Minnesota drops two in South Carolina

The Gophers lost a close game to UNC-Greensboro on Sunday.

Minnesota first baseman Dan Olinger stretches to catch the ball against Western Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at the Metrodome.

Amanda Snyder, Daily File Photo

Minnesota first baseman Dan Olinger stretches to catch the ball against Western Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at the Metrodome.

Betsy Helfand

The Gophers dropped two of three games in the weather-shortened Chanticleer Classic over the weekend.

Minnesota was scheduled to play four games, but impending weather issues in Myrtle Beach, S.C., forced a schedule change.

The Gophers lost to Elon 5-2 on Saturday in the first game of the series. They came back and beat Coastal Carolina 5-2 in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader before falling 4-1 to UNC Greensboro on Sunday afternoon.

This weekend marked the first time this season that Minnesota played in a tournament instead of a three-game series against the same team.

Gophers head coach John Anderson said each team this weekend pitched its No. 1 starter against Minnesota.

“You’re not going to be able to get as much of a read on some of the hitters and some of the pitchers,” sophomore pitcher Jordan Jess said. “I think for the most part, we did OK with it.”

Jess started the second game and gave up one run on two hits in 4.2 innings of work. Jess, who’s been working his way back from an injury, has been kept on a strict pitch count.

On Saturday, Jess was only one out away from recording the win, but his pitch count was a bigger concern. Jess was at 79 pitches when he was pulled from the game.

Minnesota junior Ben Meyer had another solid performance Sunday, giving up just one run in seven innings.

Gophers sophomore Lance Thonvold took the loss Sunday after giving up two runs in the eighth inning.

UNC Greensboro starter Max Povse kept the Gophers bats relatively silent, allowing only five hits and one run in his complete game.

“I think [Sunday] they had a really good guy on the mound and he was mixing his pitches well,” senior first baseman Dan Olinger said. “Sometimes you just get beat.”

Minnesota had travel issues last weekend and didn’t get back to the Twin Cities until Tuesday night, which Anderson said might have had an impact on the outcome this weekend.

“I did think we struggled with our focus and energy level [Sunday], and I completely understand,” Anderson said. “This is hard to do weekend after weekend after weekend.”

Olinger said even though his team dropped two games, he thought it “battled well” at the Chanticleer Classic.

Olinger extended his hitting streak to 12 games over the weekend. He has hit safely in every game this season.

Olinger said he feels good at the plate right now but said hitting streaks take more than that sometimes.

“The baseball gods need to be in your favor to get in any type of hitting streak,” he said.

The Gophers will hit the road next weekend for a series against Sacramento State. They will play eight road games from March 14-23.