Baseball final/10 innings: Minnesota 6, Washington 5

Austin Cumblad

First, let’s get you caught up on what’s been happening at the Dairy Queen Classic thus far.  The Gophers drubbed UC-Santa Barbara 13-3 last night.  Earlier Friday, Hawaii edged Washington 3-2.  And at noon today, UC-Santa Barbara beat Hawaii 10-4 and now we’re just minutes away from the first pitch of Minnesota vs. Washington.

Washington starting pitcher – Left-hander Tyler Cheney
Minnesota starting pitcher – Right-hander Tom Buske

Washington
1) CF Brendan Gardner-Young
2) C Pierce Rankin
3) 1B Troy Scott
4) RF Kyle Conley
5) DH Brett Wilcox
6) 3B Julien Pollard
7) LF Jake Rife
8) 2B Doug Cherry
9) SS David Bentrott

Minnesota
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
Gardner-Young ropes a single to right on the first pitch of the game, but is gunned down trying to steal second.  Gophers were ready for the steal the whole way and Buske pitched out.  Rankin sends a single to right as well.  Scott flies out to center and Conley pops foul to the third baseman, Buske gives up a pair of hits but gets away unscathed.

Bottom 1st
Nohelty is plunked in the knee for Minnesota’s first baserunner.  Pettersen knudges a bunt down the first base line and is tagged out but moves Nohelty over as intended.  Cheney beans another batter, this time McCallum.  With men on first and second, Kvasnicka hits a soft liner to the second baseman, who snags it and doubles Nohelty up at second – he broke towards third on contact and couldn’t get back to the bag.

Top 2nd Buske notches his first strikeout of the game; Pollard goes down swinging. Rife singles up the middle with two down but Buske forces Cherry to ground to Pettersen who flips it to McCallum at second to end the inning. Bottom 2nd O’Shea pushes the center fielder back to the warning track but he tracks it down for the first out. Knudson sends a ball to the wall as well. This one lands just fair in right field and he’s in with a stand-up double. Decker strikes out but it’s in the dirt and Rankin mishandles it. He’s forced to throw Decker out at first and Knudson scoots to third. The inning ends with a Hummel strikeout, still no score. Top 3rd Three strikeouts and a walk for Buske, he has all his pitches working for him right now. Bottom 3rd Geason walks to open the inning, then Nohelty sneaks one through the infield on a hit and run. Geason moves over to third on the base hit. Nohelty now has a 22-game hitting streak dating back to last season, the longest by a Minnesota player since 1998. Pettersen sends one deep enough to right for a sac fly to score Geason – that’s already a sac bunt and a sac fly on the evening for him. McCallum is thrown out at first by the catcher on a slow roller but Nohelty moves over and scores on a ground rule double by Kvasnicka. Then Kvasnicka, who isn’t being kept honest at second, gets a huge jump and steals third easily, but O’Shea goes down swinging to end the inning. Top 4th Three up, three down. Bottom 4th First pitch of the inning, Knudson sends it into the seats in left-center for his first home run of the year. Next pitch, Decker lines one to left-center as well and legs out a double. After a couple failed bunt attempts, Hummel drops one over the shortstop’s head and sends Decker home. Cheney is done for the day, Washington brings in righty Andrew Kittredge. Geason lays down a bunt, Kittredge tries to get the lead runner at second but throws wide. Hummel moves to third, there are still no outs. Nohelty singles to left and drives in Hummel. Pettersen pops one up in the infield and the Huskies finally have an out. McCallum ropes a single to right but Geason is held at third. With the bases loaded, Kvasnicka goes down on strikes and O’Shea pops out to left, so Minnesota strands three and scores three in the inning. Top 5th A single by Cherry, a hit batter and a past ball give Washington men on second and third with one out. Buske fans Gardner-Young, then is called for a balk that sends Cherry home. I’ll have to check with head coach John Anderson about the call after the game. It came from the second base umpire, and Anderson had some words for him. Perhaps Buske is a little rattled, he walks Rankin and lefty Luke Rasmussen is called upon to face Scott, a lefty himself. First pitch, Rasmussen plunks Scott to load the bases, but he gets Conley to line out to Hummel in left. Bottom 5th One-two-three inning for Kittredge. Top 6th Couple moves in the outfield. Brooks Albrecht is now in center, moving Decker over to left and Hummel to the bench. Not like it mattered, the ball never found its way out of the infield. Despite a throwing error by Pettersen, Rasmussen caught Rife napping at first base and picked him off to end the inning. Bottom 6th Nohelty slaps a single up the middle and steals second but no one is able to drive him in. Top 7th With one out, Bentrott sneaks one up the middle and Gardner-Youg lines a single to left, but Rasmussen answers with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning. Bottom 7th Knudson is now a triple away from the cycle after a sharp two-out single to right; he’s unlikely to come to the plate again though. No scoring in the inning. Top 8th First pitch of the inning, Conley launches a home run to left. Second pitch of the inning, Aaron Russell, pinch-hitting for Wilcox, singles up the middle. The Gophers bring in right-hander Scott Matyas. Pollard proceeds to send one into the seats and Washington is within one. Rife walks to put the tying run on base and the go-ahead run at the plate. Cherry moves rife over with a well-executed sacrifice bunt down the first base line. Matyas fans Bentrott, but Gardner-Young singles in the tying run. A fly-out to right stops the bleeding and we head to the bottom of the inning. Bottom 8th Nohelty doubles down the left field line with one out. Pettersen chops one up the middle and moves Nohelty to third but McCallum grounds out to second and the Gophers strand Nohelty 90 feet away. Top 9th Scott singles to lead off the inning. Matyas is clearly frustrated. Russell singles as well to put two on with one out. A fly to right by Pollard is enough to move Scott to third with two down. Matyas walks Rife to load the bases, Scott Fern is up and throwing in the bullpen, but Matyas gets Cherry to fly out to right to end the inning with no damage. Bottom 9th Middle of the order for the Gophers. Two quick outs before Knudson gets his fourth hit of the night, a single. Decker reaches on an error to put the winning run in scoring position. Pinch hitting, Trip Schultz loops one into left but it’s tracked down by Rife. We’re going to extra innings. Top 10th Scott Fern on the mound now for Minnesota. Three up, three down. Bottom 10th Geason walks to open the inning. Nohelty chops one to third but Pollard’s throw forces Cherry off of second base. Everyone’s safe and Geason darts to third on a poor throw to first. First and third with no outs. Then Pettersen is hit to load the bases. Pearl plunks McCallum too to force in the winning run.