April 17, 2011
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Field)
Score: Northwestern 4, Minnesota 3
Records: NU (11-21, 4-5 Big Ten), Minnesota (11-15, 3-6 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Tuesday, April 19 -- vs. Northern Illinois (Rocky Miller Park), 3 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwestern got solo tallies in the seventh and eighth innings to rally for a 4-3 win over Minnesota Sunday afternoon at Target Field and earn a series victory in the process.
NU jumped on Minnesota starter Austin Lubinsky for a run in the top of the first inning. The Wildcats put their first two batters on, but Trevor Stevens was at third with two outs when Jack Havey came through with a single to right that put the Wildcats up 1-0.
Northwestern starter Dan Tyson stranded runners at second base in each of the first two innings, but a leadoff error in the third came back to cost the visitors. After Kurt Schlangen reached on a miscue to open the inning, he moved to third on a single by AJ Pettersen and scored on a grounder by Troy Larson to make it 1-1.
Northwestern reclaimed the lead in the ensuing half inning with an unearned run of its own. With one away, Kyle Ruchim reached on an error by Pettersen at shortstop. A walk by Chris Kontos put two men aboard for Geoff Rowan who singled to left to plate Ruchim and put NU back in front.
A two-out rally allowed the Golden Gophers to take their first lead in the bottom of the fifth. Tyson retired the first two men in the inning, but Kontos barely missed on a diving attempt on a ball hit to right by Larson that went for a double. Following an intentional walk to Nick O'Shea, the Wildcats brought on Ethan Bramschriber to replace Tyson. Kyle Geason's drive to deep right-center narrowly eluded both Kontos and Hamilton Wise, falling in for a two-run double.
The Wildcats made it a 3-3 game in the top of the seventh. Nick Linne
started things with a one-out single. Following a flyout for the second out, Minnesota called on Tom Windle to replace Lubinsky. A walk to Paul Snieder
gave NU two men aboard for Chris Lashmet
. The senior third baseman was hitless in three at-bats with two double plays, but delivered a clutch single back up the box that plated Linne from second to tie the game.
Bramschriber hurled two perfect frames after the hosts had taken the lead in the fifth, setting the stage for Northwestern to go back in front in the eighth. Ruchim started the inning with a triple to the 377-foot marker in left-center. The Gophers then turned to the bullpen, bringing on Billy Soule, but Rowan delivered a sacrifice fly to center to put the 'Cats up 4-3.
Minnesota threatened in the home half of the eighth, getting a bloop double to right from O'Shea that Ruchim couldn't corral following a long run from second base. However, O'Shea committed the cardinal sin of trying to advance to third on a grounder to the left side as Stevens and Lashmet teamed up to cut him down for the first out. Following a walk that put two men aboard, Bramschreiber got Andy Henkemeyer to ground to Stevens who started a 6-3 double play to end the inning and maintain the one-run advantage.
Bramschreiber retired a pair of pinch hitters to open the bottom of the ninth, but an infield single by Justin Gominsky kept the Gophers alive. NU brought on Snieder to pitch and got Pettersen to ground into a forceout at shortstop to end the game.
Bramschriber (1-1) worked four shutout innings of relief to earn his first collegiate win. Snieder picked up his fourth save of the season. The Wildcats held a 10-8 edge in the hit column behind two apiece by Lashmet and Snieder.
Northwestern returns to action at 3 p.m. Tuesday as it opens an 11-game homestand by taking on Northern Illinois at Rocky Miller Park.
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