Gophers Split Doubleheader Against Michigan State

Go Gophers! Halloran went 4-7 in the pair of games
Go Gophers!
Halloran went 4-7 in the pair of games
Go Gophers!

April 21, 2012

Michigan State, 3 Minnesota 2 (11)

Minnesota 4, Michigan State 2

The University of Minnesota baseball team split its action as it faced Michigan State in a doubleheader, today, in East Lansing, Mich. The Golden Gophers fell in the first game, 3-2 in 11 innings, but bounced back for a 4-2 win over the Spartans in the second game. Minnesota is now 23-18 on the season and 7-4 in Big Ten play.

Matt Halloran led the Gopher offense on the day when he went 4-7 with two RBI and a run scored.  Kyle Geason knocked in two runs in the Gopher win and went 4-9 in the two games. Jake Bergren went 3-7 with a RBI, while Andy Henkemeyer was 2-9 in the leadoff spot, had a double and two runs scored.

Minnesota continued to utilize its pitchers in the two games, as four saw action. DJ Snelten pitched a complete game when he went nine innings en route to his fourth win of the season. In the nine innings pitched, Snelten allowed two earned runs, seven hits and had three strikeouts. TJ Oakes started in the first game against MSU and held a no-decision. He pitched 6.2 innings, allowed two earned runs, scattered six hits and struck out six. Also seeing his longest appearance in relief was Tom Windle. Although he picked up the loss in the 11-inning game, Windle pitched well down the stretch in his four innings of relief and allowed one run and struck out four. Kevin Kray also saw action in the bottom of the 11th inning and had two walks.

Sunday’s game will be the rubber match. Minnesota will look for its first regular season series win since 2007 against MSU tomorrow. The same two teams will play again at 1:05 p.m. ET, noon CT.

First game recap, 3-2 loss in 11 innings

Minnesota had three hits in the first inning and put the game at 1-0 early. Halloran delivered a RBI single to score Henkemeyer, who led off the game with a hit. MSU, however, tied the game in the third as Ryan Jones scored on a Jordan Keur RBI single.

Michigan State would go up, 2-1 when Torsten Boss drove home Jones with a RBI single. Minnesota responded in the sixth inning to tie the game at 2-2. Geason led off the inning with a double and would later score on a Halloran RBI single to tie the game.

The Gophers and Spartans would be held scoreless in the remainder of regulation. Both had chances in the game, with Minnesota leaving the bases loaded in the seventh, while Michigan State stranded two in the bottom of the ninth inning.

MSU finally took the game in the bottom of the 11th inning when Torsten Boss took a walk off of Kray to bring in the winning run for the 3-2 final.

A great pitching dual between four pitchers from both Minnesota and MSU. Oakes went 6.2 innings and allowed two earned runs, six hits and six strikeouts. Windle had a great performance in relief and went 4.0 innings, allowed the one run and four strikeouts. For MSU, starter Tony Bucciferro went 6.2 innings, allowed two earned runs, eight hits and five strikeouts.Jeff Kinley came in relief of Bucciferro and pitched. 4,1 innings, allowed just one hit and struck out four.

Second Game Recap, Minnesota win, 4-2

Michigan State got up to an early 1-0 lead when Ryan Jones scored on a grounder in the first inning. Minnesota, however, came right back in the second and put up two and the 2-1 lead. After Halloran had a single and Bobby Juan added a double, Kurt Schlangen provided a right-side grounder to push across Halloran from third. Bergren added a blooper double to score Juan for the early lead.

Minnesota added another two in the fifth inning when Geason delivered a two-run RBI single. Geason went with the pitch and drove it to center, which scored Tony Skjefte who walked, and Andy Henkemeyer, who doubled earlier in the inning.

MSU cut the deficit to two when Jimmy Pickens had a RBI grounder to score Justin Scanlon from third in the seventh. Minnesota and Snelten, however, would close the door on the Spartans. Following their run in the seventh, Snelten would strand a Spartan runner in the eighth inning as well as in the ninth to pick up his fourth win of the season. The 9.0 innings pitched was his longest of his Gopher career.