Gophers bats come alive on road trip

The Gophers scored 14 runs in the first victory and 16 in each of the next two games.

Gophers shortstop Terrin Vavra turns a double play against Iowa on March 5, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Gophers shortstop Terrin Vavra turns a double play against Iowa on March 5, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

by Jack Warrick

The Gophers offense was on fire in Florida.

Minnesota went 3-0 at the Snowbird Classic, beating three other northern teams who went south for the weekend — Boston College, Chicago College and Mount St. Mary’s by a combined score of 46-11, in Port Charlotte, Florida.

“I thought we had some guys that were focused and locked in, and I thought we had good plans and approaches up there,” head coach John Anderson said. “I thought we did that pretty successfully all weekend.”

The first game, against Boston College, did not see anything go in the Eagles favor.

The score quickly got out of control as the Gophers hung up five unanswered runs by the bottom of the second inning. Reggie Meyer pitched five scoreless innings, striking out four, before freshman Sam Thoresen took the mound for the first time since he beaned four batters in one inning and got pulled.

“I mean it was pretty easy to get into a groove since our hitters were up a lot of runs,” Meyer said. “I just went out there and threw strikes.”

Thoresen pitched three innings with four strike outs, but allowed the only run of the game for the Eagles. He had the bases loaded and he hit two batters before freshman Patrick Fredrickson filled in and finished the game at 14-1.

Comeback against Chicago State

Chicago State got an early 4-0 lead in the third inning. Nine hits and four runs allowed by pitcher Nick Lackney led Minnesota to pulling him after the fourth.

Catcher Cole McDevitt highlighted the offense. He went 4-6 in the game with a homerun. He was one of five players to have multiple hits.

“It was an adjustment for us to see some slower pitching but after a few innings I think we got the swing of it,” McDevitt said

Minnesota would finish the game with a 16-4 victory with steady pitching from Brett Schulze, Jackson Rose and Ryan Duffy for the final five innings, with only Rose giving up one run in his inning of pitching.

Last game and scrimmage

The last game ended with a 16-5 victory over Mount St. Mary’s as the Gophers had 18 hits, capped off with a two-run home run from catcher Eli Wilson. 

The Gophers scrimmaged the Minnesota Twins on Thursday to warm them up for the weekend. It ended up coming down to the bottom of the last inning when Duffy threw a wild pitch and the Twins baserunner on third base jogged home for a walk-off, 2-1 victory over the Gophers.

Minnesota will have its season home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday against North Dakota State.

Anderson said his team was still adjusting to U.S. Bank Stadium last year and didn’t play as well in it.

“There’s not going to be a lot of people in there, so you got to create your own environment,” Anderson said. “I think we got to do a better job this year of making it our home.”