April 13, 2012
TJ Oakes improved to 6-2 on the season, while Kevin Kray collected his sixth save of the year to lead the University of Minnesota baseball team to a 2-1 win over Northwestern, tonight at the H.H.H. Metrodome. Minnesota would pick up its fourth conference win of the season (4-3) and improved to 18-17 overall.
The Gophers were held in hitting by Andy Henkemeyer, who reached base in all four appearances. He went 3-3 with a RBI and a run scored. He also reached on a hit-by-pitch. Jake Bergren started tonight in center field and went 1-4 with a run scored. Dan Olinger was 1-4, Matt Halloran was 1-3 with a walk and Matt Puhl was 1-3.
Oakes had his longest career outing when he went 8.1 innings. In that span, he scattered eight hits, allowed the one earned run, did not issue a walk and struck out seven. With his performance he improved to 6-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.41, a Big Ten Conference best. With a runner on third and one out, Kray came into the game. Northwestern sent up Nick Linne to the plate. Kray got ahead of the Linne and struck him out, swinging for the second out. Wildcats' Walker Moses would come up next to try and get in the game-tying run, but Kray also got ahead of the batter and got the corner of the plate for the second strikeout and the win.
All three runs of the game came in the first inning. Northwestern started things off when a grounder to short scored Zach Morton, who led off the game with single. Minnesota would come right back in the bottom of the frame and scored two. Bergren led off the inning with a double, his second of his career. Henkemeyer scored Bergren from second when he lined a single up the middle to tie the game at 1-1. Olinger moved Henkemeyer to third when he singled to opposite field. As Olinger attempted to steal second, Henkemeyer had a delayed stolen base to home to score the eventual winning run.
The Henkemeyer run would be all that the Gopher pitching staff would need. After the having three singles in the first two innings, the Wildcats would only have four additional hits throughout the game. Oakes received help from Henkemeyer in the field as well. After a single by Morton, Northwestern sent Linne home. However, on the play, Henkemeyer gunned down Linne at home on a strong throw from left to home as Halloran applied the tag.
Minnesota and Northwestern will play again tomorrow at 2:05 p.m.