MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota scored the go-ahead run in a three-run fifth inning and four Golden Gopher pitchers combined on a two-hitter en route to a 5-1 victory over South Dakota State in nonconference baseball action Tuesday night at Siebert Field.
The Golden Gophers improved to 16-18 overall, while SDSU dropped to 16-15 on the season.
Ryan McDonald provided what would be the only Jackrabbit run of the night by leading off the top of the second inning with his third home run of the season.
The Jackrabbits had several chances to add to their run total, but couldn't come up with a clutch hit after being issued eight free passes - seven walks and one hit batter - by Minnesota hurlers. SDSU loaded the bases on three walks following McDonald's home run in the second and also stranded two runners in the first, fifth and seventh innings. In all, SDSU stranded 10 men on the night.
Minnesota tied the game when a run scored on a double-play grounder in the fourth inning, then took the lead on only one hit in the three-run fifth. Jordan Kozicky and Eli Wilson drew back-to-back walks to open the inning against SDSU reliever Brady Stover, which were followed by Cole McDevitt's third hit of the game, a single to left that plated Kozicky with the go-ahead run. Wilson and McDevitt later scored on a passed ball and wild pitch, respectively, after each moved up a base following a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Wilhite.
Kozicky provided the final tally with his seventh home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
McDevitt was the lone player on either squad with more than one hit as he went 3-for-4 to lead Minnesota's nine-hit attack.
Golden Gopher reliever Jeff Fasching held SDSU in check over three shutout innings to earn the win in relief of J.P. Massey. Fasching struck out four and walked two, while Nolan Burchill and Bubba Watson finished up on the mound for Minnesota with a shutout inning each.
Korey Kuhlmann pitched three shutout innings in earning the start for the Jackrabbits. The senior southpaw struck out four, hit one batter and scattered five hits. Brett Mogen added a shutout frame, striking out the side in order in the bottom of the eighth.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to open the second half of Summit League play this weekend with a three-game series against Western Illinois. Exact schedule and location is expected to be announced Wednesday.
• Minnesota leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1947, 35-12
• The Golden Gophers have won the last five meetings - all of which have been played in Minneapolis
• The two teams are scheduled to play again May 7 at Siebert Field
• Gus Steiger walked in the fifth inning, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 26 games
• Josh Kutzke recorded the other SDSU hit, a pinch-hit single to lead off the seventh inning