Gophers defeat Hamline 3-2 in 16 innings

Andy Henkemeyer won the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 16th inning.

Samuel Gordon

Andy Henkemeyer’s RBI sacrifice fly ended Minnesota and Hamline’s 4-hour-35-minute marathon Wednesday at the Metrodome as the Gophers won 3-2 in 16 innings.

The Gophers outlasted the Pipers to improve to 6-6 in the “spring-training” phase of the season.

A combined 15 pitchers appeared in the game. Billy Soule threw the final three innings for the Gophers and earned the win.

Freshman Jordan Jess pitched well in his first career start for Minnesota.

Jess gave up two hits in three scoreless innings before fellow rookie Ty McDevitt took over in relief.

Gophers second baseman Matt Puhl led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double, and catcher Matt Halloran’s RBI single pushed him across to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

The Pipers responded in the top of the fifth on Cory Miller’s RBI single off McDevitt.

Minnesota regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Right fielder Bobby Juan led off the inning with a walk, and Halloran followed with a double. Two batters later, Tony Skjefte hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Juan.

That lead didn’t last long, as Hamline tied the game in the eighth inning. With one out, Minnesota sophomore reliever Kyle O’Shea hit Miller and made a poor throw on a bunt attempt by second baseman Ryan Hackel.

First baseman Mark Radmacher tied the game when he laced a double to right field, but Juan and Puhl successfully executed the relay to throw Hackel out at the plate.

The Gophers loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Kurt Schlangen popped out to end the threat.

Neither team’s offense provided a spark until the bottom of 13th inning. The Gophers had the bases loaded with two outs, but Henkemeyer flew out to center.

Neither team was able to generate a true threat in the 14th or 15th innings, but Halloran singled to lead off the 16th inning.

Jake Bergren pinch ran for Halloran and advanced to third on a botched pickoff before Henkemeyer’s sacrifice fly.

Minnesota will play host to Kansas and Stony Brook this weekend. Kansas (6-5) is coming off a 12-9 loss to North Dakota. Stony Brook (5-3) most recently destroyed Fairleigh Dickinson 17-5.