May 16, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Led by a solid outing from starting pitcher Mike Kobow, Minnesota advanced to the winners’ bracket of the Big Ten Tournament, posting a 4-2 win in Game One Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
As winners the Golden Gophers advance to play the winner of the Purdue-Illinois contest Thursday at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions will play the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
The Golden Gophers took the first lead of the ballgame. Sam Steidl led off with a single to left field. Jason Kennedy followed and drilled a triple to the right field power alley to plate Steidl. Jack Hannahan followed with a walk to put runners at first and third base. PSU starting pitcher Dan McCall then balked balked home Kennedy to give UM a 2-0 edge.
After a one hour and 35 minute rain delay, the game resumed with two outs in the top of the third inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, Penn State scored its first run of the ballgame off a solo home run by Matt Lindert. The blast came off a first-pitch offering from Kobow. In the bottom half of the inning, the Gophers wasted no time and got the run back. Josh Holthaus hammered a first-pitch offering from McCall over the left field wall to increase the Gophers’ lead to 3-1. The hit increased his hitting streak to a team-high 13 games.
In the top of the fifth inning, PSU cut the UM lead to 3-2. Zack Smithlin led off the inning with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by Rod Perry, Mike DeRenzo grounded out to plate Smithlin. Minnesota came back with another quick response in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs, Steidl reached base on an infield single. Kennedy followed with his second RBI triple of the game to give UM a 4-2 lead.
Kobow (9-3) picked up the win after going the distance. He allowed six hits and two earned runs while walking two and striking out two. McCall (6-2) absorbed the defeat. He went 7.1 innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs. He walked two and struck out six.
Minnesota head coach John Anderson
“After we finally got started, I thought our kids played pretty well. They handled the break and the time that we waited for the rain to cease and they got back on the field. They handled the distractions really well. I thought we played really relaxed and played a outstanding game today both defensively and offensively.”
Penn State head coach Joe Hindelang
“First of all, I think you have to give their starting pitcher (Mike Kobow), who finished the game, credit. I think he had his best stuff. We made about six small mistakes that would not be caught by the average fan in the first two innings where we let the two runs in. Plus, we were not taking advantage of what we were doing offensively.”