Minnesota's late rally beats UH


POSTED: Monday, March 02, 2009

Jon Hummel's late-inning heroics overshadowed a nearly perfect return by Jared Alexander.

Hummel's two-run single with two outs capped a three-run rally in the ninth as Minnesota battled back to stun Hawaii 5-4 yesterday in the final game of the Dairy Queen Classic baseball tournament at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.



















        NEXT UP

        vs. Mississippi State on Thursday

The Rainbows (3-5) led 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth inning when the Golden Gophers (5-2) rallied for three runs off sophomore Josh Slaats. Erick Decker came to the plate as the go-ahead run with two outs and stroked a single up the middle to score Michael Kvasnicka, who walked with one out. Decker quickly stole second and Hummel hit a two-run single to right to end it.

“;The way it feels is this is the toughest loss of my career, at least for as long as I can remember,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said.

The Rainbows received a huge boost when preseason Western Athletic Conference pitcher of the year Jared Alexander made his first start of the season after dealing with an arm injury dating back to last year. Trapasso wasn't going to let Alexander throw more than 45 pitches, but it only took 39 for the senior right-hander to get through four innings.

Kvasnicka's single to start the second was the only runner Alexander allowed as he faced the minimum 12 batters.

“;That's a huge lift to us if we can get him built up to where he's back going seven or eight innings,”; Trapasso said.

Alexander left the game with a 2-0 lead as the Rainbows scored twice in the second. Sean Montplaisir put the 'Bows on the board with a two-out double to score Christian Johnson, and Shane Hoey followed with an RBI single.

Sophomore Alex Capaul didn't record an out in relief of Alexander, letting the first three Golden Gophers reach base in the fifth. Kvasnicka and Kyle Knudson sandwiched singles around a Nick O'Shea walk to the load the bases before Trapasso brought in Sam Spangler. Decker hit an RBI single and Spangler walked in a run with two outs, but he kept the damage to a minimum.

Hawaii eventually went back on top as Johnson scored on a wild pitch in the seventh. Kolten Wong added an RBI single to score Montplaisir and the Rainbows took a 4-2 lead.

Spangler went four innings in relief, retiring 10 in a row after the two-out walk in the fifth.

Trapasso thought about keeping Spangler in to start the ninth, but the sophomore lefty said he had nothing left.

“;That's a sign of maturity right there, knowing what his limit was,”; Trapasso said.

Slaats (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs in 2/3 innings. He was named to the preseason All-WAC team, but has struggled in both appearances this season, and has lost the closer's role for the time being.

“;Right now Slaats isn't going to be in that role for a while,”; Trapasso said. “;He's pitched twice and pitched poorly. We'll pitch guys when we need them. We can go bullpen by committee.”;

Johnson and Montplaisir each went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. The 'Bows finished 1-2 in the tournament, while the Golden Gophers went 3-0.

Through eight games, the 'Bows are hitting .231 as a team.

“;Some guys we've got to get going,”; Trapasso said. “;We're a good offensive club and we're not hitting on all cylinders by any means.”;

The Rainbows return home today and will host Mississippi State for a four-game series beginning Thursday.



Minnesota 5, Hawaii 4

Wong cf5011Nohelty dh3001
Garcia ss4000Pettersen ss4000 
Catricala 3b4010McCallum 2b4000
Van Doornum dh3010Kvasnicka rf3220
Macdonald 1b4000O'Shea 1b3110
Johnson rf3220Albrecht pr0100 
Hernandez c4000Knudson c4011
Montplaisir lf3221Decker cf4121
Hoey 2b4011Hummel lf4012
Alexander p0000Geason 3b3000
Capaul p0000Rosin p0000
Spangler p0000Bechstein p0000
Slaats p0000Isaksson p0000
     Sexton p0000 

LOB—Hawaii 6, Minnesota 4. 2B—Johnson 2; Montplaisir 2. SB—Van Doornum 2; Johnson; Decker. CS—Montplaisir.

Slaats (L, 0-1)2/333311
Sexton (W, 2-0)1 2/310010

Umpires—Jim Jackson (Plate); Perry Costello (First); Mike Droll (Second) Bill Ryan (Third). T—2:43. A—1,993.