Gophers Knock Off Hoosiers in Conference Opener
March 27, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Derek McCallum had three hits and scored twice for Minnesota, while A.J. Pettersen had two hits and scored three times in the Golden Gophers' 12-5 win over Indiana on Friday. Minnesota improved to 14-6 on the year, while the Hoosiers are now 7-15 after the conference opener for both teams. Jake Dunning had a pair of hits and drove in two runs in the loss.
Minnesota got on the board with a run in the first inning. Matt Nohelty and Pettersen delivered grounders that found their way through the infield to put two on with none out. After a sacrifice moved them up 90 feet, Michael Kvasnicka brought home Nohelty with a groundout to put the visitors up 1-0. Starter Blake Monar walked two more batters, but got Eric Decker to fly out to end the threat.
Monar and Minnesota hurler Chauncy Handran battled back and forth for the first three innings, with the Gophers holding a 1-0 lead after three. In the fourth, the Gophers used a mixture of IU defensive miscues, well-placed groundballs and timely hitting to tack six runs onto their lead. Minnesota sent 11 men to the plate against Monar in the frame, knocking four hits and adding a walk and a hit batsman to put the crooked number on the board.
In the fifth, Indiana mounted a two-out rally, notching a pair of runs to draw closer. With two down and Evan Crawford on first, the Hoosiers put their speedster in motion and he swiped second for his seventh stolen base of the year. Chris Hervey followed with an infield single, and on the play Pettersen lost control of the ball to allow Crawford to come in. Dunning followed by roping a double over Kvasnicka's head in right to score Hervey and make it 7-2. T.C. Knipp followed with a single to put runners at the corners, but the threat was snuffed out when Jerrud Sabourin was called out on a 3-2 pitch on the inside corner.
Down 7-2, IU got the first two men on in the sixth, but Schutz hit into a double play and Tyler Rogers struck out to strand Josh Phegley at third. Then in the seventh, the Golden Gophers rallied off of the Hoosier bullpen. Wyatt Hoff got a strikeout, but loaded the bases and hit Kvasnicka to score one run, and then Drew Leininger surrendered an RBI groundout as UM upped its lead to 9-2. Leininger then got the last man in the inning on a flyout to end the inning.
Both teams plated three runs in the ninth to result in the final score. Minnesota got a single and a double out of Pettersen and McCallum, respectively, then Jon Hummel tallied a pinch-hit, two-run homer over the left field wall to make it 12-2. IU used three hits - including an RBI double by Crawford and a run-scoring single by Dunning - and a walk to tally its three runs off reliever Allen Bechstein, but it was too little, too late for IU in a 12-5 loss.
With weather impending in the Bloomington area, the head coaches elected to move the start time of Saturday's contest from 1 p.m. to noon in the middle game of the series. Eric Arnett is slated to go for the Hoosiers against Minnesota's Tom Buske. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be played at IU's Sembower Field, where admission is free. Fans can also follow the game with IUHoosiers.com's live audio and GameTracker.
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