Gophers face Twins, lose series to TCU

Minnesota’s hitting struggled in all but one game over the weekend.

Max Meyer watches the ball at Siebert Field on Tuesday, April 9.

Jasmin Kemp

Max Meyer watches the ball at Siebert Field on Tuesday, April 9.

Nick Jungheim and Brendan O'Brien

Minnesota could not find many hits or score runs against the Minnesota Twins and the TCU Horned Frogs, resulting in three losses in four games over the weekend. 

Friday – Gophers 0, Twins 16

The Gophers started off the weekend down in Ft. Meyers, Florida for an exhibition game against the Twins Friday night.

The Twins overpowered the Gophers on the diamond and had an early advantage, scoring four runs in each of the first three innings. Randy Dobnak started for the Twins and went two innings, striking out four.

The Gophers struggled in a few different areas. They only recorded one hit at the plate and had three errors in the field. Freshman right-hander Trent Schoeberl got the start for the Gophers, giving up eight runs on four hits and five walks in two innings of work.

Saturday – Gophers 0, TCU 12

The Gophers held their home opener on Saturday night, beginning a three-game series against TCU. Under the roof at U.S. Bank Stadium, conditions were perfect but Minnesota’s bats were still ice cold.

After sophomore Austin Wilhite led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, Minnesota did not register another base hit against TCU pitcher Johnny Ray until the bottom of the ninth. 

Junior Max Meyer got the start on the mound for Minnesota and showed flashes of brilliance, striking out 10 batters over 5.2 innings. However, Meyer did concede four earned runs, including a two-run homer to TCU first baseman Austin Henry in the first.

Once the Gophers turned to their bullpen, TCU’s bats began to dominate. The Horned Frogs added a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth before tacking on four more in the ninth. Meanwhile, Ray proved nearly un-hittable for Minnesota on the night, facing only 29 batters on his way to a complete game shut-out.

Sunday – Gophers 7, TCU 6

The Gophers’ bats thawed on Sunday as the team claimed a victory in the second game of the series. All of Minnesota’s runs came in the first four innings before relief pitching secured the victory.

Head coach John Anderson tweaked his line up on Sunday, inserting redshirt freshman Otto Grimm at center field and having him hit leadoff. The move came after Grimm singled in a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday and it paid off as he added three more hits on Sunday, scoring twice.

The first of Grimm’s runs came off a double from redshirt junior Jack Wassel in the first inning. Wassel also had three hits, including a go-ahead three-run home run in the third.

With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth, junior Easton Bertrand scored on a wild pitch and sophomore Zack Raabe drove in Grimm with a single later in the at bat. From there, Minnesota’s pitchers did the rest. Junior Sam Thoresen, sophomore J.P. Massey and junior Bubba Horton combined for 16 strike outs. Horton accounted for seven of those, earning the save and giving up one hit in 2.2 shut-out innings.

Monday – Gophers 2, TCU 11

Minnesota struggled getting off the field and back into the batter’s box early which led to a blowout loss to the Horned Frogs Monday afternoon.

After getting the first two batters out in the second inning, junior Patrick Fredrickson gave up a solo home run, a walk and an RBI double to TCU’s next three batters. In the third, TCU tacked on three more runs after two outs were recorded to take a 5-0 lead. The top of the sixth inning put the Horned Frogs over the edge, with six runs and securing a nine-run advantage.

Minnesota’s pitching staff also struggled finding the strike zone throughout the afternoon, as the Gophers threw 12 walks with Fredrickson responsible for five. He lasted only two innings.

The Gophers have an off-day Tuesday and will be back in action Wednesday evening at U.S. Bank Stadium for a matchup against South Dakota State.