Gophers Win Marathon Game, 3-2 in 16 Innings
March 7, 2012
The University of Minnesota and Hamline University played for four hours and 35 minutes as the Golden Gophers defeated the Pipers, 3-2 in the bottom of the 16th inning, tonight at the H.H.H Metrodome. Minnesota's Jake Bergren scored on a sacrifice fly to end the game and assist the Gophers to their sixth win of the season. Hamline dropped to 4-5 on the season.
The last time Minnesota won in extra innings was last year when it won in 12 against Iowa, 5-4.
Minnesota got on the board when Puhl led off the fourth inning with a stand-up double to right field. Halloran had his second RBI of the season when he drove home Puhl on a single to right field. Hamline responded right back with a run in the top of the fifth inning. The Pipers’ Cory Miller delivered a RBI single to left center, which scored Jordan Buck as he doubled to start off the inning.
The Gophers pushed another run across in the bottom of the sixth inning. Minnesota started the inning off with a Bobby Juan walk. Halloran followed with his second double of the season, putting two on with no outs. Tony Skjefte added his second RBI of the season when he lifted it deep enough for a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Juan from third.
The Pipers responded for the second time and tied the game at 2-2, this time in the eighth inning. After a hit by pitch and a bunt single, Mark Radmacher doubled to right field and scored Miller from second back. The Pipers nearly took the lead when Ryan Hackel attempted to score from first, but the Gophers threw him out at the plate on a nice relay from Juan to Puhl to Halloran at the plate. Minnesota minimized the damage and got the third out allowing just the one run and stranding three after Kurt Schlangen had a diving catch in left field.
Minnesota stranded three in the bottom of the eighth inning and went down in order in the bottom of the ninth as the two teams went into extra innings. Minnesota threatened in the bottom of the 13th inning when the Gophers had the bases loaded, but the Gophers stranded another three on base to send the game into the 14th inning. In all the Gophers left 22 on base, while Hamline left 11.
In the top of the 16th, Hamline’s Richardson led off with a single, but the Pipers followed with a pop up to the pitcher on a bunt attempt and Richardson was picked off of first by Halloran for two outs. Dan Ellefson then grounded out in the top of the 16th to end the Piper threat.
In the bottom of the 16th, Halloran had a base hit as Bergren came in to pinch run for him. Ellefson, who started the game at third came in to pitch the remaining 4.1 innings, tried to check Bergren at first. An error was charged to him on the throw, which advanced Bergren all the way to third. With one out, Henkemeyer provided the sac fly to score the game-winning run to end the game.
Between the two teams, 15 pitchers were used in the game. Minnesota’s Jordan Jess started for the Gophers and he went 3.0 innings and had one strikeout. Following Jess was McDevitt (2.0, allowed one earned run), Ben Meyer (2.0), Kyle O’Shea (0.2 allowed one earned run), Lance Thonvold (1.2), Kevin Kray (3.2) and finally Billy Soule (3.0). Soule earned the win after he allowed three hits in three innings pitched and a strikeout.