Junior left-handed pitcher Tom Windle pitched his way into University of Minnesota baseball history tonight at the H.H.H. Metrodome when he pitched a nine-inning no hitter against Western Illinois. Windle struck out eight, walked one to lead the Golden Gophers to a 3-0 win over the Leathernecks.
The Windle game was the first no-hitter pitched by a Golden Gopher since April 4, 1993 when Joe Westfall accomplished the feat against Penn State in seven innings. Prior to that, Minnesota also had a no-hitter on April 14, 1970, also in seven innings, over Macalester. Roger Zahn and Karl Johnson combined on a seven-inning perfect game at Siebert Field.
Along with the Windle no-hitter, head coach John Anderson earned his 1,100 career win. The Westfall no-hitter was Anderson's 401st career victory.
Windle pitched his way into Gopher history on 95 pitches. He sent the first 11 batters down in order before issuing his only walk of the game in the fourth inning. After his walk, Windle would strike out the next batter, swinging, his fourth strikeout of the game. After posting a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, Western Illinois put on its first base runner in the sixth inning on a Gopher error. However, Windle forced the Leathernecks into a 6-3 double play to avoid any damage.
After another 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, the Leathernecks also reached base on a Gopher error in the eighth. Matt Risdon went to second on a Gopher throwing error. After Joey White came in to pinch run for Risdon, Tanner Glore laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third. However, with one out and a runner at third, Windle rebounded and struck out the next two batters, both looking. Heading out for the ninth inning with three outs to go, Windle would help his own cause defensively when he covered first on a 3-1 putout. He then got Zach Burling to ground out to second for the second out. Windle completed his no-hitter when he struck out Dan Dispensa swinging for his eighth strikeout of the game.
Minnesota helped Windle's cause when it pushed two runs across in the bottom of the fourth and another in the bottom of the eighth for the 3-0 win. Bobby Juan walked, followed by Troy Larson reaching base on an error. Abrahamson would also reach base on an error as the WIU first baseman was pulled off the bag. Motl earned an RBI when he was hit by a pitch from Leatherneck starter John White. Schaefbauer walked to plate Larson to go up 2-0 on back-to-back unearned runs. The Gophers would then score Jake Bergren, who came into the game as a pinch runner. Bergren would score on a wild pitch from Aaron Michael for the third Gopher run.
Minnesota and Western Illinois will play again tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. at the H.H.H. Metrodome.