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Gophers baseball splits weekend series with Creighton

Minnesota took one of two games against the Bluejays in Omaha, Nebraska, this past weekend.
Image by CJ Bonk
Minnesota will host the Michigan Wolverines next in a three-game series starting Friday.

Minnesota baseball headed southwest to Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday and Saturday to take on the hot-and-cold Creighton Bluejays.

The Gophers were coming off a 10-3 victory over Illinois State from earlier in the week. Minnesota was slated to play a second game against Illinois State, but it was rained-out.

March 24 at Creighton

The first half of Friday’s contest was scoreless. No hits were recorded until the bottom of the third inning, when Creighton’s Tate Gillen bunted and made it to first base.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Colby Canales put Creighton on the scoreboard with a home run. The Bluejays opened the sixth inning with 2 runs when Tyler Lozano hit a double into left field, which allowed Nolan Clifford and Andrew Meggs to score. Creighton tacked on 2 more runs in the sixth to lead 5-0.

A hit by Jake Perry allowed Ike Mezzenga to score, followed by a wild pitch that let Weber Neels score to cut Minnesota’s deficit to 3 runs.

After those eventful two innings, no other hits were recorded and Creighton took down Minnesota 5-2.

March 25 at Creighton

The two teams met again Saturday afternoon. Yet another scoreless first half, but this time, the Gophers recorded the first run.

Jake Larson’s hit led to Neels running home to put Minnesota up in the top of the fifth inning.

With the bases loaded, Brady Jurgella was walked, leading Perry to score and double the Gophers’ lead to 2-0.

A Brett Bateman bunt allowed Larson to score in the top of the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Richie Holetz replaced George Klassen at the mound to close the game for Minnesota. The redshirt senior, Holetz, struck out the first two batters he faced.

Creighton failed to crack Holetz and the Gophers would blank the Bluejays 3-0. This was Minnesota’s first shutout of the season.

The Gophers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to open conference play against Ohio State. The Buckeyes are coming off a three-game skid against Indiana that opened their Big Ten play.

The Gophers have not faced Ohio State since the 2019 season, when the two played in the Big Ten tournament semifinal. In their last matchup, Ohio State emerged victorious and eliminated Minnesota from the tournament with an 8-6 win.

Last season, Minnesota was swept in their first Big Ten series by Rutgers, so they will look to open their conference play on a more positive note this upcoming weekend in Columbus.

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