Minnesota baseball’s losing skid grows to 13 games after fourth consecutive series sweep

The Gophers’ disastrous start to the 2021 campaign continued against Maryland last weekend.

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Audrey Rauth

Gopher Batter Jack Wassel follows through his swing in U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, March 7. The Gophers lost to Indiana, 8-1.

Tony Liebert

The Gophers baseball team has shown flashes of high-level play this season, but it has not been able to string together nine consecutive innings of winning baseball in nearly a month. This weekend resulted in another three-loss series result.

Starting pitching woes continue Friday

To open this weekend’s series in College Park, Maryland, sophomore pitcher Trent Schoerberl started on the mound for the Gophers. He struggled out of the gate, surrendering six earned runs and five hits in only one and a third innings pitched.

The Maroon and Gold was never able to recover, trailing for the rest of the game and ultimately falling 12-4. Junior Chase Stanke was the most effective hitter on the team, finishing 2 for 4, recording two RBIs and one home run on the day.

The Gophers pitching staff surrendered 11 hits and nine walks in an effective day from the Maryland offense.

Offense stalls out in close battle Saturday

Left-hander Jack Liffrig took the mound first for the Gophers on Saturday. The 6-foot-1-inch redshirt sophomore gave the team six strong innings, only allowing two earned runs and four hits. Despite improvement on the mound from the previous day, the Gophers fell in a 4-3 heartbreaker.

Senior infielder Ronald Sweeny offered some run support with a two-run home run in the second inning, giving Minnesota a 2-1 lead. The lead lasted until the sixth inning when Liffrig allowed an RBI single. Nolan Burchill replaced Liffrig for the seventh.

The Gophers answered with a run of their own in the top of the seventh inning thanks to a passed ball, giving them a 3-2 lead. That was the last time the Gophers found themselves in the scoring column, as the Terrapins evened the ball game in the seventh.

Maryland completed the comeback with a walk-off walk in the final inning.

Gophers fall short in series finale Sunday

Minnesota head coach John Anderson opted to deploy lefty Tom Skoro as the team’s starting pitcher for Sunday’s series finale. The redshirt senior struggled, lasting only two and a third innings after allowing seven hits and four earned runs. The Gophers weren’t quite able to bounce back from their early struggles, allowing Maryland to complete the sweep with a 6-3 win.

The Gophers’ offense found an answer in the fifth inning. A solo home run from freshman infielder Boston Merila and a two-run shot from Sweeny cut Maryland’s lead to 4-3.

But Maryland added two more runs in the remaining innings to secure its third win of the series and extend the Gophers’ losing streak to 13 games.

Next weekend

After being on the wrong end of a sweep for four consecutive series, Minnesota (4-26) will look to get itself back in the win column next weekend when it welcomes Ohio State to Siebert Field for a three-game series.