Odd weekend ends with Minn. win

The Gophers had a close loss and a blowout loss before rallying for a Sunday win.

Baseball vs. Northwestern
Gophers win

Ian Larson

Baseball vs. Northwestern Gophers win

Aleutian Calabay

The Gophers baseball team continues to find itself in search for consistency as the season continues to progress. Minnesota had a wide variety of scores as they hosted the Dairy Queen Classic tournament at the Metrodome this weekend. The Gophers opened with a 4-3 loss to Loyola Marymount and then were crushed by Oklahoma State 16-9 . The loss put the Minnesota losing streak at six games before the team finished the weekend with an 8-4 win over Northwestern. âÄúItâÄôs always hard early in the year to play consistently at a high level unless you have a lot of experience,âÄù Minnesota head coach John Anderson said. âÄúSome years you can be better at it than others. I think it speaks to our inexperience getting out of the box a little slow.âÄù Inconsistency marred the Gophers in several ways in the tournament, especially on the mound. Minnesota got a solid starting effort from Seth Rosin against Loyola Marymount, but the bullpen faltered late in the game. Starter Luke Rasmussen had a rough outing against Oklahoma State, but freshman TJ Oakes earned his first career win with five solid innings against Northwestern. While the pitching staff may have taken a step back, the GophersâÄô bats showed some improvement in scoring output. Minnesota was led by AJ Pettersen who earned the tournamentâÄôs Silver Stick award by going 6-for-11 on the weekend with five runs scored and two RBIs. Michael Kvasnicka continued to be productive, going 3-for-8 with four RBIs and four runs scored, while taking six walks as pitchers continue to work around him. âÄúWeâÄôre working on sticking to our team philosophy and core values first,âÄù Kvasnicka said, âÄúand then to what weâÄôre trying to accomplish, which is play good defense and have good pitching to start and then just get as many good at-bats as we can.âÄù The Gophers began the weekend exactly as they hoped by taking a an early lead over Loyola Marymount as a Kvasnicka hit a three-run home run in the first inning, However, the Minnesota bats went cold for the rest of the game. Rosin kept the LionsâÄô bats quiet as he pitched six innings, giving up just two hits and one earned run while tying a career-high eight strike outs. But Loyola Marymount chipped its way back in the later innings to tie the game at 3-3 and scored the eventual game-winning run as Alex Guthrie hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Saturday nightâÄôs matchup against Oklahoma State got off to a rough start as the Cowboys teed off on Rasmussen for eight runs in the first two innings. Oklahoma State extended its lead to 12-0 before the Gophers began making their comeback. Doubles by Matt Puhl and Ryan Abrahamson helped Minnesota cut its deficit in half with a six-run third inning. The Gophers later cut the score to 12-9 with a two-run sixth highlighted by a Kyle Geason triple. Once again, the Gophers faltered in the later innings as they could not manage to plate any more runs. The Cowboys put the game away with a four run-run ninth inning. Minnesota was playing from behind again as Northwestern scored a run in the second inning. But the Gophers bounced back with a two-run third and a three-run fifth to take a 5-1 lead. The Wildcats came back to close the gap as they scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but unlike past games, the Gophers were able to answer back late in the game as they scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead back to four. Northwestern put together a threat in the ninth, but it fell short as Brooks Albrecht threw out Jack Havey at the plate for the final out. âÄúIâÄôm happy for our kids,âÄù Anderson said following the Northwestern win. âÄúThey put forth the effort every day, and lately we hadnâÄôt been getting rewarded for our efforts and that gets difficult, but theyâÄôve handled it very well and itâÄôs good to see them get an opportunity to get on the other side of the scoreboard today.âÄù