Minnesota did not go down easy in their Big Ten semifinal game against Iowa.
After five hours of play, the Gophers lost to the Hawkeyes 7-5 in 13 innings on Saturday night in Bloomington, Indiana. The loss eliminated Minnesota from the conference tournament, and the team will find out if their season continues in the NCAA tournament Monday.
“We had chances to win the game [Saturday night],” said head coach John Anderson. “We didn’t get the big hit.”
Iowa broke open the semifinal game in the top of the 13th inning when the Hawkeyes’ Tyler Cropley hit a solo shot. Infielder Matt Hoeg stole third and scored on an error to expand the lead to 7-5.
The Gophers were unable to respond in the bottom of the inning, as Iowa’s Shane Ritter retired Minnesota in four batters.
Minnesota’s relief pitching helped take the game to extra innings.
Pitcher Brian Glowicki made an appearance for the Gophers in relief. The closer came in the ninth inning and pitched through the tenth, allowing zero runs.
Iowa’s batting picked up, recording 10 hits in the 13 innings of play.
Cropley hit two of the four homeruns for the Hawkeyes as the team scored five runs in nine innings of play and two runs in extras.
Cropley’s homerun sent the Gophers back to Minneapolis and kept the Hawkeyes in Bloomington for the Big Ten Tournament Championship against Northwestern.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Anderson said. “I thought our guys competed their tails off all year long, not just this weekend.”
Minnesota hopes to be one of the 64 teams selected to the NCAA Regional tournament on June 2. Anderson said he was unsure on whether the Gophers will receive a berth into the tournament.
“In my opinion, do we deserve an opportunity? For sure,” Anderson said. “I think it’s going to depend on who wins this tournament.”
Gophers win first game against Hawkeyes
In its previous game against Iowa Saturday afternoon, Minnesota won 9-3, with 16 hits to Iowa’s four.
It took pitcher Reggie Meyer 122 pitches to lead Minnesota to the win on Saturday. Meyer went eight innings with only three runs allowed.
Gophers finish 2-0 versus Hoosiers
After losing 5-4 in the first game, the Hoosiers got a rematch against the Gophers on Friday night. Indiana had a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning, but the Gophers bats sparked a comeback, putting up four runs in the sixth inning alone to win 9-8.
Outfielder Eduardo Estrada was the hero of the game when he launched a three-run homerun over the right-center field fence to put the Gophers ahead of the Hoosiers in the bottom of the eighth.
“It just felt like a dream,” Estrada said. “It just felt super good to do that for my team.”
Wildcats force Gophers into double-elimination game
The Gophers went on to play Northwestern Friday morning. After a back-and-forth game, the Gophers lost 11-7, putting their backs against the wall in the double-elimination tournament.
Minnesota takes first game against Indiana
The Gophers came back from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 against the Hoosiers in the first game of the tournament Wednesday morning.
Glowicki ended the game by allowing nobody on base in the final two innings. He picked up his 16th career save, a new record for Minnesota’s program.
“It’s a pretty big honor,” Glowicki said after the first game. “It rained throughout the whole game, but you just got to go out there and do your job.”