Cougars' post-season hopes dashed in tripleheader
Needing to win two games of a tripleheader Saturday, late inning errors dashed University of Minnesota, Morris hopes as the Cougars dropped games two and three to Martin Luther College at home.
Poor weather on Friday forced the teams to play three games on Saturday, all of which figured into deciding who would appear in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference tournament this coming weekend.
If the Cougars had won two, they would have needed a little help from Northland who was hosting Northwestern in Wisconsin. Losing two, however, meant that Martin Luther made it into the fourth playoff spot.
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The afternoon got off to an impressive start as pitcher Jordan Gegen threw a six-hitter with only two walks over a complete game victory. Second baseman Ian Olson's two-run homer in the first inning provided all the offense the Cougars needed in a convincing 6-1 victory.
Olson added another RBI in the fourth inning. Right fielder Drew Lundquist had three hits in the game.
Lundquist, only a freshman, ends the 2010 season as the Cougars' best hitter (.390 in 27 games).
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A six-run seventh inning propelled the Knights to a 12-9 victory in game two.
Tied at six going into the final inning, Martin Luther scored six times on five hits, all on two outs. UMM rallied for three runs in the bottom half, but ultimately fell short.
Lee Arvold started for the Cougars, pitching four innings and giving up five runs. Arvold was hit for the runs in the third, but seemed to regain control in the fourth, setting down the Knights in four batters.
Kyle Blair took the loss in relief.
Olson and catcher Mike McGill each had two doubles in the game. McGill led UMM with three RBIs.
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The Knights rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning, turning a late 6-5 deficit into an 8-6 victory.
Game three started with the Cougars jumping out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but Martin Luther starter Joseph Blum regained control and shutout UMM for the next five innings.
The game turned on some key Cougar errors in the sixth and seventh innings, erasing a fine starting effort from senior Nik Randall.
Senior shortstop Matt Peterson led UMM with three hits and two RBIs.