MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota catcher Eli Wilson went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs, including the go-ahead two-run triple in the fifth inning, to lift the Golden Gophers to a 5-2 victory over South Dakota State in nonconference baseball action Tuesday at Siebert Field.
The Golden Gophers improved to 22-10 overall in sweeping the two-game season series from SDSU. The Jackrabbits fell to 15-17 on the season.
Matt Johnson accounted for all the Jackrabbit offense, opening the scoring with a solo home run to left-center field in the bottom of the first off Minnesota starter – and Sioux Falls native – Nolan Birchill and adding a run-scoring single in the third inning to give SDSU the lead back at 2-1. Johnson's third-inning single plated Landon Badger, who led off the frame with a single and moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
After the Golden Gophers loaded the bases in the home half of the second on two walks and a hit batter, Wilson tied the game at 1-all with a single that scored Eduardo Estrada Jr. Minnesota again tied the game an inning later, taking advantage of Jackrabbit starter Brady Stover's inability to consistently find the strike zone. A walk, single and two hit batters, the last of which was absorbed by Luke Pettersen, forced in the tying run.
Wilson's go-ahead triple came with two outs in the fifth off SDSU reliever Brett Mogen and brought home Matt Stemper and Pettersen for a 4-2 lead.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota bullpen took control, hurling 6 2/3 shutout innings. Tyler Hanson retired all eight batters he faced to earn the victory, while Nick Lackney, Tim Shannon and Brian Glowicki combined to limit SDSU to three hits and one walk over the final four innings. Glowicki earned his 12th save of the season.
Minnesota added an insurance run in the eighth as Toby Hanson tripled in pinch-runner Riley Smith. Hanson finished with two of the Golden Gophers' 10 hits.
Besides Matt Johnson's two hits, Nick Smith and Philip Jacobson each tallied two of SDSU's eight hits.
The Jackrabbits open a three-game home series against Summit League-leading Oral Roberts Friday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Huether Field.
NOTES: Minnesota leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1947, by a 32-12 count. ... SDSU ended its nine-game road swing with a 2-7 record, playing games in five different states since April 4. ... Luke Ringhofer walked twice to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 28 games. ... Ringhofer has reached base safely by either hit, walk or hit by pitch in 80 of 81 games dating back to the 2016 season. ... Matt Johnson's home run was his eighth of the season, matching his career-high total first set last season, and the 22nd of his career as he homered for the second game in a row. ... Johnson recorded his team-leading eighth multi-RBI game of the season. ... Smith is a combined 10-for-14 (.714 batting average) over the last three games and notched his team-best 16th multi-hit game of 2017.
MINNESOTA 5, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
SDSU 101 000 000 – 2 8 1
MINN 011 020 01x – 5 10 0
Brady Stover, Brett Mogen (3), Quinn Reimers (7), Derek Feige (8) and Luke Ringhofer; Nolan Burchill, Tyler Hanson (3), Nick Lackney (6), Tim Shannon (7), Brian Glowicki (9) and Eli Wilson. W – Hanson (3-2). L – Mogen (0-2). Sv – Glowicki (12). HR – SDSU, Matt Johnson (8).