MINNEAPOLIS – The Gopher Baseball team started strong but could not hold on as Oklahoma took the rubber match of the three game series 5-2 with five unanswered runs for the Sooners at Siebert Field on Sunday morning.
Minnesota (17-20) clubbed three doubles in the first two innings to scrape across a pair of runs, with Jordan Kozicky and Riley Smith each providing an RBI. Joshua Culliver (2-3) cruised through the first four frames, but Brady Harlan, who came on as a defensive replacement in right field earlier in the game, snuck a three-run home run just over the right field fence to give Oklahoma (27-14) a lead.
Culliver came out for the sixth but got just one out, finishing with 5.1 innings on the day as Oklahoma plated its fourth run with a pair of doubles. Left-hander Levi Prater (6-3) stranded six Gophers in his 6.2 innings of work, ending his day with five walks and four strikeouts and five hits allowed.
Jeff Fasching relieved Culliver in the sixth, stranding a pair of runners and working a scoreless seventh. Brett Schulze closed out the final 2.0 innings for Minnesota, allowing one run on one hit while striking out two. Jason Ruffcorn tossed a scoreless ninth inning for the second time in the series, earning his 10th save of the year.
LINCOLN – The No 18/12 University of Minnesota defeated Nebraska 9-3 to sweep the series. Minnesota Improves to 32-10 overall and 13-1 in the Big Ten.
Maddie Houlihan went 3-3 on the day with two runs and two RBIs.
Minnesota recorded their first run in the second inning. Katelyn Kemmetmueller singled to shortstop and moved to second on a wild pitch. Kemmetmueller advanced to third on a single from Ali Lindner and was punched across the plate by MaKenna Partain.
The Gophers extended their lead to 2-0 after plating another run in the third. They recorded the lone run within the first two at-bats of the frame. Maddie Houlihan brought in Natalie DenHartog, who got on base with a double, with a single up the middle.
Nebraska answered back in the bottom of the third, tying the game 2-2. They put runners on second and third and were brought home on a single through the left side.
Houlihan broke the tie in the top of the fifth with a single to drive in Macy Gill from third base. The Maroon and Gold tacked on one more run in the frame when Houlihan crossed the plate on a fielding error to make it a 4-2 lead.
Minnesota scored five runs in the top of the sixth. Their scoring spree was started when Partain doubled to left field to drive in Lindner. Hope Brandner’s sacrifice fly brought in Brandt to make it 6-2. A double from DenHartog extended the lead to 7-2 after scoring Partain. The team’s final two runs were brought in by Taylor Chell, who took the first pitch she saw for a single up the middle.
The final run for Nebraska came in the bottom of the sixth. The runner reached second on back-to-back errors from Minnesota. The Huskers drove the runner in after singling to right center, making it 9-3.
Amber Fiser got the nod in the circle and pitched a complete game. In seven innings, she struck out 10 while giving up three runs. With the win, she moves to 20-6.
The Gophers will travel to Wisconsin for a mid-week match up this upcoming Wednesday with the Badgers. The first game is set to start at 1 p.m.