May 19, 2012
The University of Minnesota baseball team ended the 2012 season with an 8-3 win over Illinois, today in Champaign, Ill. The Golden Gophers finished the season with a 29-27 overall record and an 11-13 mark within Big Ten play. The Gophers jumped out to a 4-0 lead off a fantastic pitching performance by senior Austin Lubinsky. Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State currently are tied for sixth place in the conference, but the Gophers fall out of the Big Ten Tournament by the tiebreaker rules.
Pitching 7.1 innings, Lubinsky had one of his best pitching performances of the year. He scattered just five hits, had five strikeouts and forced Illinois to 12 groundouts.
Minnesota was led in hitting by non-other than senior Trip Schultz. Starting in his first game since the Milwaukee series (Feb. 24), Schultz went 3-4 with a run scored and a RBI to finish out his Gopher career. Kurt Schlangen went 2-4 with two RBI, while Andy Henkemeyer was 2-5 with two runs scored. Dan Olinger had a three-RBI game and finished the season with a team-high 34. In all, six players collected a hit in the win.
Minnesota held its first lead of the weekend in the first inning when Henkemeyer led the game off with a ground rule double to left center. He would later touch home when Bobby Juan hit a RBI single to center.
Minnesota added to its lead when the Gophers put up three in the fourth inning. After Juan walked, JT Canakes doubled to right field, puttin two in scoring position. Schlangen hit the left center gap as he doubled and scored both Juan and Canakes to go up, 3-1. Schultz would follow with a base hit through the left side, which scored Schlangen from second.
Illinois would get a run back in the fifth inning when Reid Roper hit a leadoff triple and later scored on a RBI grounder to Alex Lincoln to put the game at 4-1.
The Illini then cut the Gopher lead to 4-3 when Thomas Shelton hit a two-run double to right center. The Gophers, however, responded in a big way and put up another four runs in the top of the ninth. After a Matt Puhl leadoff walk, Schultz singled to right center, while Henkemeyer followed with a hit. With one out, Olinger hit one to right center and cleared the bases for three RBI. Olinger would then move to third on a balk and scored on a sacrifice RBI by Troy Larson.
Both coaches were ejected from the game in the last inning. John Anderson was ejected at the start of the ninth inning, while Illinois' Dan Hartleb was ejected following the Illini's first out of the bottom ninth.
All five seniors got in the game with Schultz, Lubinsky and Kyle Geason starting (two walks), while Ethan Liederman pinch hit and Dustin Klabunde earned the last out of the game. He got Thomas Lindauer to foul out to Olinger for the final out.
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