M.A.G.I.C. Weekly Update (7/21/14)

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Summer Roundup: July 21

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Major Leagues
*The big news last week was Glen Perkins' All-Star Game save. Find links to video, articles and a Twitter summary here. Perkins has made one appearance since the All-Star break, striking out two in a scoreless inning on Sunday.

Minor Leagues
*Mike Kvasnicka (Double-A New Britain Rock Cats) picked up two runs, four RBIs, a home run and a double in the last week. He is hitting .272 overall, and .329 in the month of July.
*Kyle Knudson is batting .321 in July for New Britain.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A) gave up one run in four innings (two appearances) last week. He also struck out four batters.
*Drew Ghelfi made a scoreless relief appearance for the Helena Brewers (Rookie) lasts week.
*Alec Crawford (Rookie Grand Junction Rockies) did not give up an earned run until his 10th minor league appearance, which came last Friday. He has a 1.59 ERA on the season after giving up two runs. Crawford has four saves, and has struck out eight in 11 1/3 innings.

Cape Cod League
*Lance Thonvold has four saves and a 2.89 ERA for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. He has 21 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. The Minnesota Daily featured Thonvold in last week's edition.

Northwoods League
*Connor Schaefbauer is batting .321 this summer with the Rochester Honkers. He went 9-for-25 (.360) last week, including a game in which he batted 3-for-5 and scored three times, and a three-RBI game the next day. Three of Schaefbauer's hits last week were doubles.
*Also for the Honkers, Jordan Smith had a 3-for-7 day at the plate with two RBIs on Saturday.
*Dalton Sawyer has a 2.41 ERA for the St. Cloud Rox. He pitched twice last week, striking out six and giving up one run in four innings.
*Dan Motl hit 7-for-21 last week for the Willmar Stingers and is at .265 on the summer.
*Jake Bergren was 5-for-13 at the plate last week and is hitting .262 for the Alexandria Blue Anchors.

Other
*The Gopher baseball program announced a new Siebert Field Fall Camp format. Interested teams can find more information about it and how to sign up here.
*Learn more about the Dan Morgan Golf Open and find the sign-up form here. The annual event raises money to support the Gopher baseball program. 

Summer Roundup Archives
July 14
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

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Eckstrom and Nora.JPG  Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying this amazing summer just as much as I am! This summer has been quite a busy one for me. I have been lifting, running, and hitting in order to get ready for my last season as a Gopher. Otherwise, I have been taking a human evolution class and lab and have been working two jobs. 

I feel like Im constantly running around trying to keep busy. I've been hanging out with a lot of my teammates who stayed on campus for the summer and I love being in their company. During the summer months I love to spend my free time being outside at Lake Calhoun or back home in Stillwater.

I'm currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, as I do every summer. The HP series is one of my favorites and I encourage all of my teammates to read the books, though many shake me off. One of my very good friends, Adrianna Nora, who is also is a student-athlete, is someone I also like to spend a lot of my time with. Our seasons are opposite so we do not get to spend much time together in the school year. 

The various jobs I've been a part of consist of being a representative for Gatorade during Minnesota summer camps, working some summer softball clinics, and working with kids in a fun zone during large events such as USA Volleyball and the World Cup Soccer tournament. These experiences have allowed me many new connections and some very fun memories. 

I've enjoyed the summer but I am so excited to get back to softball and get down to business. With the way our last season ended, I'm beyond confident this upcoming season will be just as, if not more successful. With how hard my fellow teammates are working this summer I know know this team will be capable of anything. I am also excited to have some new faces come to Gopher Softball. I'm sure they will add some great talent to this team!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth

Sara's Summer in the Pros:
Entry #1

All-Star Game Gopher Connections

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Summer Roundup: July 14

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MLB is taking an All-Star break, but the Gopher baseball summer roundup keeps right on going.

Major Leagues
*Glen Perkins enters the All-Star break with 22 saves, fourth in the American League. He has a 2.97 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings pitched. Tuesday night, he will hope to make an appearance for the AL in the All-Star Game at Target Field.
*Seven former Gophers (plus Dick Siebert) have appeared on MLB All-Star rosters. Check out our photo gallery of all of them.
*Former Gophers and past All-Stars Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield will be among those throwing out ceremonial pitches at the All-Star Game.
*Jack Hannahan is still on the DL for the Reds, but has gotten a few minor league at-bats recently as part of his rehab.

Minor Leagues
*Mike Kvasnicka is hitting .342 (13-for-38) in his last 10 games with the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats. His past week included a four-game stretch of 10-for-16 hitting with three runs, four doubles a home run and five RBIs. The outfielder has a .275 season average.
*Kyle Knudson had a pair of 2-for-3 games last week for the Rock Cats. He scored twice and drove in three runs.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A), Tom Windle (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Advanced A) and Alec Crawford (Grand Junction Rockies, Rookie) all pitched twice last week. Crawford has a 0.00 ERA and seven strikeouts in 10 innings pitched. He has only walked one batter.

Northwoods League
*Jake Bergren went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs, a double, a triple and a walk for the Alexandria Blue Anchors on Sunday.
*Connor Schaefbauer turned in three multi-hit games in the past week and is batting .311 for the Rochester Honkers. He also stole two bases on July 10.
*Jordan Smith hit 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs for the Honkers on Sunday. He went 2-for-4 with a run on July 9.
*Dalton Sawyer picked up his third and fourth saves of the summer for the St. Cloud Rox.

Other
*With the All-Star Game and all its surrounding festivities coming to town, baseball in Minnesota has taken center stage. ESPN.com featured the state's baseball culture. The Star Tribune included the Gophers' championship teams in its series of articles leading up to the All-Star Game. Mpls. St. Paul Magazine put together a Minnesota-born All-Star roster that included a handful of Gophers.

Summer Roundup Archives
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

M.A.G.I.C. Weekly Update (7/14/14)

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Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth

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Smitty.jpg

Hi Gopher Softball fans! I have had an amazing summer thus far. As a Washington native, it has been nice to see some rain this summer but nothing beats the warm sunshine we have been getting recently. I have had a fairly busy schedule throughout each week for the summer of 2014. You can either find me in the weight room, on the field, in the classroom, or in a small office in Mariucci Arena making some sales for Gopher Sports.

I hope everyone had a fun summer and great Fourth of July weekend--I know I have had an amazing time! I was lucky enough to go out on an incredible yacht on Lake Minnetonka and experience the fun of "Big Island" for the fourth. All I can say is: WOW. The houses on Lake Minnetonka are unbelievable. Thankfully, I was able to experience my great Fourth of July with some of my best friends (and fellow Gopher student-athletes) Kendal Shell, Rachel Banham, and Andre Hollins.

I'm currently taking one class this summer and working a job as a fan relations representative in the sales and services department at the University of Minnesota. Typically, I work Monday through Thursday with hours ranging from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the most part, my job consists of answering phone calls in regards to Gopher Sports, creating up sale opportunities for season ticket holders, and handling all calls with great care and the best customer service that anyone could ever offer. I am VERY thankful that I work in an office with a great manager and supervisor and some hilarious coworkers (let's hope they all read this blog). The class that I am taking is actually called a "Field Experience" where there aren't many face-to-face meetings. This class is required in my major, business and marketing, and my job actually qualifies as my "Field Experience" for this class. By the end of summer I am required to finish and turn in a portfolio of my experiences as a fan relations representative.

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The summer is definitely special this year because a lot of my teammates were able to stay on campus. It's always great to build camaraderie over the "offseason" doing our tough workouts together. With the way Coach Y (our strength & conditioning coach, Sara Wiley) is kicking our butts this summer with her workouts, the future looks bright and buff for this team.

It has also been nice to work with Coach Allister, Coach Merchant, and Coach Ritter for the camps that have taken place on our field throughout the summer. One of my favorite things to do is work these camps for Gopher Softball and Coach Allister; nothing is better than seeing kids get better at softball. Running these camps definitely makes me miss playing and practicing on Jane Sage Cowles with the team.

Speaking of Gopher Softball withdrawals, I was happy to see the Big Ten Network replaying the Big Ten Softball Championship game this past Tuesday night. It's hard to decide what my favorite part of that incredible game was. Obviously the Sammy Macken walk-off was awesome, but I'm going to have to go with the slow-mo of Kaitlyn Richardson sprinting around the bases after her home run.

Other than that, I have a lot to look forward to for the rest of the summer. I will continue to prepare and work hard to ensure a solid senior season. I'm excited for the freshmen to get on campus so we can all get to work together and let them know the high expectations for Gopher softball next season. 

Camps.jpg

I will continue to have fun spending time with my amazing teammates. In fact, I'll be heading to the Imagine Dragons and Atmosphere All-Star Game Concert this coming weekend with Sydney Fabian, Hannah Granger, and Erica Meyer. Speaking of Bert, happy 21st birthday to my great teammate! I expect to see you all at Jane Sage Cowles stadium this coming fall!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer

Sara's Summer in the Pros:
Entry #1

Cue the Rau-ser: Gophers Captain Set to Return

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Kyle Rau
Go Gophers!

MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) - Gopher Hockey All-American and team captain Kyle Rau will return to the University of Minnesota for his senior season, the Eden Prairie, Minn., native announced today during Florida Panthers prospect development camp. 

"I love playing hockey at Minnesota and wearing the Maroon & Gold," Rau said. "Deep down, I know that we have unfinished business here. With the talent we have coming back and the new guys coming in, I think we can have a really special season next year. I'd also like to thank the Florida Panthers. They are a great organization, and I appreciate their understanding of my decision." 

In three years with the Maroon & Gold, Rau has helped the Gophers to three-straight conference regular-season championships - a first for the historic college hockey program - as well as two Frozen Four appearances. 

Rau was a CCM/AHCA Division I Second Team All-American in 2013-14 after leading the Gophers to the inaugural Big Ten regular-season title and the national championship game. Rau led the team in scoring with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists), perhaps none more important that the junior's overtime goal over Michigan on March 14 to clinch the conference championship for the Gophers. A Second Team All-Big Ten honoree as well as an Academic All-Big selection, Rau earned Minnesota's John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award this season. 

The 2013-14 campaign also saw Rau become just the 80th member of Minnesota's 100-point club and the 52nd member of the Gophers' 75-assist club. 

Minnesota's active leading scorer with 123 points (47 goals, 76 assists) in 121 games, Rau has tallied 40 or more points in each of his three seasons with the team. The forward's scoring ability has the potential to sway a game in the Gophers' favor -- the team is 65-11-6 all-time when Rau records a point and 32-2-0 all-time when he tallies multiple points in a game. 

The Florida Panthers selected Rau with the 91st overall pick (third round) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. 

-Pride On Ice-

Pitino Blog: Surprise

In the spirit of the MLB All Star Game, I decided to throw our guys a curveball last night.  

I surprised our players and staff by telling them we would practice this morning at 6 a.m., for just under an hour. The news was met with great enthusiasm.  It was a good way to break up the monotony of individual instruction and get them to play together a bit.  I did my best to stay away from them this summer; I am sure my staff won a lot of friendly bets around the office about how soon I would have practice.  

My main message before practice was that we won a title last year.  It was a championship that we are all proud of - it was difficult to win and we learned a lot about ourselves in the process.  With that being said, it's time to take the next step as a team and a basketball program.  My expectations for them this season will be MUCH higher.

We started practice with a lot of defense.  This was a good opportunity to teach the new guys our defensive principles and philosophies.  As expected the incoming players have a long way to go.
There is no doubt in my mind they will get there.  To finish practice I put in two plays and let them scrimmage a bit.  We definitely look quicker and much more athletic than last year's team.  

Below are some first impressions of each player...

Zach Lofton - impressed me with his playmaking ability.  He has outstanding potential.

Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!
Coach Pitino says Andre Hollins is healthy and poised for a breakout year.

Andre Hollins - Came back healthy and in great shape.  Breakout year coming.

Elliott Eliason - Body looks great, finished everything today.

Mo Walker - Had some big time moves in the paint.  Would love to see him still get stronger and quicker.

DeAndre Mathieu- still recovering from Day Day beating him in one-on-one last week.  Hopefully he will get over it by November 14th.

Josh Martin- Rodney Williams-esque athlete.  Still has to learn how to play.  Very excited about his potential.

Carlos "Squirrel" Morris- Has put on 15 pounds and has about 15 more to go.  Long arms.  Could be a great defender.

Daquein "Day Day" McNeil- I told him yesterday to come to practice a confident player. He walked in this morning with a gold jersey on.  Traditionally, in practice maroon is the first team and gold is the second team. Everyone should walk into the first day of practice with a maroon jersey on!  He has a chance to make a big jump from last year.

Joey King- Typical Joey.  Efficient offensively and a great understanding of how to play.  You win with guys like Joey.  He has put on 15 pounds of muscle.

Nate Mason- Really impressed me defensively.  Has very quick feet.

Charles Buggs- did not play, rehabbing after knee surgery.  Looked like he was preparing for the Tour de France all practice.

Bakary Konate and Gaston Diedhiou- will be here when school starts in September.


Coach Saunders and his staff were kind enough to invite me to the Timberwolves summer league practice Monday evening.  His staff does an unbelievable job.  I was blown away by Zach LaVine.  He has a chance to be special!  I was also extremely impressed with how hard Shabazz Muhammed played. He is a warrior.  Gorgui Dieng looked great as well.  Obviously I am biased when it comes to Gorgui.


My staff and I will be on the road from Wednesday to Sunday starting this week for the next three weeks.  I will be in Washington D.C., Chicago and Springfield this week.  Should be fun.  The season is right around the corner.  Can't wait!

Go Gophers!
Richard Pitino

Gopher Volleyball Update (7/6/14)

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