May 13, 2007

Minnesota-Ohio State: UofM wins 5-3

Ohio State - 3 5 1
Minnesota - 5 12 2

OSU now 30-19, 14-12
The U is now 35-12, 16-7

Now all the Gopher fans become big Penn State fans as they are they are trying to take a second game from league-leading Michigan team.

Light-hitting Jeremy Chlan lead the charge going 3-for-3 with two RBI. Kyle Baran came in to get two hits as well.

Minnesota-Ohio State: 'Sota adds to it's lead.

Minnesota now up 5-3. 6 outs left for the Gophers.

Jeremy Chlan, the No. 9 hitter that came in hitting .150, now has a 3-for-3 day with a walk and also added his second RBI in the 7th, after beating out a throw from third baseman Brian DeLucia.

Damn Northern baseball and its boiling hot temperatures this time of year.

It has warmed up to the upper 70s out here in Minneapolis now as the clouds have broken up completely. People are catching some rays out in the bleachers.

Minnesota-Ohio State: UofM gets out of this OSU threat

The Buckeyes had this 1st and 3rd situation with just one out in the 6th inning. But Dustin Brabender got a strikeout for the second out. Then, with OSU's best hitter, J.B. Shuck at the dish, Gopher reliever Kyle Carr got him to groundout to 2nd base to erase the threat.

"Psst. Steal home. I dare ya'. Steal home."

Now, the Gophers have men at 1st and 2nd with one out and Mike Mee at the plate. The Bucks pulling a pitching change.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Buckeye miscues let Gophers back in

That young infield that Bob Todd put into the lineup yesterday, has made a tough error call against 3B Brian DeLucia and one of those he-probably-should've-gotten-that-one grounders up the middle on SS Cory Rupert.

With the help of those two plays, Minnesota was able to score a game-tying run on an RBI single by pinch hitter Kyle Baran.

So it's now 3-3 here in the 5th inning. And is that Clemson-FSU score really 11-6? Mercy.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Get this... a 3-pitch inning is followed by a 4-pitch inning

Following the Gophers' going three-up/three-down on three pitches in the bottom of the 3rd, Minnesota's Dustin Brabender got the first two Buckeyes to ground out to short with the first two pitches to start the top of the 4th . Then, Cory Kovanda took the first pitch of his at-bat and the crowd groaned and hissed.

Sure enough, the next pitch Kovanda grounded out... you guessed it, to short.

So if you're keeping score at home, it's a three-pitch half-inning to the Minnesota bats, followed by a four-pitch half-inning to the Buckeyes.

Minnesota-Ohio State: I just saw my first three-pitch inning

Ohio State scored two more runs in the 3rd to go ahead 3-1.

Eric Best then followed that up with a three-pitch inning to Mike Mee, Nate Hanson and Tijl Vanderwege. That'll keep a pitch count down.

For the Bucks offense, Jason Zoeller sliced an RBI double and Justin Miller knocked in another run with a sac fly.

And Dr. Kenny, no Shania Twain has been played here in Minneapolis.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Game 4 underway

This game has big ramifications for the two teams as far as poistioning for the Big 10 tournament. Only six teams make the conference tourney and Ohio State, at 14-11, is battling for a spot.

Here's how things stand now:
Michigan: 18-4
Minnesota: 15-7
Penn State: 15-9
Iowa: 15-10
Ohio State: 14-11
Illinois: 13-12
Michigan State: 12-14

As I mentioned in my Extra Innings column, the Gophers need a win just to salvage a series tie and to limit the damage that has already been done to their RPI.

It's a blustery day with temps in the upper 60s and mostly sunny.

May 12, 2007

Minnesota-Ohio State: This picture pretty much says it all...

And yes, this is the final score for today's second game. OSU wins big.


OSU outscores Minnesota 21-2, outhits them 32-10 and commits just one error compared to five for the Gophers.

Eric Fryer goes 6-for-9 with six RBI on the day.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Man, things getting ugly here again.

Ohio State now leads game two by a rather nasty 11-0. The hit totals are 15 for OSU and just one for the Gophers.

There haven't been any big hits that blow the game open, but the Bucks have been nibbling left and right and also have been the recipients of some poor pitching from Minnesota. Granted, Jason Zoeller blasted a yard call in the 1st, but since then it's been an onslaught of infield singles and seeing-eye dribblers. The Bucks are running roughshod in station-to-station form.

You have to think that Minnesota's at-large chances may be taking a big hit here today. Yeesh!

In case you're wondering, Minnesota's RPI is No. 40 and OSU's is No. 94.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Damn! Bucks now have nine hits, but only four runs

Buckeyes now lead 4-0 after an inning and a half.

OSU has had their way with Marcus McKenzie so far, rapping hard shots left, right and center through the first two innings here in game two.

But they have also stranded five baserunners, so the damage could be much worse for Minnesota. I can't imagine McKenzie makes a return to the mound in the third inning.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Buckeyes look like they wanna take two

OSU once again didn't waste much time in jogging out to an early lead here in game two. It's 2-0 with Minnesota yet to come to bat.

Cory Kovanda led off with a double, two batters later Eric Fryer kept his hot day going with an RBI single (but got thrown out at first after rounding the base) and finally Jason Zoeller hit his team-leading 9th home run of the season.

By the way, the Golden Gophers' game two starter, Marcus McKenzie, is 7-0 on the season, but his ERA is 5.44 and his opponents are hitting .310 off of him. I can see why, even the outs are being hit on a rope by the Buckeyes here in the top half of the first inning.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Today's "Best Dressed" Award goes to...

... this West Coast wanna-be wearing the Cal State Fullerton jersey here in Minnesota. That's right Jeffery, we've got Titans represented up here as well. Those fans travel better than anyone. Just not to the right stadiums, apparently.

Kinda makes me feel at home.

Game two is about to start in a few minutes here.

Minnesota-Ohio State: OSU vanquishes The U with a Hale of pitches

Ohio State - 8 10 1
Minnesota - 1 6 3

OSU's Jake Hale, normally a reliever and making his first start of the season, threw a complete game six-hitter. The lanky Soph was on all day and was still hitting 92mph on the radar guns here in the 7th and last inning.

Catcher Eric Fryer went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and two doubles. 1B Justin Miller was 3-for-3 with an RBI.

The re-vamped infield full of freshman didn't make a single error in the game. (Damn, now I've jinxed them for game two)

Game two is slated to start in about a half-hour.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Ladies and Gentlemen, OSU's J.B. Shuck

Ohio State is now up 7-1 in the 5th inning.

J.B. Shuck led the inning off with a perfectly placed bunt single. With his blazing speed, he beat the throw easily. Shuck eventually came around to score on a slap single by Eric Fryer, who is now 2-for-3 with a single and double on the day.

Shuck is OSU's best athlete. He's batting leadoff this weekend because normal tablesetter Jacob Howell is back in Ohio handling family matters. Shuck is also one of the Buckeyes better pitchers as well and is scheduled to start OSU's second game today.

For the season, Shuck came into today with a .400 average and also had stats of 3-2, 4.19 on the mound with 58 innings pitched and 44Ks.

OSU's versatile J.B. Shuck scores a run in the 5th.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Celebrity sighting at Siebert

New Minnesota basketball Tubby Smith was just announced to be in attendance today at the stadium. Here's a blurry, long-distance picture of him...

The Ohio State radio guys made the joke that while Smith is taking in a baseball game here today, Thad Motta would've been at the game today, but he's too busy out there recruiting.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Fryer puts Gophers on a spit

Ohio State just edged ahead to a 4-1 lead halfway through the 3rd. And that's big because of the shortened nature of these 7-inning games.

Eric Fryer slammed a ball off the wall to start the 3rd inning and eventually came around to score on an RBI singe by Justin Miller.

Just got myslef a souvenir cup of pop from the snack shack under the stadium. You know, a Gopher isn't exactly a very ferocious mascot, now that I think of it. It's more of a plush toy. But at least it's not like the Youngstown State Penguins.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Ohio State not wasting time

Ohio State now up 3-1, bottom of 2nd.

The Bucks plated three runs in the top of the 2nd as the youth brigade that Bob Todd has starting in the infield that are hitting 7-8-9, went...
Brian DeLucia, double, RBI
Cory Rupert, sac fly to CF, RBI
Cory Kovanda, sac fly to LF
The Ohio State radio guys next to me also mention that the Buckeyes lead the country in players named "Cory".

Mike Mee made another incredible diving catch in left field to end the inning.

Minnesota-Ohio State: 1st pitch at Siebert. Let's play two

As is the pre-determined schedule in Big 10 play, today's action between Ohio State and Minnesota is going to be two 7-inning games. In 2009 the Big 10 will go to the more traditional three-game weekend sets (like the Missouri Valley did a few years ago).

It's a really good day for baseball today, 68 degrees and completely sunny, as the temps are expected to spike at 75 degrees. The stands are pretty full as people trickle in some more here during the first inning.

UM's Gary Perinar (3-3, 4.53) vs. OSU's Jake Hale (1-2, 5.45, 10saves). Lots of changes for the Bucks today. Hale is usually the ace reliever, but because of the rash of injuries has taken over the No. 2 starter role. OSU coach Bob Todd has decided to go with an all-Freshman 3B, SS and 2B trio after yesterday's error-filled mess that the Buckeyes experienced.


May 11, 2007

Minnesota-Ohio State: I promise not to misspell "Etheridge" again...

Minnesota wins 6-4 to get the all-important game one win in this Big 10 series.

Time of the game was just 2:20 and the attendance was 674. Sorry, it looked like more.

Best part about the quick game... it's still only 9:02pm (7:02 west coast time). So I still have time to go out and find one of those great music venues that has some local garage band playing and swill a few brews. Hopefully Kenny, the Antagonists are playing somewhere. "BCS! BCS!"

Special thanks to Minnesota SID Steve Geller and Ohio State SID Jeff Wuerth for their info.

I'll be doing a Q&A with Minnesota head man John Anderson before tomorrow's double-header.

Minnesota-Ohio State: You'll like this one Ethridge...

while your impending doom of rain is one the way.

As I talked about before this game got started, the listed capacity of Siebert Field is 1,100 in the media guide. But Minnesota baseball SID Jeff Geller says that when the U hosted the Regionals back in 2000, they pulled in 3,100 for the Saturday winner's bracket game against Nebraska.

So while this isn't anything close to plush, they do pack them in at times. In fact, they haven't officially announced the crowd tonight, but both bleachers down each side of the park are pretty full. Some Buckeye fans made the trek too as I see a decent patch of red off to my left side.

Minnesota-Ohio State: One big difference in Big 10 baseball...

Ohio State's Cory Leubke, who should be a top 10 round pick this June, has been touched up for three more runs here in the 6th inning. It's now 6-1 Minnesota going into the 7th.

But since the Big 10 plays 4-game series' each weekend, OSU coach Bob Todd has stayed with Leubke despite a huge home run blast to start the bottom of the 6th and giving up a walk and slicing double after that. In Big 10 baseball, a long effort by your Friday starter is much more emphisized.

UofM's Sean Kommerstad has a bitchin' name and just had a bitchin' smash of a 2-run home run over the center field wall. It was not only his first dinger of the season, it was also one of those kind where the center fielder takes one or two steps and just watches the ball sail well over the fence. A no-doubter.

Then, No. 8 hitter Kevin Carlson slapped a ball to the gap that plated another run.

That makes the score now Minnesota 6 - Ohio State 1. Will be interesting to see if Leubke stays in the game in the bottom of the 7th.

Minnesota-Ohio State: 'Sota is sweet, up 3-0

According to Ohio State's SID, the one big bugaboo for their team this year (besides the unfortunate rash of injuries) has bit them in the arse again. Errors/blown opportunities.

OSU committed one error and booted another certain double play. Tijl Vanderwege (pronounced "teel") hit his 2nd home run of the season to make the score 3-zip Minnesota.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Great train songs

Train In Vain - The Clash
Driver 8 - REM
Train Kept A Rollin' - Aerosmith
Last Train to London - ELO
Train, Train - Blackfoot
One Toke Over The Line - Brewer and Shipley
When a Train Goes By It's Such A Sad Sound - The Smiths (okay, that's not the name, but it's the lyric)

As the Doctor of College Baseball has pointed out to me a half-million times over the years, this is yet another college baseball stadium that is situated right next to a railroad tracks. So add Siebert Field to one of the more unusual quirks in college baseball.

It's still all zeroes here in freakin' 'Sota. Good pitching by OSU's J.B. Schuck.

Minnesota-Ohio State: Siebert Field

About to get started here in Norseland, with 2nd place Minnesota hosting 5th place Ohio State.

Neat stadium. Not modern by any stretch, just has a lot of tradition to it. Opened in 1971, so players like Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield have graced this stage. It claims to have a capacity of just 1,100. But pictures in the media guide show how it is "expanded" for big events like the Regionals they've hosted and the Big 10 tournaments that have been held here over the years.

Like most Big 10 stadiums, it's can hold a good bit of fans, but it's an older facility in need of refurbishing... or replacing. Great looking field though. As richly green and well-manicured as I've seen this season.


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