Baseball final: Minnesota 5, Hawaii 4

by Austin Cumblad

Greetings once again from the Metrodome, where we have Minnesota and Hawaii on tap for the final matchup of the Dairy Queen Classic.  Looks like the Gophers will go with the same starting lineup as last night.

Hawaii starting pitcher – Right-hander Jared Alexander
Minnesota starting pitcher – Right-hander Seth Rosin

Hawaii starting lineup
1) CF Kolten Wong
2) SS Greg Garcia
3) 3B Vinnie Catricala
4) DH Jeffrey Van Doornum
5) 1B Kevin Macdonald
6) RF Christian Johnson
7) C Landon Hernandez
8) LF Sean Montplaisir
9) 2B Shane Hoey

Minnesota starting lineup
1) DH Matt Nohelty
2) SS AJ Pettersen
3) 2B Derek McCallum
4) RF Michael Kvasnicka
5) 1B Nick O’Shea
6) C Kyle Knudson
7) CF Eric Decker
8) LF Jon Hummel
9) 3B Kyle Geason

Top 1st Rosin gets to work with a quick inning. Catricala sneaked a single past Pettersen – apart from that, Rosin forced a pair of groundouts and fanned Wong for a solid first inning. Bottom 1st Three up, three down for the Gophers. Alexander gets off to an equally commanding start. Top 2nd Johnson lays down a picture perfect bunt, Rosin drops the ball trying to make a quick play to first but he has no chance anyway, it’s a base hit. With Hernandez at the plate and a 2-2 count, Johnson takes off and steals second relatively easily. Hernandez pops out foul to O’Shea. With two outs, Montplaisir doubles off the wall in right to drive in Johnson and Hoey singles to move Montplaisir around. A good throw from right gets Monplaisir at the plate but it moved Knudson well away from the base. Hoey moves to second on the throw home. Rosin strikes out Wong again to end the inning. Bottom 2nd Kvasnicka rips a single up the middle to open the inning. O’Shea continues his struggles at the plate by popping up to shallow left. The shortstop tracks back and catches it. Then Kvasnicka is caught sleeping off of first for the second out. Knudson sends one to deep center but it’s nothing more than a long out to end the inning. Top 3rd Van Doornum singles and steals second but that’s all Hawaii gets in the inning, Rosin comes out unscathed. Bottom 3rd Quick inning, Alexander sends Decker, Hummel and Geason down in order. Top 4th Rosin responds with a one-two-three inning of his own. Bottom 4th This is turning into a pitchers dual. Another one-two-three inning. Top 5th Couple fun defensive plays this inning. Pettersen made a nice diving catch over his head on a little blooper, then Pettersen and McCallum both hit the deck when Decker called them off on a fly ball to shallow center field. The only reason I describe these plays is because it was, you guessed it, yet another one-two-three inning. Bottom 5th First pitch of the inning, the cycle is finally broken, Kvasnicka picks up his and Minnesota’s second hit of the afternoon. He appears to be the only man that can touch Alexander. Of course, right when I say that, O’Shea walks to put men on first and second with no one out. Knudson slaps a single to the left side and drives in Kvasnicka. It prompts a pitching change for Hawaii, which brings in lefty Sam Spangler. Decker gets to him right away with a sharply hit single but it fails to bring O’Shea to the plate. Still, bases are loaded with no one out. Hummel lines out to center, it’s not deep enough for O’Shea to tag. Geason loops one down the left field line, it lands inches foul, negating what would have been a base-clearing triple. He strikes out on the next pitch. Nohelty watches five pitches go by and walks to force in O’Shea and level the score. Spangler fans Pettersen to strand three and end the inning. Top 6th Since giving up a pair of runs in the second, Rosin has been in command. He retires the side in order once again. Bottom 6th Quick half inning for Spangler. Top 7th Now on the mount for Minnesota is right-hander Allen Bechstein. His first batter is Johnson, who drills a ground rule double over the center field wall and moves to third on a Hernandez groundout. The Gophers move the infield in for a play at the plate, but Bechstein gives Montplaisir nothing but junk and walks him on four pitches. Minnesota moves back to normal depth to try and turn two, but a wild pitch brings Johnson to the plate and Montplaisir scurries to second. A line-out to center allows Montplaisir to move to third with two outs. The Gophers go with lefty Phil Isaksson against fellow left-hander Wong. First pitch, Wong singles up the middle to drive in the run. A flyout to center ends the inning. Bottom 7th Spangler shuts down the Gophers again. Top 8th With a man on and one out, Minnesota goes to the bullpen again, this time for Cullen Sexton. Sexton forces a long flyout to left, Van Doornum moves from first to third on a steal and a pass ball and Johnson gets on base yet again with a walk to put runners on the corners with two outs. Sexton manages to get out of the inning with no damage done by forcing Hernandez to pop up to Pettersen. Bottom 8th Spangler continues to dominate Minnesota’s hitters. He hasn’t allowed a base runner in three innings. Top 9th Leadoff man reaches on a sharply hit line drive that O’Shea is unable to snag, but after two easy outs, he’s gunned down trying to steal second to end the inning. Bottom 9th McCallum leads off against a new Hawaii pitcher, righty Josh Slaats. McCallum hits it sharply to third but Catricala knocks it down and throws him out at first. Kvasnicka walks and O’Shea lines a single off the glove of first baseman Macdonald. The tying run is on with one out and Knudson at the plate, but he goes down swinging. It comes down to Decker now, who works the count full then singles up the middle. Pinch runner Brooks Albrecht, who’s moving on the pitch, goes to third to put the tying run 90 feet away. Down one, runners at the corners and two outs for Hummel. Decker steals second uncontested, a base hit should win the game. It does, Hummel shoots a single through the right side of the infield, Albrecht and Decker score and the Gophers win 5-4. Well, it was quite a weekend of baseball here at the Dome. Minnesota leaves the Dairy Queen Classic 3-0 with two wins coming in its final at-bat. If you missed the action this weekend, make your way to the Metrodome next weekend for the creatively titled Metrodome Tournament, where the Gophers will take on Illinois State, Western Michigan and South Dakota State on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.