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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers swept by Golden Gophers

Baseball vs. Minnesota

For the first time since April 2008, the IU baseball team fell victim to being swept in a weekend series.

A lack of offensive production and Minnesota’s timely hitting proved to be the difference as the Golden Gophers (14-15, 6-6) took all three games from IU (25-15, 6-6) at Sembower Field this weekend.

In a matchup of the last two Big Ten Tournament Champions, IU was outhit 33-17 and outscored 20-5 by one of the Big Ten’s worst offenses.

“Just as much as hitting is contagious, not hitting is also contagious,” senior Wes Wilson said. “This weekend we kind of had trouble stringing together hits. They had good pitchers but it’s nothing we haven’t seen this year, nothing we haven’t hit this year.”  

For the fourth time in five weeks, Mother Nature forced IU into playing a doubleheader during its weekend series.

The Golden Gophers wasted no time in jumping on IU starter Blake Monar as three straight singles to start the game plated Minnesota’s first run.

After Minnesota tacked on another run in the top of the third, IU answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning.

Sophomore Micah Johnson and junior Alex Dickerson both had RBI singles in third to tie the score at two.

A lighting delay in the top of the sixth inning forced the game to be postponed for more than an hour and a half.

Despite the delay, Monar returned to the hill for the Hoosiers and made it through the sixth and seventh without surrendering a run.

However, Minnesota shortstop A.J. Pettersen found the perfect time to hit his first home run of the 2011 season. The run proved to be the game-winning run with the final score 3-2.

The second game was reminiscent of the weather for the Hoosiers as IU suffered its worst defeat of the 2011 season, falling 12-1 to Minnesota.

Pitcher Chad Martin didn’t survive through the second inning. The junior was knocked around for seven hits and five earned runs while only recording one out in the second.
Along with dropping both games Saturday, second baseman Micah Johnson left game two of the doubleheader with a leg injury and did not play in Sunday’s series finale.

“It certainly hurts not having him out there because that is one of the better players in the Big Ten,” Smith said. “All indications are that we will get him back soon. I think he will  be ready for Purdue.”

Trying to salvage a win in the series finale, freshman Joey DeNato was dealing through the first five innings Sunday and only gave up one hit.

With Minnesota up 1-0 in the sixth, Pettersen struck again, breaking the game open with a one-out RBI triple that led to a three-run, four-hit inning for the Golden Gophers.
IU was able to cut the score to 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh but was retired in order in the eighth and ninth innings to drop the finale.

The loss drops IU from the top of the Big Ten, to fighting for a spot in the conference tournament.

Fortunately for the Hoosiers, the turnaround will be quick, as Miami (Ohio) will come to Bloomington on Tuesday.

“I’m glad it’s Tuesday because it’s one less day I’ve to think about it,” Smith said. “We will get a day off (Monday) and hopefully get our confidence level back that this team has possessed all season.”

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