Gophers Walk Off with a Win against Iowa
April 28, 2012
Matt Halloran had a walk-off walk to earn a 4-3 win, today, over the Iowa Hawkeyes. With the bases loaded, Halloran took four straight pitches to end the game on a RBI walk. Minnesota battled back from a 3-1 deficit to win and stay in second place in the Big Ten standings. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 26-19 on the season and 9-5 in the Big Ten Conference.
The Gophers have now had six walk-offs this season. Minnesota has earned walk-offs wins against Hamline (16-inning 3-2 win), Cal Poly (4-3 ninth inning win), the Citadel (2-1 ninth inning win), Michigan (4-3 10th inning win), Northwestern (2-1 ninth inning win) and Iowa (4-3 ninth inning win).
Halloran scored a run and had the game-winning RBI. Dan Olinger went 1-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Minnesota had seven hits and allowed just four in the win.
Minnesota's winning pitcher was Billy Soule. He came in and pitched one and a third inning, struck out one and did not allow a hit. DJ Snelten held the no-decision when he went 7.2 innings. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on just four hits, walked three and struck out six. Iowa's Nick Brown suffered the loss as he pitched 1.1, allowed the run in the ninth, walked three and struck out one. Matt Dermody started for the Hawkeyes. He held a no-decision when he pitched 7.1, allowed one earned run, walked one and struck out six.
Minnesota went up, 1-0 when Dan Olinger scored on a pitcher’s throwing error in the second. After he led off the inning with a hit, he alertly moved to third on a hit-and-run and took third after the 5-3 putout. Leading off on third, the pitcher attempted a pickoff, but the throw was in the dirt and allowed Olinger to touch home. Iowa would tie it up in the third when Phil Keppler would be hit by a pitch that scored Mike McQuillan as the bases were loaded with just one out. The Gophers, however, would get out of the jam as Snelten would get Eric Toole to pop up and Bryan Niedbalski to strike out looking to end the threat.
Iowa and Minnesota both had chances in the bottom of the third and in the top of the fourth. Tony Skjefte had a leadoff double and was stranded on third. Iowa’s Chett Zeise led off the fourth with a walk, moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch. Iowa attempted a squeeze play, but Snelten and Schlangen combined for a 1-2 putout at the plate.
Iowa’s Zeise put the Hawkeyes up, 3-1, on a two-run home run to left field in the sixth inning. Minnesota cut the deficit to one in the sixth when Halloran scored on a RBI fielder's choice grounder from Olinger. Minnesota would tie the game in the eighth inning. Kurt Schlangen singled, while Halloran was hit by a pitch. Back-to-back wild pitches scored Schlangen from third when the tag at home was not in time.
After a David Bettenburg pinch-hit and a JT Canakes single, the Hawkeyes intentionally walked Andy Henkemeyer to load the bases with one out. The Hawkeyes were able to get the force out at home on a 5-2 putout. With two outs, Halloran stepped up and took four straight pitches to walk in the winning run.
Minnesota and Iowa will play again tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. Tomorrow's game will be live on the Big Ten Network.