Home Runs Power Minnesota to 14-7 Victory Over Iowa in Opening Round of 2005 Baseball Tournament

May 25, 2005

Box Score

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS - Three late-inning homers including a grand slam off the bat of Jake Elder, powered sixth seeded Minnesota to a 14-7 victory over third seeded Iowa here Wednesday (May 25) in the opening round of the 2005 Big Ten Conference Baseball Tournament at Illinois Field on the campus of the University of Illinois.


With the win, the Golden Gophers advance to play the top seeded Fighting Illini at 7:05 p.m. central time on Thursday (May 26) and improves their record to 30-27 on the season. Iowa falls to 28-28 on the year and will play Michigan at 12:05 p.m. central time with the winner being ousted from the double elimination tournament. Earlier in the day, Michigan lost to Ohio State 7-3 in 13 innings.


Iowa had the first threat of the game when it loaded the bases with only one out in the second inning. Minnesota ace Matt Loberg fanned Jason White for the second out to bring up Nathan Price. The junior hit a sharp grounder that went off the foot of Loberg and careened over toward first base for an RBI single to put the Hawkeyes up 1-0. Skyler Moss then hit a rope right by Loberg for a two-run double to put Iowa up 3-0 in the second.




Loberg then fell behind 3-0 to Andy Lytle who - after fouling off a pair of Loberg offerings - singled though the left side to score the fourth run of the game with runners still on the corners. The senior then got Nate Yoho to hit into a fielders choice to get out of the inning.


With a runner on third in the top of the fourth, Iowa starter Jeff Maitland surrender a two out single to Mike Mee which scored Jake Elder to put Minnesota on the board and make the score 4-1 in favor of the Hawkeyes.


Loberg's troubles would continue in the fourth inning when he loaded the bases and was pulled by Minnesota skipper John Anderson. Andy Peters came in with only one down and no margin for error. The junior induced a ground ball to second off the bat of Yoho for the 4-6-3 inning ending double play.


Maitland would encounter similar troubles in the top of the fifth inning. After plunking two batters and issuing a walk, the Golden Gophers had the bases loaded with only one down. Andy Hunter couldn't get the job done however as the junior hit into a 3-6-1 double play to end the Minnesota threat.


With runners on first and second in the top of the sixth Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm made the call to the pen for Travis Sweet. The freshman right-hander would walk pinch hitter Taylor VanderAarde to load up the bags with the top of the order coming up. Sweet would get David Hrncirik to ground out to second to preserve the Iowa lead and end the inning.


In the bottom of the sixth, it was Iowa who had the bases loaded once again with only one down. Yoho hit a deep fly ball to right field which was caught by Mike Mee for the out but did allow Jason White to tag-up and score to put the Hawkeyes up 5-1. Chris Welker then went down looking at an Andy Peters fastball for the third out.


After a walk to Joe Maciej, Jake Elder doubled down the leftfield line to score Maciej all the way from first and make the score 5-2 Iowa with Minnesota threatening a big inning. That would be all for Travis Sweet as Chris Zinn was called from the pen. Zinn would stumble into trouble as well after Kevin Carlson found the left field corner with a shot down the line for a double to score Elder for the third run of the game for Minnesota. Mee then stepped up and hit a rope to right field to set-up runners on the corners.


Aaron Reasland was then brought in as the third pitcher of record in the inning. After recording the second out, Luke MacLean reached on an error by shortstop Andy Lytle that also plated Carlson to make it a 5-4 game in favor if Iowa.


The inning continued as Reasland hit VanderAarde with a 2-2 pitch to load the bases. Hrncirik then laid down a drag bunt single toward third base that caught the Hawkeyes off guard. Mee crossed the plate to tie the game with the bases still loaded. Reasland then issued a bases loaded walk to the 10th batter of the inning, Maciej, to give Minnesota its first lead of the ball game.


With the bags still full Elder stepped up and got a hold of the first pitch he saw and belted it over the fence in left for a grand slam to make the score 10-5 Gophers. After and Andy Hunter single, Carlson cracked the second homer of the inning with a shot to left field to score UM's 10th and 11th runs of the stanza. Minnesota now led 12-5. Kevin Sunderman was then called in as the fourth pitcher of the inning and got Dusty Napolean to fly out to centerfield to end the inning.


Overall in the top of the seventh, Minnesota sent 14 batters to the plate, notched seven hits and scored 11 runs, only two of which were earned.


The Hawkeyes would pick up two runs on a pair of infield singles in the bottom of the eighth off the bats of Welker and Napoleon to cut the Minnesota lead to five at 12-7.

But, the Gophers would answer back on a two-run shot to left-center by Andy Hunter to go up 14-7. Iowa would load the bases in the bottom of the ninth but would be unable to score any runners as Yoho struck out swinging to end the game.


The Golden Gophers continue in the winner's bracket and are set to play Illinois Thursday while the other second-day game in the winners bracket will be second seeded Purdue taking on the fifth seed, Ohio State. That game is scheduled to begin at 3:35 p.m. central time.