May 5, 2012
After a three-hour rain delay, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Penn State Nittany Lions were able to start play at Target Field. Penn State (24-22, 10-7 Big Ten) won the second game of the series, 5-1. Minnesota (27-22, 9-8 Big Ten) only had one inning in which it had multiple hits, coming in the eighth inning. Attendance for the game was set at 3,521, Minnesota's largest crowd of the year.
Steven Hill (5-3) earned the win for Penn State when he went 7.1 innings pitched, allowed one unearned run and struck out seven. DJ Snelten (4-3) took the loss for Minnesota and dropped to 4-3 on the year. Andy Henkemeyer (2-5) and Dan Olinger (2-4, RBI) led Minnesota. Four Nittany Lions had two hits.
For the second day in a row, Penn State took an early lead. The Nittany Lions stole a couple bases to put runners in scoring position. Jordan Steranka led off with an infield single. He stole second base and then advanced to third because of an error on a throw. This allowed Steranka to score on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Novak. Luis Montesinos then singled, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on a single by JJ White. Elliot Searer hit a double to make it 3-0 early in the game.
A similar theme played out in the sixth and seventh. In the sixth, Montestinos reached on a bunt single, advanced on a grounder, stole third, and scored on a wild pitch. Snyder followed a similar pattern in the seventh. He reached third after an error on his steal to second, and also scored on a wild pitch to put Penn State ahead 5-0.
The Gophers got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning. Jake Bergren pinch hit and led off the inning with a bunt single. Kurt Schlangen moved him up to second with a one-out single to center. Kyle Geason reached on an error to load the bases with two outs. Dan Olinger knocked in the Gophers' lone run of the game with a RBI single, his team-leading 28th RBI of the season.
Another pinch hitter, Michael Handel, led off the ninth with a hit. He clubbed a single off the left field wall. But the Gophers could not drive in the run. With two outs and one on, Henkemeyer drove a low liner to right that might have extended the game, but Novak made a diving catch to end the game.
The final game of the series will start at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at the Metrodome. The game also marks the home season finale and will also honor its seniors, Geason, Dustin Klabunde, Ethan Liederman, Austin Lubinsky, and Trip Schultz.
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