On Saturday, Rutgers ran away from Minnesota using their bats to the tune of a 16-1 victory. Just one day later, the Golden Gophers returned the favor.
Minnesota’s offense got going early as they scored nine runs over the first two innings to take control of the game. It was a 13-8 loss for the Scarlet Knights on Sunday in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Scarlet Knights will leave opening weekend with a 2-2 record after splitting with both Indiana and Minnesota.
“You can’t win giving up nine runs in the first two innings,” head coach Steve Owens said. “We didn’t pitch well at the beginning and it’s a tough hole to dig out of. We did some decent stuff offensively.”
Rutgers scored seven runs over the final five innings of the game to make it interesting but they fell too far behind early. Danny DiGeorgio clubbed two home runs, including a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning. This was the Scarlet Knights’ third grand slam of the weekend.
Jayson Hoopes, a Virginia transfer, was roughed up in his first start for the Scarlet Knights against a Golden Gopher lineup that returned returning players who hit .300 or better a season ago. Hoopes lasted just one inning and allowed five runs on five hits.
Six relief pitchers followed Hoopes and four surrendered runs. Nate McLain and Eric Reardon were the only two to not have a run charged to their record.
The Scarlet Knights finished with 14 hits for the second-straight game against Minnesota. Five players finished with multiple hits. Jordan Sweeney led the way going 3-for-5 while freshman Ryan Lasko picked up two hits in three tries.
Rutgers performed well in the opening weekend and showed some improvements, especially on the offensive end. The Scarlet Knights will be back in action beginning on Friday for a four-game series against Maryland.
“Everyone got to pitch this weekend to give us a chance evaluate facing another opponent. In general, not the way we wanted today to go,” Owens said. “Minnesota hit every mistake and made it tough for us to come back. There were a lot things to build on from this weekend, other things to fix. We’ll get home and get ready for Maryland next weekend.”