Feb. 27, 2004
Facing its first ranked opponent of the season, no.12 Florida Atlantic University defeated no. 25 Minnesota in the squads third come-from-behind victory of the season 4-2. A three-run home run by Rob Horst gave FAU a 3-2 advantage in the fifth innings on the first day of the DoubleTree Diamond Classic.
The Golden Gophers (0-1) struck first in the third inning off of starting pitcher Matt O'Brien (Royal Palm Beach, FL). After a leadoff single by the number nine hitter, Sean Kommerstad, Luke Mac Lean doubled to right center to put two runners into scoring position. Two consecutive groundouts gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead until the fifth inning when a three-run home run by Horst (Gering, NE) gave Florida Atlantic its first lead of the contest.
After recording two outs, Golden Gophers starting pitcher, Glen Perkins issued two walks in the fifth before facing Horst. After striking out the right fielder twice already, Perkins stayed in the game with a Minnesota pitcher ready in the bullpen. After being fooled by the changeup the first two at bats, Horst took advantage of the pitch and drove it to left field for his team-leading fourth homer of the season.
FAU (11-0) would add to the lead in the eighth inning again with two outs. Designated hitter Jarrod Lauth singled through the left side before freshman Mike McBryde (North Palm Beach, FL) made a pinch running appearance. With his speed he advanced to third on a Tim Mascia single to right field before he scored the fourth run of his career on a double steal.
Matt O'Brien (4-0) remains undefeated in his senior campaign. The right hander from Royal Palm Beach, FL worked six innings and struck out two while only allowing two runs on seven hits. Mark Culp, Craig Hughes and Chris Saxton each came out of the bullpen and threw perfect innings as only three Golden Gopher batters walked to the plate in each of the last five innings. Saxton picked up his third save of the year in the outing.
Perkins falls to 0-1 in his first start of the season after working 4 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits. The sophomore struck out six and walked three.
In the first game of the round robin tournament, Notre Dame defeated Winthrop 19-6 on 18 hits by the Fighting Irish. Chris Niesel struck out five in seven innings to improve to 2-0 on the year
Minnesota will face Winthrop at 1 pm before no.10 Notre Dame meets Florida Atlantic in the nightcap at 7 pm.