Gophers’ season ends in 9-5 loss

John Hageman

 Facing a "win or go home" situation Monday night, the Minnesota baseball team will be coming back home. The Gophers fell 9-5 to Cal-State Fullerton in an elimination game for the right to play UCLA in NCAA super regionals Monday night, one night after suffering their first loss of the double-elimination tournament at the hands of the Titans.

Minnesota took its first lead of the game with Kyle Geason’s solo shot to left field to put the score at 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning. The Gophers had a 4-2 lead going into the top of the fourth, but Cal-State Fullerton strung together three straight two-run innings to gain a comfortable lead into the second half of the game. Minnesota starter Austin Lubinsky went 4.2 innings, giving up eight hits and four earned runs. The Gophers pitching staff hit five batters combined. 

Going on just two days’ rest, Titans’ starting pitcher Dylan Floro was pulled after giving up four earned runs in 3.2 innings. Raymond Hernandez took over and gave up one earned run in three innings pitched. Nick Ramirez and Corey Jones both went yard for the third time in their last three games for the Titans. Ramirez’s two-run shot in the fifth gave Cal-State Fullerton broke up the 4-4 tie en route to a victory.

Michael Kvasnicka led the Gophers, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run. AJ Petterson went 2-for-5 with two runs.

Kvasnicka, Kyle Knudson and Seth Rosin were named to the All-Tournament Team. Rosin defeated the Titans on Friday night by giving up just three hits in eight innings to go along with seven strikeouts in the Gophers’ 3-1 win.