MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota scored all the game's runs in the first two innings and four Golden Gopher pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout en route to a 5-0 victory over South Dakota State in nonconference baseball action Tuesday night at Siebert Field.
Minnesota improved to 22-23 overall. The Jackrabbits, who had their five-game winning streak snapped, dropped to 24-18 on the season.
The Golden Gophers put the first run on the board as Eduardo Estrada delivered a run-scoring double two batters after Easton Bertrand opened the game with a double to right field off SDSU starter Brady Stover.
Minnesota sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning, scoring four times. Each of the first three batters reached safely, including Drew Hmielewski, who lined a single up the middle to score the first run of the frame and knock out Stover from the game. Estrada drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the second run of the inning, while Eli Wilson capped the scoring with a two-run single to left field.
Wilson and Zach Raabe each posted two of Minnesota's seven hits.
For the Jackrabbits, Tuesday's game followed much of the same script as their first game at Minnesota this season, which was played three weeks ago. SDSU loaded the bases in both the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn't come up with a clutch hit.
Minnesota reliever Nick Lackney inherited a bases-loaded situation with one out in the fifth after a single by Luke Ira and back-to-back walks to Landon Badger and Drew Beazley, but the left-hander retired the next two Jackrabbit hitters on a foul popout and strikeout to end the threat. In all, SDSU stranded 10 men on base.
Lackney finished with four strikeouts in an inning and two-thirds in picking up the win. Golden Gopher starter J.P. Massey struck out three and walked four in 4 1/3 innings of work.
The SDSU bullpen was equal to the task the rest of the way. Korey Kuhlmann pitched two scoreless innings, while four other Jackrabbit relievers each logged one scoreless frame. Kuhlmann struck out four, with Austin Suhr and Brett Mogen each tallying two strikeouts.
Nick Smith notched two of the Jackrabbits' four hits.
SDSU opens its final home series of the season Friday afternoon, hosting Oral Roberts in a 3 p.m. contest at Erv Huether Field. The Jackrabbits begin the week with a two-game lead over ORU for second place in the Summit League standings.
Minnesota leads the all-time series, 36-12, and has won the last six matchups
The Jackrabbits were shut out for the second time this season
Smith upped his career hit total to 185
Gus Steiger had his streak of reaching base safely end at 36 games, which is tied with Eric Danforth (2015) for the fourth-longest streak in program history during the Division I era (since 2005)
Brady Moxham made his season debut on the mound, pitching a scoreless fifth inning