March 23, 2012

Gophers Stun Bulldogs with Two Runs in Ninth

Minneapolis, Minn. – David Bettenburg knocked a sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth to score Kurt Schlangen, capping a two-run final frame and giving host Minnesota a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over The Citadel Friday evening at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The two teams will meet in game two of the series Saturday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. EST.

Heading to the bottom of the ninth with a 1-0 lead, Dan Olinger was hit with a 2-0 pitch by Bulldog freshman reliever Kevin Connell. After a fly out to left by Bobby Juan, Olinger reached second on a throwing error by Joe Jackson on an attempted steal and as the ball rolled to the Minnesota dugout, Olinger took third. Schlangen drew a walk from Connell to put runners at the corners with one away.

Schlangen stole second and with Bettenburg at the plate, Connell was called for a balk as Olinger faked a run towards home. The balk brought home Olinger with the tying run and Bettenburg lifted a 2-2 pitch from Connell to deep right, but Hughston Armstrong's throw was not in time as the Gophers' pulled off the improbable victory.

The Bulldogs (9-12) scored their run in the top of the sixth on a RBI single by Nick Orvin. With one out, Mason Davis and Joe Jackson recorded back-to-back singles and Orvin lined a 2-2 pitch from Minnesota starter TJ Oakes into left to score Davis from second.

Drew Ghelfi picked up the win for Minnesota (10-13), tossing the top of the ninth and allowing just one walk. Oakes scattered five hits over eight innings for the Gophers, striking out six and walking two. Troy Larson recorded two hits for Minnesota.

Austin Pritcher was outstanding in his start for The Citadel, allowing only five hits and two walks in seven innings with five strikeouts. TJ Clarkson pitched a perfect eighth for the Bulldogs and Connell dropped to 0-2 on the season with the loss. Davis had a pair of hits on the evening to lead the offense.

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