April 3, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
MINNEAPOLIS — Four home runs — three in the first and one in the eighth — sent Minnesota to a 6-3, series-clinching victory over the University of Iowa baseball team in game two of a Sunday doubleheader at Siebert Field.
The Gophers roughed up UI starter Calvin Mathews in the first, as the senior didn’t get out of the inning. After Dan Motl led off the game with a ground-rule double, Matt Fiedler and Austin Athmann hit back-to-back home runs to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.
Mathews tallied the second out with a strikeout before Connor Schaefbauer hit a solo home run to left centerfield to make the score 4-0 and end Mathews day.
The Hawkeyes answered with a three-run second inning to pull to within 4-3. Freshman Robert Neustrom started the inning with a single up the middle before senior Jimmy Frankos doubled into the right centerfield gap to put two runners on.
Following an RBI groundout from senior Tyler Peyton, sophomore Austin Guzzo connected on a two-run home run to right centerfield. It was Guzzo’s third home run of the season, tying him for the team lead.
“Calvin wasn’t sharp,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “He left some stuff up, the wind was blowing out hard, and he gave up some runs. I was happy with our guys for answering back. It looked like it was going to be an 18-17 day, but both pitchers settled in.”
Minnesota pushed its lead to 5-3 in the fifth against sophomore reliever Nick Gallagher when Fiedler had a one-out RBI single in the inning and added its sixth run on Schaefbauer’s solo shot in the eighth. It was his second home run of the game.
Gopher starter Toby Anderson shut down Iowa’s offense after the second, allowing just three base runners — two coming on hits — until being pulled following a one-out single to Joel Booker in the eighth.
“Anderson kept the ball down,” said Heller. “We didn’t do too much with him in the middle innings.”
Freshman Zach Daniels followed with single to left field to put two runners on before a double steal put runners at second and third with one out. Senior Nick Roscetti lifted a fly ball to the wall in left field — long enough for a sacrifice fly — but Booker’s run was wiped away when Daniels was thrown out at third base trying to advance on the play.
“We had a chance to get back in the game and ran ourselves out of it with a bad base-running move, which is unfortunate,” said Heller. “The guys never quit, they battled. We just have to keep trying to improve and get better, that’s all we can do.”
Mathews (0-3) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (all earned) on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Gallagher tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while junior Jared Mandel got the final two outs.
Anderson (4-0) notched his fourth win, allowing three runs on six hits over 7 1/3 innings. He had five strikeouts to one walk in the game. Jordan Jess got the final five outs to tally his third save.
Junior Mason McCoy paced Iowa’s offense collecting two of the team’s seven hits. He finished 2-for-3 on the day, while Guzzo was 1-for-3 with a run and two RBIs.
Iowa (11-14, 3-3) returns to action Tuesday, hosting Milwaukee at 6:05 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field.