UW baseball beats Minnesota 5-3

LONG BEACH, Calif. - After surrendering a 3-1 lead in the seventh, the 23rd-ranked and third-seeded Washington baseball team got a run-scoring, two-out single from senior Tila Reynolds to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth and hung on to beat second-seeded Minnesota Friday at Blair Field in the first game of the NCAA Long Beach Regional.

The Huskies (41-16) will advance in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination regional to face the winner of Friday night's Long Beach State-Pepperdine game. Game time is 3:00 p.m. Saturday.

Washington never trailed in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the first and scoring two in the fourth to break a 1-1 tie. Junior reliever Brian Carter (1-1), who got the third out in the seventh with the bases loaded and two runs already in, picked up the win. Closer Will Fenton, who was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball earlier Friday, earned his 11th save, getting the final five outs.

Fenton, a sophomore from Kingston, Wash., has yet to allow a run in 31 and two-thirds innings this season. The Gophers (39-21) knocked two singles off of him to put the tying runs on base in the ninth, but David Hrncirik flied out to end it.

UW entered the seventh inning ahead, 3-1. With two runners aboard and two outs, reliever Trent Baysinger walked UM shortstop Scott Welch to load the bases and then proceeded to walk DH Jon Becker and hit catcher Jake Elder with a pitch to force in the Gophers' second and third runs, tying the game at 3-3. Carter came on then and got Hrncirik to fly out to left to end that inning as well.

In the top of the eighth, the Dawgs took the lead back. Third baseman John Otness led off the eighth with a single and moved to second on a bunt by Greg Isaacson. After Minnesota freshman ace Glen Perkins struck out Brent Lillibridge, Reynolds came through with a single to left, scoring Otness from second. The UW added a fifth run in the ninth when Chad Boudon walked and scored on a single from Otness.

Perkins (10-2), the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year after going 9-0 in nine Big Ten starts, suffered the loss, allowing four runs on 10 hits over eight innings. Husky senior Sean White threw six-plus innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. White didn't allow a hit until there was one out in the fifth.

The Huskies got on the board in the first inning. Lillibridge hit the first pitch of the game up the middle for a single. After an out, singles from Aaron Hathaway and Mike Wagner loaded the bases for Boudon, who delivered a sacrifice fly to right to give the UW a 1-0 lead.

Minnesota managed a run without benefit of a hit to tie the game in the third. With one out, left fielder Tony Leseman reached on a throwing error Isaacson, the UW second baseman. After a walk and a fielder's choice groundout put runners at first and third, White was called for a balk on a third-to-first move and the Gophers had their first run.

It didn't take long, however, for Isaacson to make up for the error. After Otness walked to lead off the top of the fourth, Isaacson belted a double to deep center fielder, scoring Otness all the way from first to break the 1-1 tie. After an out, Hathaway singled to drive in Isaacson, giving UW a 3-1 lead.

Hathaway finished the game 3-for-5 with an RBI while Lillibridge, Otness and Reynolds each had two hits. Welch was the lone Gopher with two hits, going 2-for-4.

NCAA Long Beach Regional
#3 Washington 5, #2 Minnesota 3
Washington 100 200 011 -- 5 12 2
Minnesota 001 000 200 -- 3 6 4
Sean White, Trent Baysinger (7), Brian Carter (7), Will Fenton (8) and Aaron Hathaway. Glen Perkins, Jeff Moen (9) and Jake Elder.
W - Carter (1-1). L - Perkins (10-2). Sv - Fenton (11). 2B - UW, Greg Isaacson. T - 3:26. A - 1,181.
Records: UW 41-16; UM 39-21.

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