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Gopher baseball losing streak continues, now at 7 games

Minnesota’s offense could not keep up with St. Louis, dropping all three games in Florida over the weekend.
Minnesota takes the plate at Siebert Field in Minneapolis, Minn. in a game against Maryland on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

After a rough start to the season in Arizona, the Gophers headed to Fort Myers for a three-game series with St. Louis, a series in which the Gophers would not come out on top.

The extended road trip proved detrimental to Minnesota as the hitting never got going for the Gophers. Before the bottom of the 9th inning of game three, the Gophers trailed 30-6 overall in runs scored.

Feb. 24 vs. St. Louis

The Gophers jumped out to their only lead of the series in the first inning of Game 1. After St. Louis pitcher Dawson Smith retired the first two runners, Minnesota strung together three hits and scored twice, making it 2-0.

Junior shortstop Ike Mezzinga was one of the few bright spots for the Gophers in the game, going 3-4 from the plate with an RBI. No other Gopher had more than one hit, leaving five runners stranded on seven hits, resulting in a tough day at plate for Minnesota.

Minnesota kept the game close going into the seventh inning, tied at 2. The Gophers RHP Caden Capomaccio got into a bit of a jam after allowing a double to Knox Preston and hitting the next batter. With two on and only one out in the top of the seventh, St. Louis right fielder Patrick Clohisy sent one over the right field wall for a three-run home run.

The deficit proved too much for the Gophers to overcome and they fell 6-3 to St. Louis in Game 1 of the series.

Feb. 25 vs. St. Louis

In the second game, the course was different. Minnesota quickly fell behind in the second inning, and St. Louis never looked back. It was another game where the Gophers out-hit their opponents but stranded too many runners (12).

Trailing 3-1 going into the fourth inning, the Gophers received much needed help from the long ball. Sam Hunt sent a pitch from Caleb Thomson over the left field wall to bring the Gophers within a run.

It was a solid day for juniors Brett Bateman and Boston Merila, who both provided offensive help. Bateman went 2-4 at the plate with two RBIs, while Merila added a 3-4 performance from the dish, scoring once.

Minnesota had to use five different pitchers, surrendering eight runs. Those five pitchers only managed seven strikeouts over the entire game. It was a rough night on the bump for the Gophers as they would fall 8-3, effectively losing the series.

Feb. 26 vs. St. Louis

On the final day of the road trip, Minnesota was looking for its first win of the season. The result was not what they were hoping for, trailing from the jump after allowing a single to Cole Smith in the top of the first inning.

The scoring for St. Louis did not stop there, as they would tack on four more at the top of the fourth. In the inning, the St. Louis Billikins managed three hits and two walks, causing the Gophers to go to their bullpen early. Gopher George Klassen finished his second start of the year with a stat line of three earned runs allowed and five walks in just three innings pitched.

The beating continued in the top of the ninth innings, where the Billikins scored nine runs. St. Louis only needed seven hits to get nine runs because the Gophers hit four batters in the inning.

After absorbing all that punishment and trailing 16-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, Minnesota showed great heart. In the final frame, the Gophers managed to get all nine runs back with a little help from the Billikens, who had two errors in the inning. It wasn’t enough though, as St. Louis completed the sweep, finishing the game off with a 16-9 victory.

Minnesota, now 0-7, will be back in action at U.S. Bank Stadium on Wednesday against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It’s back to the drawing board for Head Coach John Anderson, who will look to get Minnesota its first win against the Panthers.

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