Minnesota Upsets No. 21 Indiana to Hold off Elimination
OMAHA, Neb. – Facing elimination on day two of the Big Ten Tournament, the fourth seed Gopher Baseball team slugged its way past top-seeded No. 21 Indiana 9-4 to keep their playoff run alive at T.D. Ameritrade Park on Thursday afternoon.
What started out looking like a pitcher’s duel, ended up being one of the highest-scoring outings of the tournament so far. Sam Thoresen dominated through the first three innings for Minnesota (27-26), striking out six batters, but loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth, ending his day prematurely. All three runners would eventually come around to score, taking advantage of a Gopher error to give No. 21 Indiana (36-21) a lead.
The Hoosier defense faltered early, allowing Minnesota to strike first when Cole McDevitt came around to score after a dropped fly ball. The Gophers would slug five extra-base hits between the third and sixth innings, scoring five runs in that span to gain a 6-3 lead. After Indiana got a run back in the sixth, Eli Wilson clubbed his fifth home run of the season into the left field bullpen to get the run back.
Tanner Gordon (6-5) would not fare much better than his counterpart as the right-hander surrendered four runs, but just two earned, on five hits in 4.1 innings for Indiana. The first and only man out of the Minnesota bullpen, Nick Lackney (3-4) was the beneficiary of the offense, tossing 6.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit while striking out four.
Minnesota ended its day with nine extra-base hits, while seven different Gophers had at least a base knock on the day. Wilson finished 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBIs, and three runs scored. Jordan Kozicky, Riley Smith, Andrew Wilhite, and Easton Bertrand each had two hits for the Maroon & Gold.
Zack Raabe extended his hitting streak to a team season-high 11 games with his triple in the third … the Minnesota bullpen has allowed just one hit and one unearned run in 12.1 innings so far this postseason … the Gopher pitching staff has held its two opponents to just seven total hits in the tournament.