Gophers Win in Bottom of the Ninth to Take Series
March 19, 2012
Tied 3-3, Andy Henkemeyer delivered a RBI single to score Tony Skjefte in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Gophers to a 4-3 win over Cal Poly. With the win, the Golden Gophers took two of three games against the Mustangs and have now won two straight. Minnesota improves to 9-11 on the season, while Cal Poly drops to 12-7.
Henkemeyer went 2-5 on the day, while Matt Halloran had two RBI and went 1-3 with a walk. Although Austin Lubinsky had a no-decision, he pitched the longest game of his senior year today. In 7.0 innings of work, he surrendered two earned runs off of five hits, five strikeouts and one walk. Troy Larson had two hits in two official at bats and walked three times. Dan Olinger extended his hit streak to 14-straight games.
David Armendariz put the Mustangs on the board when he hit a 379-yard solo home run in the second inning. The Mustangs added to its lead when Mitch Haniger drove Mike Miller from third to go up, 2-0.
Minnesota responded and tied the game in the third, when Matt Halloran drove in two runs off a single to left. The Halloran single scored Larson, who started things off with a two-out walk. Henkemeyer and Olinger each added singles to load the bases prior to Halloran's hit. Working a 3-2 count, Halloran delivered his fifth and sixth RBI of the season.
Minnesota would take the lead when Ryan Abrahamson lifted a sacrifice fly to score Handel from third. Leading off the fourth inning with a single, Handel scored from third after Bobby Juan had a double to right.
The Mustangs, put on the pressure in the top of the ninth when Jimmy Allen started with a double to right center. Off a wild pitch, he advanced to third before Tim Wise drove him home on a RBI single. With a runner on and no outs, Minnesota forced Cal Poly to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, while Jordan Hadlock flied out to right to end the threat and keep the game tied.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Skjefte ripped a single up the middle to get a runner on base and later advanced to second on a wild pitch by Mustang pitcher Chase Johnson. Larson added his third walk of the game to put two on with two outs. Henkemeyer stepped up and delivered a single that got through the infield for a hit. Sending Skjefte home and a throw to the plate, he got underneath the tag and was called safe at home to win the game.
In series play, it was Minnesota's first series win of the year. Playing in three tournaments since the start of the season, Minnesota went 1-2 in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge (2/17-19), split action against UW-Milwaukee (2/24-26), went 2-1 in the DQ Classic (3/2-4), 1-2 in the Gopher Baseball Classic (3/10-11) and was swept in a two-game series against Kansas State.
Minnesota continues action tomorrow as North Dakota State comes to town, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20-21. Tomorrow's game is set for a 6:35 p.m. start, while the Wednesday game is a 3 p.m. afternoon start.