Minnesota Remains Undefeated With 7-3 Win over Ohio State
May 26, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - In Friday night's twilight game that ended shortly after midnight, Minnesota battled Ohio State and emerged as the last remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten Tournament. With the win, Minnesota advances to Saturday night's game 10 for a chance to win the tournament championship. It marks the sixth-consecutive year that the Gophers will play in the tournament championship, and this year they enter with a 10-game win streak.
Catcher Chris Herbert led the Gophers with a 3 for 4 night that included three RBIs. Starting pitcher Dustin Brabender went 8 and a third innings, spreading out eight hits for three runs and picked up the win while striking out five. Bill Johnson came in to relieve Brabender and earned the save.
It was Ohio State that picked up the first runs of the game in the second inning, when a Jedidiah Stephen lead-off walk turned into a no-out rally. Jonathon Zizzo banged a single through the right side and a speedy Stephen made it all the way to third. Jason Zoeller then knocked a grounder in the infield that got Zizzo out at second, but landed him on first and scored Zizzo. After Zoeller stole second to put himself in scoring position, Justin Miller hit a single into centerfield to bring him home. After Wes Schirtzinger got on base with a fielder's choice, he was taken all the way home by a Matt Angle single. The Buckeyes nearly batted around in the inning, coming away with three runs.
Minnesota would not go quietly into the night. In the top of the third, Luke MacLean led off with a single up the middle and Mike Mee was walked behind him. With runners at first and second, Andy Hunter nailed a single to score MacLean and advance Mee to second. Buckeye pitcher J.B. Shuck walked Kyle Baran to load the bases with Tony Leseman at the plate.
A pitch to Leseman got away from Schuck and past his catcher to allow Mee to score from third and the two runners to advance. Chris Herbert then smacked an infield grounder to third that advanced all the runners, and found himself safe at first after beating out the throw. Hunter scored on the play and the bases remained loaded. Nohelty was hit by a pitch from new Ohio State pitcher Barker to score the Gophers' fourth run of the inning. After three innings played, Minnesota found itself in front 4-3.
Minnesota added some insurance runs in the fifth inning. Lyons, the lead off, hit a single through center followed by a Baran walk. A Leseman single scored Lyons and Baran advanced to third. Chris Herbert then hit a grounder down the third-base line that stayed in bounds for a double and two RBIs as Baran and Leseman scored to make it a 7-4 ball game.