bertrand’s first time playing at Target Field.

“It was good to get the momentum going for us, get the energy going our way,” Bertrand said about his home run.

After Bertrand’s home run off Sooners’ starter Nathan Wiles, shadows from the high walls of the stadium began to creep onto the infield. Neither team had a hit for the rest of the game. 

“It was a bit funky being in the shadow and looking behind the pitcher you see light,” Bertrand said. “But it’s baseball. Those are the conditions you’re going to get into sometimes.”

The announced attendance at the major league park was 2,401. The Gophers made three errors in the field. Gophers relief pitcher Nick Lackney pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed no hits, walks or runs with one strikeout.

“I didn’t feel 100 percent in the pen, but when I went out there I made just enough good adjustments,” Lackney said. 

Minnesota will play Oklahoma Sunday in the series finale at 11 a.m.