June 2, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior catcher Logan Gelbrich's three-run homerun capped a five-run ninth-inning comeback but Minnesota sophomore Derek McCallum's bases loaded single ended the fourth-ranked University of San Diego Torero's season with a 6-5 loss in front of 1,188 at Tony Gwynn stadium in San Diego, Calif.
For San Diego (43-18), it was just the third time all season that the Toreros had lost two straight games. The Toreros will finish the season with a program-best 43 wins while also reaching a school-high ranking of fourth in the national polls.
Minnesota (41-17) improves to 28-0 when leading after eight innings and will face the loser of Cal State Fullerton-Fresno State on Saturday in an elimination game.
Gopher senior Kyle Baran led off the bottom of the 10th with a single and senior Sean Kommerstad's sacrifice bunt advanced him to second. Torero freshman reliever A. J. Griffin (6-2) then intentionally walked junior Bryan Jost and senior Kevin Carlson also followed with a walk to load the bases, setting up McCallum and his walk-off single.
But it wouldn't had happened had the Toreros not rallied in the ninth to force the extra frame. Entering their final at bat in the top half of the ninth inning in a 5-0 hole, junior Justin Snyder started the rally with a double and the Toreros' all-time hits leader senior Jordan Abruzzo singled to put runners at first and third with nobody out.
For Abruzzo it was 305th hit of his collegiate career and second of the afternoon to end the night for Gopher senior starter Dustin Brabender, who did not factor in the decision despite departing with his shutout in tact, tossing eight innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
Junior Kyle Carr came on in relief and yielded an RBI single to senior Shane Buschini to put San Diego on the board trailing 5-1. Junior Josh Romanski followed with a chopper to first that Jost fielded cleanly and tossed to second base, but senior shortstop Dan Lyons mishandled the throw, allowing Abruzzo to score, bringing the tally to 5-2.
After senior Daniel Magness grounded out to first for the first out of the inning, Gelbrich hit a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right-center field to knot the score at five. The opposite field shot was Gelbrich's fourth of the season and ended the day for Carr.
In came Kyle Oslin (1-2) who retired junior Kevin Hansen on a ground out to short and sophomore Sean Nicol on a fly to right to end the inning. Oslin earned the win, recording 1.2 innings of work without allowing a single base runner.
Gelbrich led San Diego offensively, finishing the afternoon 2-for-4 with a homerun and three RBIs. Snyder and Abruzzo also tallied two hits for the Toreros.
The Toreros trailed the entire game as the Golden Gophers went ahead with two runs in the first inning. Minnesota lead off man Matt Nohelty reached on an error by San Diego's Nicol, who charged the ball at short and got caught in between hops resulting in the E-6 and the leadoff man aboard. After two failed bunt attempts by Lyons, San Diego starter Brian Matusz coaxed Lyons to chase a pitch out of the strike zone for the first out of the inning.
After Nohelty swiped second, senior Mike Mee turned on a Matusz 2-1 offering and hammered it over the Aztec Baseball Wall of Fame in right for an early 2-0 advantage.
Mee knocked in the Gophers third run of the game in the third, plating Lyons who reached second after smashing a two-out double to right center field. The Gophers padded the lead in the fourth when Komerstad pulled a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left to make it 4-0. It was the second home run that Matusz had surrendered on the day, despite entering the game having surrendered just six homeruns all season in 115 innings pitched.
Matusz did not factor in the decision, going 7.2 innings, surrendering five runs - four earned - on seven hits, with seven strikeouts, exiting the game with the Toreros trailing 4-0.
Mee led Minnesota on the box score, finishing the afternoon going 2-for-4 with a homerun and three RBIs. Baran, who put Minnesota ahead 5-0 when scoring on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth and Kommerstad each finished with two hits as to pace the Gopher attack.