Minnesota tops Indiana 5-4 in Big Ten tourney

Ruben Hill
May 25, 2017

They took the first step in that process Wednesday, beating sixth-seeded in 5-4 in the first round of the double-elimination tournament in Bloomington, Ind.

IU Coach Chris Lemonis came into the tournament with 99 career wins, all with the Hoosiers.

The run didn't count and the inning was over.

"One of those situations where you recognize it and it pays off for you", Coffey said.

"Letting them get up by three runs-we knew we had to get a couple guys on and hope we could find a gap or hit a ball out of the ballpark and lo and behold, he found a way to do that for us", Minnesota coach John Anderson. Jordan Kozicky followed with a two-run home run to left-center to cut the lead to 4-3. "It was a big out for us". "The turnaround that inning was huge". On the first pitch, Fineman lifted a fly ball that was caught in medium-depth center field by Minnesota's Jordan Smith.

Minnesota plated one against Stiever in the bottom of the first when Toby Hanson lined a two-out single to centerfield, scoring Vavra from second base. Minnesota was able to hold onto that lead through the closing innings. Fourth seed Maryland and fifth seed Iowa will square off in the last of the four Wednesday openers. IN had done a good job keeping consistent pressure on Minnesota starter Lucas Gilbreath, scoring a run in the second on an Alex Krupa RBI single, a run in the fourth on a Craig Dedelow solo homer, and then two runs in the fifth on a Matt Lloyd two-run double.

The third seed Gophers will get the double-elimination bracket going Wednesday morning against the sixth seed Hoosiers, who are hosting this year. "We brought Manke in from the bullpen". A routine tag on a fly ball to the outfield. "It's all about executing pitches and making plays". Miller took third on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Gorski and came around to score on Alex Krupa's single to right field.

But after Minnesota third baseman Micah Coffey asked for the ball to touch the base, the umpire agreed and the big scoreboard at Bart Kaufman Field adjusted a 5-3 sixth inning lead for IN back to 4-3. "That's just one of the responsibilities I have at third base". Wednesday, Stiever worked into the sixth and also allowed four runs on six hits. "I guess everyone has their opinion, but I'm not agreeing with it".

For awhile it looked like IN was about to run away with the game. Manke was able to shut down IU until he gave the ball up in the eighth to the closer, Brian Glowicki. But umpires ruled that Miller left that bag early. "He threw a little more off speed and we were getting out in front of it".

Lemonis said this has been the case with his team all year long and even though this loss is frustrating, he said his guys will definitely be ready to bounce back in their second game.

"We've been up and down at times and played really well at times", Lemonis said. "We're king of the 10 a.m. bracket. We're playing good baseball, that's why I am frustrated--that was a game that I felt like we should have had".

IU defeated MI in a regular season series about a month ago. IU took two of three games against MI this season in Ann Arbor.

Of course, a team's will to win, desperation, and attention to detail can be expressed in other ways, such as catching a tagging runner leaving a bit too early, and that's precisely what they pulled off in the top half of the sixth.

IN will have and long road to get out of the loser's bracket and back into contention to win the championship. If the Hoosiers win Thursday, they will play again on Friday in one of the two games being played that day.

Minnesota moves on to play No. 7 seed Northwestern at 5 p.m. Thursday in the winner's bracket while in will face second-seeded MI at 10 a.m.in an elimination game. A possible rematch with the Golden Gophers would take place at 1 p.m. on Friday if both teams were to wind up there.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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