MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota broke open a tie game with a three-run sixth inning and went on to defeat South Dakota State, 6-2, in nonconference baseball action Wednesday night at Siebert Field.
The 23rd-ranked Golden Gophers won for the 10th time in 11 games to improve to 26-11 on the season. SDSU dropped to 10-23 overall.
Minnesota recorded half of its eight hits in the game in the decisive sixth inning. Riley Smith singled with one out, moved to third on a single by Terrin Vavra and gave the Golden Gophers a 3-2 lead when he scored on a base hit by Toby Hanson. After Hanson stole second to give Minnesota runners at second and third, Cole McDevitt delivered a two-run single to right-center field.
Hanson scored again in the eighth inning on a fielders choice for the final margin.
The Jackrabbits opened the scoring with a run in the top of the second. Phil Velez singled with one out, advanced to third on Landon Badger’s opposite-field double and scored on a groundout off the bat of Gus Steiger.
After Minnesota grabbed a 2-1 lead on RBIs by Hanson and McDevitt in the fourth inning, Steiger scored on the second of two wild pitches to knot the game at 2-all.
Golden Gopher starter Nick Lackney struck out seven and did not walk a batter over six innings to earn the win. Jeff Fasching followed with two scoreless innings in which he struck out two. Fred Manke fired a scoreless ninth inning that included a pair of strikeouts.
For SDSU, Korey Kuhlmann allowed two runs on three hits over four innings, striking out two and walking one.
Bryce Johnson suffered the loss in relief as he was charged with all three sixth-inning runs. Freshman left-hander Bret Barnett pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, while Bret Mogen and Quinn Reimers each tossed one scoreless inning.
Hits were even at eight per team. McDevitt and Jordan Kozicky each posted two hits for Minnesota, while Kjolsing was the lone Jackrabbit with more than one hit, going 2-for-4 at the plate.
NOTES: Minnesota leads the all-time series, 34-12, dating back to 1947. ... Nick Smith singled in the sixth inning to extend his team-best hitting streak to 12 games. ... Kjolsing recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the season and tallied his team-leading 12th stolen base of 2018. ... Newt Johnson singled in the eighth inning and has now reached base safely in 26 consecutive games. ... SDSU used seven pitchers for the fourth time in the last seven games. ... The Jackrabbits turned two double plays in a game for the fourth time this season.
The Jackrabbits return to Summit League action Friday at Fort Wayne. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. Central at Mastodon Field.