O’Shea’s 9 RBIs help earn series win

The sophomore hit three home runs Saturday, and Minnesota took 2 of 3 in Iowa.

by Aleutian Calabay

The Minnesota baseball team is starting to heat up at the right time. The Gophers kept themselves in position to make a run for the postseason as they won two of three games at Iowa over the weekend. Friday’s game was rained out, creating a doubleheader on Saturday. The games were split as Iowa took Game 1, 11-4, but Minnesota came back to win Game 2, 12-2. The Gophers finished the series with a 6-1 win Sunday. âÄúWeâÄôve stuck to what we said weâÄôre going to do,âÄù Minnesota head coach John Anderson said. âÄúWe said we were going to try to get better and make a run at the end, and so far weâÄôve been able to do that.âÄù The Gophers (19-25, 8-7 Big Ten) have now won five of their last seven games and moved into a tie for third place in the conference . The top six teams earn a spot in the Big Ten tournament, which begins May 26. Powering the way for MinnesotaâÄôs offense in the series win was sophomore Nick OâÄôShea , who had three home runs in SaturdayâÄôs doubleheader. OâÄôShea finished the series going 6-for-12 with nine RBIs and four runs scored. Senior Kyle Knudson had at least one hit in each game to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. âÄúIt was a bummer that we lost the first game, but we really bounced back and played well in the last two,âÄù OâÄôShea said. âÄúWe got some good outings from our pitchers, and we were able to put some runs up on the board, and now weâÄôre going into the last few weekends of Big Ten series feeling good.âÄù Saturday: Iowa 11, Minnesota 4 Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader turned out to be a game the Gophers would rather forget. Minnesota grabbed an early lead 3-2 off a two-run home run by O’Shea in the fourth inning. However, the lead did not last for long, as Iowa knocked around Gophers’ starter Seth Rosin with three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. O’Shea smashed his second home run of the game in the ninth inning, but it was already too late for the Gophers. Saturday: Minnesota 12, Iowa 2 The second game of the doubleheader went much more to the Gophers’ liking. O’Shea continued his power surge with a grand slam home run in the first inning. Minnesota continued its scoring with three runs in the both the fourth and sixth innings. Meanwhile, Minnesota starter TJ Oakes kept the Iowa bats quiet as he threw six strong innings despite taking a line drive off his left knee in the first inning. Reliever Billy Soule continued the solid pitching for the Gophers as he closed out the game with three scoreless innings, earning him the first save of his career. Sunday: Minnesota 6, Iowa 1The momentum continued for the Gophers in SundayâÄôs game as they continued to play well in all aspects of the game. An RBI double by Michael Kvasnicka got Minnesota on the board in the third inning. The scoring continued as the Gophers added a pair of runs in the fourth inning. They then began taking control of the game as they scored three more runs in the fifth inning. The run support was more than enough for Minnesota starter Phil Isaksson as he threw 6 2/3 innings, giving up just one run while scattering six hits. âÄúWeâÄôre still just working on getting better every day,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúAfter we didnâÄôt get off to a good start and lost all those games we just decided weâÄôre going to work together and trust one another to get better, and I really think weâÄôve improved.âÄù The GophersâÄô six-game roadtrip wraps up this week as they head to Kansas State for a two game set. The first game gets underway at 6:30pm Tuesday and the second will start at 3:00 p.m Wednesday.