Feb. 24, 2012
TJ Oakes and Kevin Kray combined for a 1-0 shutout win over UW-Milwaukee in the home opener tonight, at the H.H.H. Metrodome. Oakes earned his second win in as many starts as he pitched seven innings, while Kray added another two scoreless innings to help improve the Gophers to 2-2 on the season. Both of the Gopher wins this season came in Oakes starts. The first came in the season opener against Louisville.
The two teams combined for just three hits in the first four innings of play when the Gophers' Kyle Geason had a single to center in the second inning, while Milwaukee's Drew Pearson and Jonathon Capasso scattered two hits in the third and fourth inning.
Minnesota broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning when the eight and nine hitters Matt Halloran and Michael Handel provided back-to-back extra base hits to push across the lone run. With two outs, Halloran hit a double to right center, his first hit of the 2012 season. Handel delivered his first career, extra base hit, when he drove home Halloran. Handel hit a right-field liner and into the corner to earn a triple, the team's first triple of the year and the Gophers' eighth extra base hit of the season.
The lone run in the fifth would be all that Oakes and Kray would need to complete the Gopher win. Oakes allowed just two hits in the third and fourth inning, struck out four and walked one in seven innings. Completing his work against 23 batters faced, Oakes did not allow his walk until the top of the seventh inning. He finished the game with approximately 70 pitches, 52 of them for strikes. Kray came in and allowed just one hit struck out one in seven batters faced. He also collected his first career save.
Milwaukee starter Eric Semmelhack also pitched well, allowing just the one earned run. He picked up the loss when he struck out six and allowed two walks.
The Golden Gophers and the Panthers will compete again tomorrow in a doubleheader. The first game begins at 2:05 p.m., followed by the second game.
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