Big Ten Baseball Tournament - Game 7 Live Blog
May 22, 2009
6:44: Final lines for the game are 4 runs, 6 hits, 3 errors for Illinois and 13 runs, 12 hits, no errors for the Gophers. The winning pitcher was Seth Rosin (7-1, 4.08) who worked eight strong innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs. The loser is Ben Reeser (3-1, 3.22), going only one inning, givng up two hits and two earned runs. Thanks so much for following along this afternoon. Game eight, Ohio State-Indiana, is up next!
6:40: Illinois goes down in order for the fourth time this afternoon and the game is over. The Gophers take this one 13-4 and advance to play the loser of the Ohio State-Indiana game. Expected start time of that game is 7:25.
6:33: A lead off double goes unrewarded as the Gophers record three straight outs for just the second time in the game. Last Chance for the Illini.
6:27: Illinois goes down in order again and Mike Stankiewicz, yet another difficult name to pronounce, takes the mound for the Illini. I've also just been informed that the band performing their sound check earlier was Third Eye Blind, getting ready for their show tonight.
6:23: So far, there have been six pitchers used in this game; Minnesota has used one.
6:21: A 5-2-3 double play puts two outs on the board with runners on second and third and Anderson hits his second batter of the inning but a fly out to left field ends the danger.
6:15: There is no one in the Illinois pen so it would appear that this game is Anderson's to take. However, after a single, two walks, and a hit batter, brining a run home, a pitcher is quickly warming up as the score is now 13-4.
6:10: A big crowd is expected for the Ohio State game tonight and preparations are already being made. The bar out in left field has already opened up its doors and is filling up very quickly. People are sitting out on the porches, getting ready to enjoy the rest of this game and the one to follow: Ohio State against Indiana.
6:05: Not going down without a fight, Cappetta triples to left center field, scoring Dittman who had drawn a leadoff walk. Cappetta then scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 12-4 going into the bottom of the seventh. Stretch time!
6:01: A merciful 6-4-3 double play ends the marathon, 30-minute long inning that included four pitchers, five runs, four walks, and three wild pitches.
5:59: Roberts has seen enough and a new pitcher comes in, John Anderson. Anderson is now the fourth pitcher to appear this inning and there is still just one out.
5:50: Catcher Aaron Johnson is now hurt as a ball in the dirt takes a vicious hop up and hits him on his forearm. His day is done and Adam Davis takes his place. In the mean time, the score has now ballooned to 12-2 and there is still just one out with runners on the corners.
5:48: The nightmare inning continues for the Illini as O'Shea dribbles a ball down the third base line and third baseman Altobelli tries to get the forceout at home but throws it away, scoring two runs. A few pitches later, Chmielewski throws a ball in the dirt, scoring yet another run.
5:43Coming in to relieve Kimes is the very fast and very hard to pronounce Nick Chmielewski. Facing his first batter, Chmielewski walks Knudson to load the bases and this very long inning continues with another mound visit from Dan Hartleb. O'Shea, who already has two home runs on the day gets ahold of another pitch but it hooks jut foul over the left field pole, just feet from a grand slam.
5:37: After back-to-back one out singles, Dan Hartleb comes out to collect Bryan Roberts from the mound. Southpaw Corey Kimes is now in to pitch, inheriting runners on first and second. The final line for Bryan Roberts reads: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Kimes hits the first batter he faces, loading the bases. Kvasnicka comes up and singles to center scoring two and Kimes' outing is limited to just two batters and the Gophers are up, 9-2.
5:30: Rosin has really settled into this game now. He just retired Illinois in order again.
5:24: Someone must have eaten their breakfast today... Nick O'Shea launches his second home run of the day to right field. That's four RBI on the day for O'Shea and the first time this season he has had a multi-home run game. 7-2 Gophers.
5:20: Another first in this game: Illinois goes down 1-2-3, the first time for either team. The score is still 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
5:19: Due to certain tournament rules regarding which team is home and which team is away, Minnesota is sitting in the visitors dugout but are the home team for this afternoon's game. You really do see everything in baseball.
5:15: Minnesota had a "golden" opportunity to break the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases on a single and two walks, but Roberts blew a fastball past Mike Kvasnicka to get out of a very hairy situation. In their two games today, Minnesota has loaded the bases and failed to score three times.
5:06: Just a little tidbit about Huntington Park: the black batters-eye in centerfield (the big, black screen used to make it easier for hitters to pick up incoming pitches) is the only retractable batters-eye in the country and just one of two in minor league ballparks.
5:00: In response to the three runs from the Gophers in the bottom of the third, Willie Argo tattoo's a ball down the left field line over the bleachers and into the picnic area. Matt Dittman then laces a double to center field but one run is all the Illini can score in the top of the fourth.
4:55: Roberts got himself into a jam in the bottom of the third inning, surrendering back to back singles, but appeared to be on his way to escaping trouble until Nick O'Shea got ahold of a 2-2 pitch, sending it into the bleachers in left field. 6-1 Gophers heading into the bottom of the fourth.
4:51: We have a changing of the guard at the main consession stand over to my right. A congregation of blue shirted, food producing and money taking workers are getting ready to start the afternoon and, I must assume, evening shift.
4:50: Taking a look at the Big Ten Tournament bracket, it really is a brutal stretch for any seed bellow two. Assuming victories in your games, you play a game on Wednesday, a game on Thursday, two games on Friday, two games on Saturday, and then one more on Sunday.
4:42 : Bonadonna leads off with a single and manages to tag and advance to second with some very heads up baserunning. Wikoff singles between first and second. On the play, Bonadonna is waved home and looks dead in the water as he heads for the plate but a great hook slide sees him get around the catcher to put Illinois on the board, 3-1. Great baserunning all around for the senoir out of Buffalo Grove, Ill.
4:34: Roberts gets out of a jam and Illinois comes up to bat down 3-0.
4:28: And the book is closed very quickly on Reeser as he is pulled after just one innings work: 2H 3R 2ER 1K. You can't blame coach Dan Hartleb for the decision, it's win or go home. Sunday starter Bryan Roberts comes in to try and eat up sone innings.
4:27: Now playing catch up, the Illini advance a runner to third on a single, balk, and 4-3 groundout but that's all they can mangae as Cappetta strikes out looking at a pictch he seemed to feel was outside.
4:20: Matt Nohelty and the Gophers pick up right where they left off last game with a lead-off single and his third stolen base of the day (two from last game). Nohelty then scores on a throwing error from the second baseman in a sacrifice attempt. The Gophers continue to pile on with an absolute bomb from Mike Kvasnika that comes off the top of the net in right center field, had to have been at least 390 feet, scoring two runs. The Illini escape without further damage, catching Knudson on a late steal to second.
4:06: We have a sound check for a band at a concert venue close to the park... loud music intermittently pouring into the stadium.
3:57: First pitch comes in at 3:50 under cloudy skies here in the heart of the Arena District. Rosin retires the first two batters but Wikoff painfully fouls a 2-2 pitch off his knee and takes a few minutes to recover. He seems OK though as he sends a single up the middle. No damage done though, Altobelli grounds out 6-4.
3:47: A very good afternoon to you from Huntington Park in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We're just about ready for the next installment of Big Ten Tournament baseball. Minnesota, coming off a big win about 45 minutes ago over Purdue, sends out the exact same lineup as earlier:
19 Nohelty DH
1 Pettersen SS
2 McCallum 2B
9 Kvansnicka RF
6 Knudson C
23 O'Shea 1B
7 Decker CF
18 Gominsky LF
4 Geason 3B
For the visiting Illinois, the lineup shakes down like this:
13 Bonadonna CF
44 McMurray LF
12 Wikoff SS
2 Altobelli 3B
7 Johnson C
42 Argo DH
17 Dittman 1B
11 Cappetta RF
9 Parr 2B
3:37 p.m.: On the mound we'll see Bryan Roberts for Illinois vs. Minnesota's Seth Rosin.
3:32 p.m.: First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET.