Gophers fall at the Dome in battle of top lefthanders

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 16, 2013 - 12:32 AM
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The Gophers’ Tom Windle fired in a first-inning pitch Friday. He gave up four hits in a nine-inning complete game but took a loss.

Photo: DAVID JOLES • djoles@startribune.com ,

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Baseball America has Indiana State lefthander Sean Manaea ranked as the No. 2 prospect for this June’s major league draft, but until Friday night he never had pitched a nine-inning complete game.

Manaea locked horns with Gophers lefty Tom Windle in a tense pitcher’s duel at the Metrodome, with Twins scouting director Deron Johnson and a throng of other scouts behind the plate.

The 2-1 Indiana State victory ended with a controversial call, as the Gophers loaded the bases and appeared to score the tying run when Manaea’s pitch bounced away from catcher Mike Fitzgerald.

Kurt Schlangen tried scoring from third base, but Manaea covered the plate, and umpire John Priester ruled that Manaea got the tag down in time for the final out.

The Gophers thought Schlangen was clearly safe and were furious as they left the field. Manaea was so excited, he rolled his right ankle jumping in celebration. He limped toward the team bus with ice wrapped around the ankle.

“I was jacked up, so it was all in good fun, I guess,” Manaea said. “Hopefully it’ll be better tomorrow.”

Windle followed last week’s no-hitter against Western Illinois with another complete game, allowing four hits with one strikeout. Manaea allowed six hits and had 10 strikeouts.

Scouts had Windle’s fastball clocked at 89-92 miles per hour, while Manaea’s fastball sat between 92-94 mph.

“It felt good to throw well,” Windle said. “But to come up that close on kind of a controversial call is kind of hard to sit on.”

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