Gophers Rally to Win in Bottom of Ninth Over The Citadel

Go Gophers! TJ Oakes held a no decision, but held The Citadel to five hits in 8.0 innings pitched
Go Gophers!
TJ Oakes held a no decision, but held The Citadel to five hits in 8.0 innings pitched
Go Gophers!

March 23, 2012

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David Bettenburg delivered a sacrifice fly as the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers rallied and won, 2-1, over The Citadel, tonight at the H.H.H. Metrodome. Trailing 1-0, Minnesota got two runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn the win. The Gophers improve to 10-13, while the Bulldogs dropped to 9-12.

TJ Oakes kept the Gophers in the game when he allowed just one earned run in 8.0 innings pitched. Although Oakes held the no decision, he pitched over 95 pitches and faced 31 batters. In that span, he retired 12 straight from the second inning to the fifth, had two walks and six strikeouts. His earned run average this season is at 1.56 in 40.1 innings and has struck on 27 in his junior campaign.

After a scoreless game for five and half, the Bulldogs pushed across one run in the top of the sixth inning. After Oakes retired 12-straight batters, three Bulldogs hit three-consecutive singles as Nick Orvin scored Mason Davis from second to take the 1-0 lead.  

Minnesota wiggled out of a jam in the top of the seventh when three of the four first batters reached base on an error, walk and a catcher's interference to load the bases with one out. However, Oakes and the Gophers had Bailey Rush hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and keep the game at 1-0. The 1-0 lead would remain until the Gophers batted in the bottom of the ninth.

Dan Olinger led off the ninth when he was hit by a pitch. On a pickoff attempt by the catcher, a throwing error occurred and later went into the Minnesota dugout as Olinger advanced to third. After a Kurt Schlangen walk, he stole second to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Bulldog pitcher Kevin Connell was called with a balk as Olinger bluffed to home, to score himself and move Schlangen to third. With one out, Bettenburg delivered the sacrifice fly on a lefty-lefty match-up to score Schlangen from third and win the game.

Between the two teams, five double plays were turned, three by Minnesota and two by The Citadel. The Bulldogs stranded seven runners, while Minnesota left five on base. Starting Bulldog pitcher Austin Pritcher held the Gophers scoreless when he went 7.0 innings, have five strikeouts and two walks, throwing 93 pitches. Connell picked up the loss and dropped to 0-2, while Drew Ghelfi relieved Oakes and picked up the win, his second on the season.

The two teams play again tomorrow at 2:05 p.m.