Junior Tom Windle pitched his third straight complete game to lead the Golden Gophers (14-9) to a 5-1 victory over Texas (12-9) in the series opener at the Metrodome on Friday, Mar. 22.
Windle, who moved to 3-2 on the season with the win, struck out a career-high 12 batters and gave up just five hits and one run on the night. With the 12-strikeout performance, Windle joined Ben Meyer as the second Gopher hurler to register double-figure strikeouts in a game this year. Meyer had 11 strikeouts on Mar. 16 against Indiana State.
Minnesota got on the board early with five runs in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first inning, senior catcher Kurt Schlangen got things started with a one-out single. After Schlangen moved to second, sophomore shortstop Michael Handel drew a two-out walk. Senior third baseman Ryan Abrahamson drove home both runners to make it 2-0 with a two-run double to right center field.
The Gophers added three runs in the bottom of the second to push their lead to 5-0. Sophomore second baseman Tony Skefte had a one-out infield single, and moved to second when freshman outfield Dan Motl reached on an error by the Texas pitcher. Schlangen plated Skefte with an RBI double to move the lead to 3-0. Junior first baseman Dan Olinger plated Skefte and Motl with a two-run single.
Texas scored its only run in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Weston Hall.
Minnesota was led by Abrahamson who reached base three times, and was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while Olinger was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Schlangen also went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double and an RBI.
The Longhorns original starting pitcher Parker French skipped his start for precautionary reason because of tendinitis in the right elbow.
Minnesota chased Toller Boardman, who started in place of French, after only 1.2 innings as he gave up five hits and five runs. Josh Urban, Travis Duke and Kirby Bellow came out of the bullpen to pitch 6.1 shutout innings the remainder of the game.
Texas was led by Hall who was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Minnesota will be back in action in the second game of the series when it faces Texas on Saturday, Mar. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Metrodome. The two teams will wrap up the series on Sunday, Mar. 24 at 1 p.m.
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