Baseball Defeats Iowa 19-7 to Win Iowa Cub/Hawkeye Classic
SThe University of Minnesota baseball team (10-8) resumed Saturday's suspended game with Iowa (5-12) in big fashion, adding eight runs to win by a final score of 19-7 on Sunday, Mar. 28 at Sec Taylor Stadium. With the victory the Golden Gophers claimed the Iowa Cub/Hawkeye Classic Championship, along with their fourth straight victory.
Matt Fornasiere (Maple Grove, Minn.)went four-for- five with six RBI, four runs and a stolen base to pace the Minnesota offense. The six RBI were the most by a Golden Gopher player since Jason Kennedy had seven against Miami (Fla.) on Feb. 16, 2002.
Fornasiere was named the Tournament MVP after finishing 7-for-9 nine with a .778 batting average, one home run, seven RBI and five runs in the tournament.
Sam Steidl (Alexandria, Minn.) also went three- for-six with three doubles, two RBI and one run. Junior catcher Jake Elder (Delta, British Columbia) tied a career-high with four RBI and was two-for- four with two runs as well. Elder reached base on all five plate appearances. Luke MacLean (Bloomington, Minn.) finished two- for-four and tied Fornasiere with game-high four runs.
On Saturday, rain forced the game to be suspended in the top of the sixth inning. Minnesota resumed the game with back-to-back walks to Tony Leseman (St. Paul, Minn.) and MacLean to make it first and second. Fornasiere was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Steidl made the score 12-7 on a Steidl RBI groundout. Mike Mee (Richfield, Minn.) followed with a single to bring home MacLean and Fornasiere to make the score 14-7.
In the top of the seventh inning Minnesota continued to add to their lead with five runs to go up 19-7. MacLean moved the lead to 15-7 with an RBI single. One batter later, John Arlt (Lakeville, Minn.) singled to load the bases. The next batter, Fornasiere, delivered a grand slam to right field to give Minnesota the 12-run lead. The grand slam was the first by a Golden Gopher since May 5, 2002 when Ben Pattee delivered a grand slam against Purdue.
Cole DeVries (Eden Prairie, Minn.) pitched three scoreless innings, gave up three hits and struck out two batter. DeVries picked up the win to move to 2-0 on the season.
The Golden Gophers wasted no time getting on the board, scoring three runs in the first inning in the Saturday portion of the game.
Fornasiere hit a single to right field. With two outs, Hrncirik reached first on a hit-by-pitch. Both runners advanced on a passed ball by Hawkeye catcher Kris Welker. Designated hitter sophomore Andy Hunter (West St. Paul, Minn.) then walked to load the bases. As a brief rain shower began to fall, Elder drove a double to center field to clear the bases and give Minnesota an early 3-0 lead.
Minnesota increased its lead by one to 4-0 in the top of the second when Steidl drove in Arlt from third on a fielder's choice.
The Golden Gophers doubled their lead to 8-0 in the third inning. Hunter started the inning doubling to right, followed by Elder who reached on an error by Iowa's shortstop. Leseman then drove the ball to the right corner for a triple to bring in the runners and increase the Gophers? lead to 6-0. MacLean followed with a groundball to the shortstop to score Leseman. MacLean remained at first due to another fielding error by the shortstop. After an Iowa pitching change, MacLean stole second and third base to move to scoring position. Fornasiere followed with a sac fly to center field to bring in MacLean and raise the score to 8-0.
The Hawkeyes got on the board in the bottom of the third. Iowa centerfielder L.J. Mims reached first on a fielder's choice and advanced to third on a throwing error. Pinch-hitter Andy Lytle grounded out to short, but earned an RBI scoring Mims and moving the score to 8-1 without registering a hit.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with the bases loaded for Iowa, the showers that had been scattering over Des Moines all day turned into downpour and caused an hour long delay. Junior Josh Krogman (St. Cloud, Minn.) came in after the delay to relieve senior Craig Molldrem (Boscobel, Wis.), who ended the day allowing only two earned runs on no hits with two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched.
The Hawkeyes added another four runs in the bottom of the fourth bring score closer at 8-5. A wild pitch by Krogman allowed the second Iowa run to score, followed by a ground-out RBI by Mims to move the score to 8-3. Second baseman Jason White notched Iowa's first run in a bunt to third that brought in one run with another one coming on a throwing error to first base by Krogman to make it 8-5.
The Gophers came back in the fifth collecting three more runs on six hits, including a double by Steidl, his second two-bagger of the game. The 11-5 lead was brief as Iowa began the bottom of the fifth with a home run by left fielder Jesse Brownell off the skyboxes in left-center field. The Hawkeyes would add another run to move the score to 11-7 where it would stand due to the game being called because of the rain.
Minnesota will open up Big Ten play on Friday, Apr. 2 against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. At 2 p.m. The Golden Gophers will continue the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 3 at 12 noon, and wrap up the series on Sunday, Apr. 4 at 12 noon.
2004 I-Cubs/Hawkeye Classic All-Tournament Team C -- Patrick Perry, UNC (.615 BA (8-13), 7 RBI, 2 doubles) 1B -- Mike Hochhauser, NIU (1 HR, 3 runs scored, 1 double, 1 RBI) 2B -- Luke MacLean, MINN (.417 (5-12), 7 runs scored, 5 RBI, 4 SB) SS -- Matt Fornasiere, MINN (.778 (7-9), 7 RBI, 6 runs scored, 2 SB, 1 HR) 3B -- David Hrncirik, MINN (.400 (4-10), 2 runs, 1 RBI, 1 SB) Utility -- Brad Baker, UNC (.462 BA (6-13), 3 RBI, 2 doubles) OF -- Trevor Allen, UNC (.500 BA (7-14), 5 runs scored, 4 RBI, 1 HR) OF -- Sam Steidl, MINN (.467 BA (7-15), 6 runs scored, 3 doubles, 3 RBI, 1 SB) OF -- Jesse Brownell, IOWA (1 HR, 3 runs scored, 1 double, 1 RBI) P -- Craig Ayers, UNC (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG SHO, 2 hits, 11 strikeouts, 0 BB) P -- Pat O'Neil, UNC (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 innings, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts, 2 BB) P -- Glen Perkins, MINN (No decision, 9 strikeouts, 2 ER, 1 BB) Tournament Most Valuable Player Matt Fornasiere, SS, Minnesota