May 18, 2012
The University of Minnesota baseball team fell, 3-2, tonight to Illinois. With the loss, the Gophers drop to 28-27 on the season and 10-13 in Big Ten play.
Bobby Juan reached base all four times as he went 3-3 with a walk and a home run. Jake Bergren was 2-4, while Kyle Geason went 1-3. Minnesota used two pitchers in the loss. Although he pitched well, DJ Snelten allowed the three Illini runs, walked three and struck out three. He dropped to 4-4 on the season. Ben Meyer came in to pitch the final two innings. Although he walked one and hit one, he did not allow a hit or run.
Illinois scored a run in the first inning on a chopper by Jordan Parr. Willie Argo doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on a chopper.
After a leadoff walk in the second inning, Snelten would send down the next 10 batters he faced to keep the Gophers within striking distance. In that span, he had the Illini ground out eight times, had one strikeout and one fly out. After walking the first two batters in the sixth inning, Snelten recovered and held Illinois to minimal damage, allowing just one run. After the walks, Thomas Shelton drove a RBI single to score Argo. The Gophers would get a runner out at the plate as Justin Parr attempted a delayed stolen base for the second out. Snelten would recover and get the last out on a strikeout swinging to end the inning and the threat.
Minnesota would cut the Illini lead to one when Bobby Juan knocked out his third home run of the season. On the first pitch of the seventh inning, Juan hit a shot over the right field wall to put the game at 2-1. Illinois, however, would get the run back in the bottom of the frame when Will Krug doubled and later touched home after a sacrifice bunt and a RBI grounder by Argo for a two-run lead.
The Gophers would come back with another threat in the eighth inning. After a single by Andy Henkemeyer and a walk by Geason, Dan Olinger would get an RBI grounder to push in the Gophers' second run. However, with two outs and runners on the corners, the Gophers would only get the one run.
The Gophers had one last chance in the ninth inning, as Bergren had a one-out infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Roper would get the next two batters and collect his third save of the season and second in two games.
Minnesota and Illinois will close out the regular season tomorrow at 12:05 p.m.
Pitching Coach Todd Oakes Passes Away At 55
Minnesota assistant baseball coach Todd Oakes passed away today after a courageous and public battle with leukemia. Oakes, who coached the Minnesota pitching staff, was 55.
Gophers Drop Out of B1G Tournament
Minnesota falls to Michigan 3-2 in an elimination game on Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park
Minnesota Falls in B1G Tournament Opener
Gophers play at 1 p.m. in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon against either Michigan or Ohio State