Big Ten Baseball Tournament - Game 9 Live Blog
May 23, 2009
6:53: Final lines for the game are 6 runs, 15 hits, 3 errors for Ohio State and 9 runs, 17 hits, no errors for the Gophers. The winning pitcher was Luke Rasmussen (2-0) who worked 2.2 innings, giving up five hits and two earned runs. The loser is Eric Best (7-4), going 3.2 innings, giving up nine hits and five earned runs. Thank you for following along this evening! Game #10, Minnesota-Indiana, is up next!
6:41: The game ends after Arp flies out to short right field to Gopher second baseman McCallum. Minnesota reliever Scott Matyas closes it out for the Gophers, going two innings and giving up no runs. Minnesota now moves on to face Indiana tonight in the final of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament.
6:38: With one out to go, Buckeye third baseman Justin Miller hits a curving line drive up against the left field wall for a double. The Buckeyes are still alive with a runner in scoring posistion and Michael Arp up to bat.
6:33: Hale retires the side in the top of the ninth. Its rally time now for the Buckeyes as the Gophers look to close the door. The score remains 9-6 in the Gophers' favor.
6:29: After throwing a low 90's fastball to Stephens for strike two, Maytas dropped a low 70's breaking ball on the Buckeye centerfielder to record his third strikeout of the inning. Minnesota is now three outs away from victory and will look to add some insurance in the top of the ninth.
6:24: Maytas has come into this ball game throwing strike after strike. Hurley goes down for the second out of the inning looking at strike three. However, Buckeye batter Kovanda comes up big with a fastball up and out of the zone to score Arp from second to make it 9-6 in Minnesota's favor. Buckeye runners are now on first and second with two outs and center fielder Michael Stephens up to bat.
6:23: Streng strikes out to record the first out of the inning. Hurley steps up to the plate as the Buckeyes rotate to the top of the lineup.
6:20: The Buckeyes get the first two runners on as Arp and Engle single back-to-back at the bottom of the lineup. Pitching change for the Gophers as Scott Matyas heads into the game. You can feel the pressure build as the Columbus home crowd cheers on for a Ohio State comeback. Buckeye hitter Matt Streng heads to the box.
6:12: Hale gets out of a jam with Decker on second base after striking out Gominsky to end the top of the eighth. Only nine more outs to record in this Big Ten baseball game before we know who will play Indiana tonight.
6:07: Buckeye reliever Jake Hale heads into the game for the Buckeyes in the top of the eighth inning. Rucinski went 3.1 innings and gave up four earned runs on six hits with two walks. Gopher batter Nich O'Shea hits into a 6-4-3 double play to put two outs on the board.
6:00: Confusion strikes Huntington Park in the bottom of the seventh as Buckeye catcher Dan Burkhart hits a shot to right center field and hits off the top of the wall on the yellow line. The umpires meet together to talk at second base and declare that the ball was in fact a home run. Minnesota leads going into the eighth inning with the score 9-5.
5:58: Minnesota shortstop Pettersen placed a pefect bunt down the first base side to slide in safe before the throw and Nohelty heads to third. The Gophers then add to their lead after McCallum hits a sacrifice fly to score Nohelty. The score is now 9-4 in favor of Minnesota as the game heads into stretch time at Huntington Park. The stadium lights are now begining to shadow over the diamond as the sun begins to go down.
5:48: Gopher lead-off hitter Nohelty slaps his third hit of the day to second baseman Kovanda who can't make the throw from the middle. Nohelty now has 300 hits in his career and is just one of three other Minnesota players to ever do that. Nohelty steals second base off Rucinski to record his 25th of the season and fifth of the tournament. Nohelty's stolen base against the Buckeyes is a Big Ten Tournament record (5). What a day at the park for the Gopher senior, a native of Rothschild, Wis.
5:44: Another good inning for the Gophers defense as Rasmussen forces Buckeye lead-off hitter Zach Hurley to fly out to right field to end the sixth. Minnesota comes up to bat to begin the seventh with third baseman Kyle Geason to start things off against Buckeye reliever Rucinski.
5:39: Ohio State batter Tyler Engle hits a single against Gopher reliever Rasmussen. Engle takes second base after Buckeye first baseman Matt Streng grounds out. The top of the order for the Buckeyes now comes up to bat with two outs.
5:33: Minnesota breaks it open in the top of the sixth inning as center fielder Eric Decker finds a "seeing eye" single up the middle to score two runs. The Gophers now lead 8-4 as the side is retired as Rucinski puts away Minnesota batter Justin Gominsky. We head to the bottom of the sixth now with the Buckeyes looking to chip away at this four-run Gopher lead.
5:25: In the top of the sixth inning, Gopher second baseman McCallum hits another shot to right field, but Buckeye fielder Michael Arp dives infront of the line drive to make an outstanding catch for the second out. Arp will have some grass stains after that great play. Buckeye reliever Rucinski now has two runners on with Gopher batter Nick O'Shea up to bat. Meeting at the mound for Ohio State.
5:23: Fern finishes the day going 4.1 innings and giving up four earned runs on eight hits. Gopher left hander reliever Drew Rasmussen comes into the game for Minnesota. Buckeye batter Justin Miller flies out to the warning track in left field to end the fifth inning with the score still 6-4.
5:15: Burkhart hits a hard ground ball to Gopher second baseman McCallum who tried to flip it to second for the force out but Stephens slides in safe just before. Minnesota shortstop Pettersen gets the force out at first to retire Burkhart. Minnesota infielders head to the mound as Fern finishes his day. Stay tuned as the Gophers change pitchers.
5:11: Buckeye center fielder Michael Stephens singles to center to begin the bottom of the fifth. Stephens is zoned in at the plate and is now 3-3 in the ball game. Dan Burkhart steps up for the Buckeyes as the Ohio State crowd begins to get a little louder down the first base side.
5:06: Gopher center fielder Eric Decker steals second for his 11th of the season after walking against Buckeye reliever Rucinski. Left fielder Justin Gominsky puts a great swing on the ball and doubles to the right center gap, scoring Decker. The Gophers now lead 6-4 as the Buckeyes look to strike back in the bottom of the fifth.
5:00: We are through four complete innings and the score stays the same at 5-4. Gopher starter Scott Fern looks to be settling in on the mound as the Buckeye bats go down quietly in the bottom of the fourth inning. The fans settle in for five more innings of Big Ten baseball as the smell of hot dogs and cotton candy linger through out the ball park. What a great weekend for baseball!
4:47: Buckeye shortstop Engle fields a ground ball by Pettersen off his body, but cannot make the play right at second base for the force out. The Gophers now have runners on second and third after a sacrifice bunt by McCallum.
4:44: Gopher lead-off hitter Nohelty starts things off again for Minnesota with another single. We will see if the Gophers try to send him with his 24 steals this season.
4:40: Miller takes second base after Arp squared around to bunt to cause Fern to throw it infront of the plate. Arp flies out to right field, while Engle grounds out to end the inning.
4:37: Buckeye third baseman Justin Miller leads off the bottom of the third with a walk. Michael Arp now heads to the plate after striking out in the first inning against Fern.
4:31: Gopher center fielder Eric Decker hits his fourth homerun of the season with one out to make it 5-4 in favor of Minnesota. Decker's homerun hits off the beautiful new scoreboard here at Huntington Park in right center field. That ball got out of here in a hurry.
4:25: Ohio State makes it a new ball game after Stephens hits a single to left field to score Kovanda. Stephens now has two RBIs in the game. Kovanda steals his sixth base of the year and breaks his belt sliding into second. Opting to just go beltless for the sake of time, he has to pull his pants up as he rounds third to score the tying run. Almost a wardrobe malfunction! Ohio State and Minnesota are now even at 4-4 and we are only through two innings of play.
4:21: The Buckeyes get a runner on with two outs after second baseman Cory Kovanda singles to center. Center fielder Michael Stephens steps up to the plate.
4:13: Kvasnicka flies out to deep left to Buckeye Hurley, who made another tough catch in the sun in front of the warning track. Minnesota catcher Kyle Knudson hits a groundball between third base and shortstop Tyler Engle who dove to his right to get the force out at second to end the top half of the second inning. Engle saves a run for the Buckeyes with his great defensive play.
4:12: After a four-pitch walk by AJ Pettersen and a single to left center by second baseman Derek McCalllum, the Gophers have runners on first and second with one out. Michael Kvasnicka steps up to plate after scoring one of the first four runs for the Gophers in the first.
4:09: Buckeye left fielder Hurley makes a tough catch in the sun down the left field line to put away lead-off hitter Matt Nohelty to begin the top of the second.
4:07: Engle strikes out looking and the Buckeyes finish the first inning scoring three runs on five hits. Both teams look like they are bringing out the bats today as the score sits at 4-3 Minnesota with one inning completed. Stay tuned as Minnesota brings up the top of the lineup to begin the second.
4:04: Arp strikes out swinging and now sophomore shortstop Tyler Engle heads to the batters box to try and tie the game for the Buckeyes with two outs and runners now on second and third.
3:57: The Buckeyes showed their offensive power of their own scoring three runs on five hits in the first. The first three Buckeyes in the lineup scored runs. Ohio State now has baserunners on first and third with one out and right fielder Michael Arp steps up to the plate.
3:52: The Minnesota Gophers did not mess around in the first inning of the game, scoring four runs off six hits against Best. Matt Nohelty led off the inning with a single right up the middle and scored after second baseman Derek McCallum doubled to right center. The next three Gopher batters scored runs to make it 4-0 early in Minnesota's favor. The Buckeyes will now look to bat for the first time today.
3:02 p.m.: We are about a half an hour away from the start of game #9 as Ohio State continues its pregame warmup on the field.
2:30 p.m.: Minnesota will be the home team in today's first game, while the winner of this afternoon's contest will be the home team when facing Indiana in primetime.
2:17 p.m.: Minnesota takes the field for BP. Yesterday we saw AJ Pettersen rock some hits off the scoreboard. He may be small in size, but not on power.
1:47 p.m.: Ohio State is on the field for batting practice, peppering balls on to Nationwide Boulevard. First pitch is set for 3:35 p.m. The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers are fighting for a spot in the tournament's championship game.