Gophers Fall 4-3 to Cal Poly in Opener
March 17, 2012
The University of Minnesota baseball team allowed three runs in the top of the sixth inning to falter, 4-3 to Cal Poly, tonight at the H.H.H. Metrodome. With the loss the Golden Gophers fall to 7-11 on the season, while Cal Poly improves to 12-5 this year.
Minnesota was led in hitting by sophomore Dan Olinger when he went 2-3 with an RBI, his team-high 10th RBI of the year. His two hits extended his hit streak to 12-straight games. Troy Larson and David Bettenburg were both 2-5, as Bettenburg had his second RBI of the season. Minnesota scattered 14 hits throughout the game and allowed eight in the loss. The 14 hits tied a season high, with the first coming in the 16-inning game against Hamline earlier this season.
TJ Oakes suffered his first loss of his junior season when he surrendered four earned runs. Pitching approximately 95 pitches, he had 7.1 innings of work, allowed eight hits, four earned runs and struck out five in the 31 batters he faced.
David Bettenburg gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead when he drove home Troy Larson in the first inning. As the leadoff, Larson had a single up the middle, while Andy Henkemeyer followed with a ground rule double. Dan Olinger had a fielder’s choice RBI that scored Henkemeyer from third.
The Mustangs pushed one across in the fourth inning when Tim Wise scored from third on a 5-3 putout by Nick Torres to cut the Gophers’ lead to one. Cal Poly would later take the lead and the eventual win when Mitch Haniger hit a three-run home run in the first row of left field to put the Mustangs up, 4-2, in the top of the sixth inning.
Minnesota would get a run back when Jake Bergren scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. Bergren, who came into the game for Henkemeyer, went 2-2 when he had a single and a double in the game. In the seventh, he started things off with a single, while Bettenburg followed up with another single to put runners on the corners. Cal Poly's Nick Grim threw a ball in the dirt as Bergren came in to score and cut the Mustangs’ lead to one.
Minnesota would threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning when Larson singled, advanced to second on a bunt and would steal third as Cal Poly thought time had been called. However, the Gophers couldn’t convert the game-tying run and fell in the series opener.
Minnesota will look to rebound in the second game, tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. at the Metrodome. The Gophers will also play the Mustangs on Monday at 1:30 p.m.