Usually, bad things are happening to a baseball team if it can’t keep any pitchers in the game for more than an inning at a time.
That was not the case for Minnesota’s baseball team Wednesday.
The Gophers used seven different pitchers, who all got the job done in leading their team to a 9-1 victory over St. Thomas at the Metrodome.
The group combined to throw nine innings of one-run, six-hit ball.
Coach John Anderson said the large number of pitchers used is common for a midweek game.
“This time of the year, we try to get as many guys in as we can and get some experience,” he said. “(We) get opportunities to evaluate them, and they get out there, and they have some opportunities in the game environment to try to gauge where they’re at.”
They also allowed just three walks while striking out five.
Freshman righthander Gary Perinar started for the Gophers (7-11 overall) for the second time in his career and was solid, albeit in limited action.
Perinar allowed no runs, hits or walks in his 2 2/3 innings of work, earning the win to improve to 2-0 on the season.
“I thought it went well,” Perinar said of his outing. “It’s good to be out there again.”
Perinar gave way to, in order, a pair of lefties in Brian Bull and Bill Johnson, a pair of righties in Luke Beresford and Dustin Brabender, and, finally, another pair of lefties in Andy Peters and Tim Theis.
“I thought everyone came out there, and pitched well today, and did their jobs,” Perinar said of the six who relieved him.
Minnesota jumped on St. Thomas right away. The Gophers got a pair of RBI flyouts from first baseman Andy Hunter and designated hitter Jeff DeSmidt in the bottom of the first to grab a quick 2-0 lead.
The home team tacked on another run in its next at bats when second baseman
Luke MacLean placed a beautiful bunt down the third base line, bringing right fielder Sean Kommerstad across the plate to make it a 3-0 game.
The Gophers then landed two huge blows two innings apart that ultimately broke the game wide open. And both were two-run hits.
Third baseman David Hrncirik had the first, a two-run single to right-centerfield in the bottom of the fourth that gave the home team a 5-0 advantage.
“We needed a few runs to jump-start our offense,” Hrncirik said. “I just went up there trying to get a strike and hit the middle of the other way.”
The second came courtesy of centerfielder Tony Leseman in the bottom of the sixth. Leseman ripped a double down the third base line just past the glove of diving St. Thomas third baseman Eric Bloom to make it a 7-0 ballgame in favor of the Gophers.
Minnesota added runs in both the seventh and eighth and led 9-0. St. Thomas finally got onto the board in the bottom of the ninth, when the game’s outcome had long been decided.