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Gophers baseball claims 1 of 3 in conference home opener

Visiting Purdue took Games 1 and 2, but Minnesota managed to claim Game 3 with a 9-3 victory.
Even though Minnesota ultimately lost its first conference series, the team had this season’s first home conference win. Photo taken by Bruch Kluckhohn from Gopher Athletics.

The Gophers hosted Purdue this past weekend in Minneapolis for their first home series. Minnesota was coming off a series win from the previous weekend in Columbus against Ohio State.

Purdue entered the series with an even record of 3-3 after claiming two of three against Northwestern last weekend.

The Boilermakers took the first two matchups, winning Game 1 with a 3-0 shutout and dominating in Game 2 with a 15-3 victory. Minnesota took the final game via a 9-3 victory for their first home conference win of the season.

April 7

Minnesota opened their home conference play on a sunny Friday afternoon at Siebert Field. However, the weather didn’t exactly reflect the outcome for the home team.

Ike Mezzenga got the first hit of the game for the Gophers, doubling to left center. He managed to advance to third the following at-bat but failed to score.

The game remained even until the top of the seventh inning, when Purdue managed to score 3 runs.

Minnesota managed to get a man on third in the bottom of the seventh, but again, failed to make anything of it.

The Gophers fell to Purdue 3-0 in their home opener.

April 8

The two teams were right back at it on Saturday on yet another sunny afternoon at Siebert.

Purdue made the first 3 runs of the game in the top of the fourth inning.

Minnesota couldn’t respond in the bottom of the fourth, and the Boilermakers earned another run in the following inning.

In the top of the sixth inning, Purdue earned another 3 runs to increase their lead to 7-0.

The game managed to reach 15-0 by the top of the ninth inning.

Minnesota spoiled the Boilermakers’ shutout in the final inning, as Danny Davis earned the Gophers’ first point off of an Easton Fritcher single. Two more Gophers scored in the inning as Minnesota dropped Game 2 15-3.


Minnesota hosted Purdue one final time at Siebert, looking to avoid being swept in their Big Ten home opener series.

The Boilermakers earned the first run for the third time this series in the top of the first inning.

However, unlike the last two games, Minnesota responded big time in the bottom of the first.

It began with the Gophers loading the bases on the first three at-bats. Mezzenga doubled to left field, allowing Brady Counsell, Jake Perry, and Brett Bateman to score.

Mezzenga then stole third base and scored on the following at-bat.

Later in the inning, Kris Hokenson singled to center field and allowed Boston Merila to score. The next at-bat, Bateman doubled to left field and Swenson scored to make the game 6-1.

The scoring wasn’t done yet; the Gophers added on 2 more in the bottom of the second inning.

Purdue mustered 2 more runs, 1 in the top of the fourth and another in the top of the seventh innings.

Minnesota added 1 more in the bottom of the eighth inning as Riley Swenson scored after Perry hit a flyout.

The Gophers claimed the final game of the series 9-3 to earn their first Big Ten win at Siebert Field this season.

Minnesota sits at 3-3 in the Big Ten standings, still in the middle of the pack. They host rival Iowa next weekend at Siebert Field with hopes of achieving an above-500 win percentage in conference play. Before then, Minnesota will play a single game against North Dakota State at Siebert on Tuesday evening.

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