Gophers defeat Cal-State Fullerton

by John Hageman

 The Minnesota baseball team defeated Cal-State Fullerton 3-1 in their first game of the NCAA regional qualifiers in Fullerton, Calif Friday night. The Gophers now need two more victories to advance to the NCAA super regionals. Minnesota will face New Mexico in the double-elimination tournament Saturday night at 10 p.m.  

The Gophers scored all three of their runs in the first inning thanks to some aggressive base-running and timely hits. After sophomore AJ Petterson was hit by a pitch in the first at-bat of the game, Minnesota pulled off a hit and run that sent Petterson to third and freshman Andy Henkemeyer to first with no outs. After a Michael Kvasnicka strikeout, senior Kyle Knudson lined to left to bring in the first run of the game.

Sophomore Matt Puhl slapped a two-out liner to right field to bring in another run. Titans’ first baseman Nick Ramirez’s error on sophomore Kyle Geason’s ground ball gave the Gophers another run before the end of the inning. 

It would be all the Gophers would need, as junior starting pitcher Seth Rosin cruised past the Titans with eight innings pitched and one run allowed on just three hits along with seven strikeouts. At one point, Rosin retired 11 straight batters. Junior Scott Matyas pitched a perfect ninth inning for his eighth save. 

Cal State-Fullerton came into Friday’s game winning 23 of its last 25 games, and it was the first time the Titans lost the first game when hosting an NCAA regional since 2002.