March 2, 2012
The University of Minnesota baseball team scored six runs in the fifth inning en route to an 8-1 victory over New Mexico State, tonight at the H.H.H. Metrodome. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 4-5 on the season and 1-0 in the 28th annual Dairy Queen Classic.
Minnesota was led in hitting by Bobby Juan, who went 3-4 with three RBI, while Dan Olinger was 2-4 with an RBI. Kurt Schlangen, who pinch hit in the fifth inning, went 1-3 with an RBI. TJ Oakes pitched another gem tonight, allowing just one earned run in 5.2 innings pitched. He tied a career-high seven strikeouts and allowed just two hits to push him to 3-0 on the season. Kevin Kray came in relief and allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings pitched. He collected his second save of the season.
Minnesota and New Mexico State each went scoreless in the first four and a half innings as Minnesota’s Andy Henkemeyer had the only hit in that span. That hit came in the Gophers’ first at bat of the game as Henkemeyer was the leadoff. Until the bottom of the fifth, only one hit, and five left on base.
The Gophers got the bats going in the bottom of the fifth inning when Juan started things off with a double. After Matt Puhl walked, Ryan Abrahamson drove in his second run of the season when he singled to right. With two out, Henkemeyer walked to put two on when Schlangen pinch hit. He drove in Abrahamson with a single placed between the shortstop and third basemen. After Bettenburg walked to load the bases, Olinger delivered a single to score Henkemeyer. Schlangen would come around to score on a passed ball. As the Gophers batted around the order in the fifth, Juan came up again and singled to right field to score both Olinger and Bettenburg.
New Mexico State scored its lone run of the contest when Tanner Waite scored in the top of the sixth. That run was the only earned run allowed by Oakes this season. In 18.1 innings pitched this year, Oakes holds an ERA of 0.49. He left the game with two outs in the top of the sixth inning and was replaced by Kevin Kray.He allowed just one hit, struck out two and did not allow a walk in the 11 batters he faced.
Minnesota pushed across another two runs in the seventh inning for the eventual 8-1 final. Matt Halloran drove in his first run of his sophomore season when he singled and scored Olinger. Juan again came through in the clutch and had an RBI single that scored Bettenburg.
Minnesota plays West Virginia at 6:35 p.m. The early game will feature Nebraska and New Mexico State at noon. Both will look for their first win of the DQ Classic as Nebraska fell to the Mountaineers today, 4-1.
The Mountaineers scored three runs in the sixth inning and another in the bottom of the eighth to improve to 4-4 on the season. WVU's Brady Wilson delivered four RBI in the game when he hit a three-run homerun in the sixth inning. He also delivered an RBI single the eighth for the added insurance. Corey Walter collected his first win of the season, while Nebraska's Zach Hirsch was credited with the loss.
Pitching Coach Todd Oakes Passes Away At 55
Minnesota assistant baseball coach Todd Oakes passed away today after a courageous and public battle with leukemia. Oakes, who coached the Minnesota pitching staff, was 55.
Gophers Drop Out of B1G Tournament
Minnesota falls to Michigan 3-2 in an elimination game on Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park
Minnesota Falls in B1G Tournament Opener
Gophers play at 1 p.m. in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon against either Michigan or Ohio State