Andy Henkemeyer’s bases-loaded walk-off line drive down the right-field line gave the Gophers a 3-2 victory over Illinois in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.
The win kept the Gophers in the winner’s bracket, giving them a much shorter path through a tournament they likely need to win to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.
Andy Henkemeyer provided the game-tying and game-winning hits for a Gophers team that likely needs to win the tournament to keep its season alive.
As the Gophers baseball season winds down, the magnitude of each Big Ten series revs up.
In that context, winning two of three games in a road series is a very good weekend. But the Gophers’ loss to last-place Penn State (2-15 Big Ten) on Sunday kept them from extending their lead in the conference standings.
Minnesota (11-4 Big Ten) beat Penn State on Friday and Saturday before losing in extra innings Sunday to wrap up its final road series in conference play.
Minnesota has a narrow lead atop the Big Ten with two series left.
Dalton Sawyer’s latest performance on the mound fared much better than the first time he pitched in a Gophers uniform.
The Gophers freshman relief pitcher earned his first career win in a triumph over Augsburg at Siebert Field on April 16.
Sawyer made his first career appearance in Minnesota’s second game of the season, a 14-0 loss to college baseball powerhouse UCLA. He walked four batters and allowed five runs in 1.1 innings in that game.
Dalton Sawyer earned his first win last Wednesday against Augsburg.