Gophers sweep Michigan

Minnesota won both games of a Friday doubleheader on the road in Ann Arbor.

Gophers infielder Micah Coffey runs to first at Siebert Field on Apr. 1.

Niti Gupta

Gophers infielder Micah Coffey runs to first at Siebert Field on Apr. 1.

Kaitlin Merkel

The Gophers won a series against a ranked opponent for the second time in three weeks, sweeping a Friday doubleheader at No. 25 Michigan.
Minnesota (18-10, 4-1 Big Ten) won both games in the weather-induced doubleheader 8-1 and 5-3, respectively. The rubber match scheduled for Sunday was cancelled due to cold temperatures.
“That was a series that we felt completely in control from pitch one to the last pitch of the second game,” senior pitcher Dalton Sawyer said. “We’ve got amazing team chemistry, and right now, we know that we can take on and beat anybody in the country.”
The Wolverines had won 10 of their last 11 games before the series and were a perfect 6-0 at home. Michigan’s pitching staff had allowed 6.5 hits per nine innings, the fourth-lowest total in the nation prior to the doubleheader.
The Gophers lineup kept producing, though, totaling 13 runs and 21 hits. Sophomore third baseman Micah Coffey led the charge with three hits and one RBI in the first game, when Minnesota recorded 11 hits.
“Top to bottom, we’ve got confidence in guys who can produce,” Coffey said.
Junior pitcher Matt Fiedler earned his fifth victory of the season in the first game, pitching six innings and giving up one run on six hits. Junior reliever Tyler Hanson finished the game with three innings of scoreless baseball while striking out three.
Sawyer took the mound in the second game and had one of his best starts of the season in the cold and snowy conditions. He pitched six scoreless innings, gave up two hits and struck out a career-high 10 batters.
“I just wanted to go out there and command the zone. It was cold, so we didn’t want guys standing around,” Sawyer said.
The strong pitching performance kept Minnesota in the game even as the offense stranded 11 runners through five innings before scoring in the sixth on a RBI-single by senior outfielder Dan Motl.
Minnesota added four runs in the seventh, which kept the team ahead when the Wolverines added three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Junior pitcher Toby Anderson, who is usually the team’s No. 3 starter, closed out the game with two scoreless innings to clinch the sweep.
“I had to use somebody, and we had a chance to win the game,” head coach John Anderson said. “[With] the uncertainty about the weather the next two days, I had to take a chance to win that game and worry about the next game later.”