April 12, 2013
Ryan Abrahamson hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning, while the pitchers struck out 14 batters as the University of Minnesota baseball team defeated Northwestern, 4-2, today in Evanston, Ill. Tied 1-1 heading into the eighth, the Golden Gophers pushed across three runs. With the win, Minnesota improves to 20-13 on the season and 5-2 in the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern dropped to 14-11 and 4-6 in league action.
Northwestern stranded a total of 13 base runners, while the Gophers left six. Tom Windle started the game, had seven strikeouts, walked five and allowed one earned run in the no decision. Ty McDevitt was credited the win to move to 3-0. In three innings pitched, McDevitt struck out six batters and allowed one run. Billy Soule collected his sixth save of the season.
Abrahamson finished the day with two runs batted in and went 2-4 with a run scored. Connor Schaefbauer was 2-4 with a RBI, while Andy Henkemeyer, Michael Handel, Mark Tatera and Kurt Schlangen all had a hit in the game.
Northwestern took a 1-0 early lead in the bottom of the second. Colby Everett hit a double down the left field line. He moved to third on a Windle wild pitch. Trevor Stevens provided a bunt single to score Everett from third for the early lead.
Minnesota, however, responded and tied the game in the top of the fourth. Dan Olinger reached base and was safe at second on back-to-back errors by Kyle Ruchim. Schaefbauer hit a double to left center and drove home Olinger to tie the game.
Defensively, Minnesota got out of a couple jams in the fifth and sixth innings to keep the score at 1-1. In the fifth, Scott Heelan walked and a Gopher error put two Northwestern runners on base with one out. Windle got Jack Mitchell to pop up for the second out. After Everett singled through the left side, Heelan tried to go home and score. Henkemeyer made a perfect throw to home to get him out at the plate on a 7-2 putout. In the sixth, Windle walked the first two batters and was pulled from the game after reaching over the 100-pitch mark. McDevitt came into the game with no outs and struck out the side. Ruchim struck out swinging, while he got Zach Morton to strike out looking on a 3-2 count for two outs. He closed out the inning with a strikeout swinging to Jack Havey.
Minnesota pushed across three in the top of the eighth for the 4-1 lead. Henkemeyer started things off with a leadoff single to right, while Handel also singled to put runners on the corners. Olinger hit a RBI grounder to first to drive in Minnesota’s first run since the fourth inning. With two outs and Handel standing at second, Abrahamson lifted one deep to left field for his second home run of the season and Minnesota’s seventh homer this year.
Northwestern cut Minnesota’s lead to two when Ruchim hit a solo home run to left and put the score at 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth. With a two-run lead, Northwestern's Havey led off the inning with the team's third double of the game. Soule came in to pitch against the Wildcats and got Jake Straub to hit a line drive to Schaefbauer and threw to Handel for the 6-4 lineout double play. Soule ended the game with the team's 14th strikeout of the game and his sixth save of the season.
Minnesota and Northwestern will play again tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. in Evanston, Ill.
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