U baseball splits with Michigan

Sarah Mitchell

Solid fundamentals, respectable pitching and a run-producing offense brought the Gophers baseball team and their hopes of building on a nine-game win streak to Siebert Field on Friday. But Michigan put the season in perspective.
Once again the middle-of-the-pack Wolverines (21-19 overall, 8-8 in the Big Ten) fed off Minnesota (27-9, 9-3), looking to improve on their mediocre Big Ten record. While the sluggish Gophers dropped the series’ first two games by scores of 8-3 and 13-12, they rebounded to salvage a split. Minnesota defeated Michigan 15-14 during the second game on Saturday and 11-5 on Sunday.
“They seem to play their best games of the year against us,” Gophers pitcher Bob DeWitt said. “After the first two games of the series, we’re definitely happy to get a split.”
The Gophers defense and pitching staff looked out of character during the first three games. Minnesota committed nine errors in the field while giving up 49 hits to the Wolverines.
On Sunday, however, the roles reversed. In his longest outing of the season, starter Chadd Clarey (4-0) proved to be one of the few Gophers capable of slowing the Wolverines down.
Clarey allowed five runs on nine hits before handing the ball over to reliever Frank Wagner with one out in the eighth.
“I just changed the speed and kept the ball down,” Clarey said. “It helped to pitch with a lead, too.”
A team that posted runs in 11 of 14 innings during Saturday’s doubleheader, Michigan looked to be on another offensive tear on Sunday. Pesky Bobby Scales continued to damaged Minnesota’s ERA, leading the game off with a home run.
Freshman Jack Hannahan and junior Mike Arlt awoke the Gophers dugout in the second inning. Both recorded solo home runs off starting pitcher Luke Bonner.
The Gophers’ offensive revival continued into the bottom of the third when they forced the Wolverines to go to the bullpen, rallying with two outs and nobody on.
Minnesota sent 12 men to the plate and scored six runs, allowing Clarey and Wagner room for error. The southpaw Wagner closed out the game and secured the split, striking out four of the six Wolverines he faced.
“The way we played, we’re happy with a split,” Gophers assistant coach Lee Swenson said. “These were probably the worst two fundamental games of our season, but they were our only two, so that means we’re doing pretty good.”
Minnesota will host Minnesota State Mankato on Wednesday at Siebert before finishing the road portion of their Big Ten regular season schedule this weekend at Indiana.

KennedyKennedy 13 5 6 2
Holthaus 5 4 2 0
Horton 3 2 3 1
Nuss 5 1 1 3
Devore 1 0 1 0
Guetzlaff 0 1 0 0
Totals 146 41 57 38