Minnesota's Season Ends With Loss in Regional Championship Game
Minnesota’s season came to an end on Monday with a 9-5 loss to Cal State Fullerton in the championship game of the Fullerton Regional.
Michael Kvasnicka led the Gophers, going 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI, also knocking a run-scoring double that helped Minnesota jump out to an early lead. AJ Pettersen and Nick O’Shea had two hits each for the Gophers, while Pettersen also scored twice and O’Shea drove one in.
With the championship game appearance, Minnesota became one of just 19 programs to reach a regional final in each of the last two seasons. On Friday, the Gophers became the only No. 4 seed to knock of a No. 1 seed on the opening day of the 2010 NCAA Baseball Championship.
Kvasnicka, Kyle Knudson and Seth Rosin earned spots on the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team. Kvasnicka batted .421 with two runs, a homer, two doubles and four RBI over four games, while Knudson hit .444 with three runs, a homer and three RBI. Rosin held Cal State Fullerton to just one run on three hits and struck out seven in Friday night’s opening-round game.
Minnesota fell into an early hole was unable to mount a comeback, falling 7-2 to Cal State Fullerton in NCAA Regional action. The Gophers and Titans will meet again on Monday at 8 p.m. PT to play for the regional title. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
AJ Pettersen led Minnesota on offense, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Kyle Knudson also had a 2-for-4 night, while Michael Kvasnicka was 1-for-4 with his eighth homer of the year. Phil Isaksson was tagged with the loss.
Minnesota overcame an early 3-0 deficit and trailed late, 4-3, before pulling out a 10-inning win against New Mexico in NCAA Regionals on Saturday. With the win, the Golden Gophers will play on Sunday for the right to advance to Super Regionals.
With the game tied, 4-4, in the 10th, Kyle Knudson knocked a leadoff single, followed by another base hit from Nick O’Shea. Matt Puhl came through with an RBI single to make it a 5-4 game, followed by Kyle Geason who hit a one-run single to put the game at the final 6-4 tally.
The Golden Gophers will play for the Regional title on Sunday at 8 p.m. PT. They will face the winner of the New Mexico vs. Cal State Fullerton contest, which will be played at 4 p.m. PT. All games will be broadcast live on ESPNU. A win would put Minnesota into Super Regionals for the first time in school history. A loss would force a decisive game on Monday.
Minnesota began NCAA Championship play on Friday night with a 3-1 win over Cal State Fullerton, becoming the only No. 4 seed to down a No. 1 seed on the opening day of the 2010 NCAA Championship. The win over the seventh-ranked Titans is Minnesota’s highest since beating No. 2 Missouri on March 26, 2009. It is also the program’s highest in NCAA play since defeating No. 4 San Diego on June 2, 2007.
The Gopher offense gave starter Seth Rosin an early cushion with three runs in the first. That was all breathing room the right-hander would need as he gave up just one run on three hits in eight innings. Scott Matyas worked a perfect ninth to pick up his eighth save of the year.
Minnesota advances to the winners’ bracket of the Fullerton Regional and will face No. 3 New Mexico on Saturday night at 8 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.