FORT MYERS, FLA. – The Twins lineup Thursday included several players not in the running for spots on the Opening Day roster.
But the Gophers, in the middle of an early-season tour of Georgia and Florida, had some players who made their college debuts.
Somehow, it led to a grind-it-out game with no extra-base hits that wasn’t decided until LaMonte Wade scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, giving the Twins a 2-1 victory in their first exhibition game of the year at Hammond Stadium.
“Your're kind of getting your feet wet,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said moments after looking across the field at his good friend, Gophers coach John Anderson. “It feels really fast with three full-day workouts. You can tell by even the timing of guys facing college pitchers that it takes awhile.”
Gophers pitchers held the Twins to two hits over the first six innings. One them was an RBI single by Brock Stassi in the first to open the scoring. Relievers Bubba Horton, a freshman, and Sam Bridges, a redshirt freshman, threw their first pitches as Gophers during the game, helping to keep the Twins off the scoreboard.
The Gophers, using bats supplied by the Twins, tied the game in the third on Micah Coffey’s sacrifice fly. Then the procession of relievers and scoreless innings took over.
Brian Navarreto had two hits for the Twins. Luke Pettersen had two hits for the Gophers, who play Boston College on Friday in Port Charlotte.
La VELLE E. NEAL III