Summer Roundup: June 9

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Throughout the summer, GopherSports.com will keep an eye on current and former players playing professional and amateur baseball. This week's summer roundup includes Glen Perkins, the retirement of a former Gopher and some Northwoods notes.

Major Leagues
*Glen Perkins is third in the American League and tied for seventh overall with 16 saves. He has struck out 37 batters and walked just five in 27 1/3 innings pitched for the Twins.

Minor Leagues
*Three former Gophers--Nate Hanson, Michael Kvasnicka and Kyle Knudson--are currently on the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats roster. Hanson is hitting .257 with three home runs and 27 RBIs.
*AJ Pettersen, who was also recently with the Rock Cats, wrote a blog about retiring from playing.
*Tom Windle has made 11 starts for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Class A Advanced affiliate of the Dodgers.) He has a 4.38 ERA. Windle pitched six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in a recent start on May 28.
*DJ Snelten has a 3-0 record and 1.15 ERA as a reliever for the Augusta GreenJackets (Class A affiliate of the Giants). He has 20 strikeouts.

Northwoods League
*Michael Handel is hitting .351 with three doubles for the Madision Mallards.
*Tyler Hanson has given up just one unearned run in four outings for the Willmar Stingers, and has also batted.
*Dan Motl has been hit by pitch a league-leading six times for Willmar.
*Dalton Sawyer has one save and a 1.50 ERA for the St. Cloud Rox.

Other
*Tony Skjefte is hitting .400 for the Minneapolis Lakers.
*Matt Stemper is hitting .316 for the Springfield Sliders.
*Kyle Crocker is hitting .385 for the Brainerd Bees.
*Neal Kunik pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on three hits and struck out four in a win for the Eagan Bandits.

Flashback to 1964

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Members of the 1964 team attended Saturday's celebration of the 50th anniversary.


The Golden Gopher baseball program honored its 1964 national champions at Saturday's game against Purdue. That team 50 years ago put together one of the best seasons in school history and brought home the program's third College World Series title, all under coach Dick Siebert.

Minnesota started its season with a 3-8 record on its trip to Texas. The Gophers bounced back with 11 straight victories. After dropping their conference opener, the Gophers rattled off eight consecutive wins.

Minnesota went 31-12 overall, including a 11-3 mark in conference play. The Gophers won their seventh Big Ten championship, which was their fifth with Siebert at the helm. The Gophers went on to play in the NCAA Midwest Regional and beat Kent State twice to advance to the College World Series.

In Omaha, Minnesota beat Texas A&M, Maine and USC before losing to Missouri for its first loss of the double elimination tournament. But the Gophers beat the Tigers 5-1 in their second meeting to claim the national title.

Joe Pollack pitched three complete game victories in the World Series. He was joined on the All-Tournament Team by All-American catcher Ron Wojciak, first baseman Bill Davis, second baseman Dewey Markus and outfielder Dave Hoffman.

Davis, Pollack and Wojciak were all inducted into the "M" Club Hall of Fame.

Strikeout Cancer T-Shirts

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Team T.O.JPG

This Saturday, the Gophers and pitching coach Todd Oakes will have one final push for the Strikeout Cancer campaign. Along with having a chance to donate online, supporters also have the chance to purchase Team T.O. Strikeout Cancer t-shirts at Saturday's game vs. Purdue. The t-shirts will be $20 and with the purchase, you also receive a autographed trading cards of Glen Perkins and Todd Oakes when he was a pitching coach in Major League Baseball. Trading cards and t-shirts while supplies last

Can't make it to the game? You still have a chance to donate to T.O.'s cause on his fundraising page.

Strikeout Cancer Update: April Totals

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DONATE TO THE LLS CAMPAIGN UNTIL MAY 16

A campaign that ran from April 1-30, every strikeout by a Gopher pitcher and by alum (and current Minnesota Twins pitcher) Glen Perkins helped fight cancer as part of pitching coach Todd Oakes' Strike Out Cancer campaign through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Perkins pledged $100 for each of his strikeouts during the month, and the Gophers collected pledges for each of theirs as well.

Although accomplishing 16 strikeouts as the Twins closer, Perkins will donate $2,500 towards the cause, while he's asked the Minnesota Twins and the Major League Baseball Players Association to match his donation. Fox Sports North reporter Tyler Mason caught up with Oakes and Perkins in this recent article and the connection between the two Read the story here

Strikeout Tracker
Gophers   87
Perkins     16

Supporters of the Oakes campaign can continue to donate online (link listed above) until May 16. Team T.O. t-shirts will be made available in the upcoming weeks.

A native of Spring Grove, Minn., Oakes recently caught up with Kyle Deckelbaum from WKBT News 8, La Crosse. Check out this two-part video feature on Todd's journey.

Part One: Oakes as he battled cancer
Part Two: The LLS Campaign/Perkins and team involvement

Not only has the University of Minnesota been involved in this process, Ohio State will donate monetary ticket donations towards the cause in their series against Iowa this upcoming weekend. Augsburg College, where Oakes' son, Tanner, plays, is also hosting a Strikeout Cancer day on Sunday.

2004 Big Ten Champion Gophers Honored

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2004 Golden Gophers

The 2004 Big Ten champion Golden Gopher baseball team was honored on the field during the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. The team members in attendance received commemorative plaques during the presentation.

The 2004 Gophers won both the regular season and tournament Big Ten titles. They won 13 of their last 17 games on the way to their third straight regular season conference championship. Minnesota finished 21-10 in conference play, ahead of second-place Ohio State.

The Gophers went on to beat Ohio State in the tournament championship held at Siebert Field. The Buckeyes beat the Gophers in their first try at the tournament title, forcing one more game between the two teams. Minnesota won it 7-3 and Glen Perkins was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

The Gophers had nine All-Big Ten selections, including Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Perkins, Andy Hunter and Sam Steidl on the first team. Mike Mee, Jake Elder and Craig Molldrem made the second team, while Luke MacLean, Matt Fornasiere and David Hrncirik earned third-team status. John Anderson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Minnesota made the NCAA Tournament and finished the season 38-23 overall.

Strike Out Cancer Updates

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Starting on April 1, every strikeout by a Gopher pitcher and by alum Glen Perkins is helping to fight cancer as part of pitching coach Todd Oakes' Strike Out Cancer campaign through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Perkins has pledged $100 for each of his strikeouts during the month, and the Gophers have collected pledges for each of theirs as well. Check out this interview Perkins held with Pioneer Press' Charley Walters.

Strikeout Tracker
Gophers   87
Perkins     16
Stats through April 26

Fans were able to donate at the Saturday, April 12 game against Nebraska. Fans added nearly another $250 towards the cause.

KFAN's Justin Gaard sat down with "T.O." to talk about his story, and his Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man of the Year campaign. The interview starts at about the 30:10 mark of the show.

Windle Pitches in Big League Spring Game

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Go Gophers! Tom Windle
Go Gophers!
Windle was the 56th overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Go Gophers!


Former Gophers pitcher Tom Windle made his Major League spring training debut Friday. He earned a two-inning save for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their game against the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

Windle struck out one batter and gave up a hit and a walk in his scoreless outing. The left-hander, who was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft following his junior season, pitched for the Class A Great Lakes Loons last year.

As a Gopher last season, Windle was the Friday starter throughout the year and earned All-Big Ten honors. He held a 2.14 ERA and struck out 86 batters in 92 2/3 innings, with a 6-4 record. Windle's no-hitter against Western Illinois was the first by a Minnesota pitcher since 1931.

Another former Gopher, Seth Rosin, is also in the Dodgers' system. The righty has impressed early, striking out eight batters in five scoreless, walk-free innings.

Rosin was traded to the Dodgers from the New York Mets, who acquired him in the Rule 5 Draft. He was earlier part of a trade that sent him from the San Francisco Giants to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Giants picked Rosin in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He had a 9-4 record as a junior and threw 103 innings. Rosin was a two-time All-Big Ten Second Team selection.

Rosin has impressed and has a chance to see Major League action this season:
-From Sports on Earth
-From Dodgers.com

Best wishes for Tom, Seth and all our other former Gophers at spring training!


Season Preview Clips

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The Gophers open their season at 2 p.m. CT today in Glendale, Ariz., against Northern Illinois. Get ready for the season by catching up on media coverage from the week.

Gophers baseball team will have to hit the road - hard: Star Tribune

Gophers prepared for a baseball season played entirely outdoors: Pioneer Press

Minnesota opens season on the road: Minnesota Daily

VIDEO: Gophers baseball season preview: KSTP

Series preview and links to live scoring/blogs: GopherSports.com

Countdown to Gopher Baseball

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Gopher Baseball Schedule | 2014 Quick Facts | 2013 Stats

It's only February, but we with the Gopher baseball team have spring on our minds. We are in the final stretch of the pre-season, ready to get on the diamond. This blog will count down the last week before the Gophers' first game on Feb. 14. Each day we'll post something about Gopher baseball that has to do with the number of days left. Play ball!

Go Gophers! #7 Kyle Crocker
Go Gophers!
#7 Kyle Crocker
Go Gophers!

7) There are seven true freshmen on the roster this year. Toby Anderson, Austin Athmann, Cody Campbell, Matt Fiedler, Brian Glowicki, Tyler Hanson and Joe Martinson all joined the Gophers in the fall. Anderson, Campbell, Glowicki and Martinson are all pitchers. Fiedler and Hanson can pitch or play in the field. Athmann is a catcher.

The following two releases were on gophersports.com when the seven signed with Minnesota: Nov. 29, 2012 | Jan. 28, 2013

Minnesota also has one other newcomer, pitcher Neal Kunik, and four redshirt freshmen in Joey Brettingen, Jordan Smith, Matt Stemper and Troy Traxler.

Who wears the number this year? Junior infielder Kyle Crocker.


Go Gophers! #6 Matt Halloran
Go Gophers!
#6 Matt Halloran
Go Gophers!
6) The Gophers will play games in six different states before their home opener: Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, California and Illinois. The trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., will be for Coastal Carolina's Chanticleer Classic, while the other trips will be for regular series. We will keep you updated with a running travel blog throughout the first six weeks of the season!

The longest road trip of the regular season will happen over spring break. The Gophers have a three-game series at Sacramento State starting March 14, an off day, two games at St. Mary's, a travel day and a three game series at Northwestern ending March 23.

This is Minnesota's first season without the Metrodome since the roof collapse forced the team to relocate nonconference games in 2011. That season, the Gophers visited four states before opening their home season at Target Field. They spent most of March in California.

Who wears the number this year? Senior catcher Matt Halloran. He started 36 of the 47 games he played in 2013.

Go Gophers! #5 Herb Isakson
Go Gophers!
#5 Herb Isakson
Go Gophers!

5) Ben Meyer won five games on the mound last season, making him the returning wins leader on the Gopher pitching staff. He had a 5-4 record and 2.80 ERA in 15 appearances, including eight starts. Meyer's five wins tied him with DJ Snelten for second on the team after Tom Windle (6). He was also second on the team with 49 strikeouts and 64 1/3 innings pitched.

The Gophers bring back five total pitchers who started at least one game last year: Alec Crawford (9), Meyer (8), Ty McDevitt (5), Jordan Jess (4) and Dalton Sawyer (1). Crawford's 10 appearances last season are the most for any returner. He went 4-2 with a 2.28 ERA, third on the team behind Windle and Snelten.

Who wears the number this year? No one on the current team. Long-time volunteer assistant Herb Isakson's No. 5 jersey is retired on the outfield wall at Siebert Field.



Go Gophers! #4 Connor Schaefbauer
Go Gophers!
#4 Connor Schaefbauer
Go Gophers!
4) Minnesota will host four Big Ten home series at Siebert Field in 2014. Come out for series against Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue.  Minnesota hosted Nebraska last season, but the other three will be playing their first series in new Siebert.

Four of these conference games are scheduled for night starts. The first two games of both the Penn State and Purdue series will be played under the lights. Check the schedule for times.

Another note for No. 4: Head coach John Anderson was inducted into his fourth hall of fame this past fall. His most recent induction was into the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. The others that have recognized him during his career: American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, University of Minnesota "M" Club Hall of Fame, Hibbing Community College Hall of Fame.

Who wears the number this year? Sophomore second baseman Connor Schaefbauer, who was selected to the All-Big Ten Third Team as a freshman.


Go Gophers! #3 Matt Fiedler
Go Gophers!
#3 Matt Fiedler
Go Gophers!
3) The Gophers have three College World Series titles. They took home the championship in 1956, 1960 and 1964. Since this season is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 championship team, we'll focus on that one for this countdown.

Three was a big number in the Gophers' third CWS. Pitcher Joe Pollack earned three victories on the mound for Minnesota during the Series. All three were complete games. Pollack was a clear choice for the All-Tournament Team.

Ron Wojciak, Bill Davis, Dewey Markus and Dan Hoffman were also selected to the All-Tournament Team. At the time, Dick Siebert was just one of two coaches to ever win three championships.

We will have more on the 1964 team as the 2014 season goes on.

Who wears the number this year? Freshman infielder/pitcher Matt Fiedler. Fiedler joins the Gophers from St. Paul Academy.


Go Gophers! #2 David Bettenburg
Go Gophers!
#2 David Bettenburg
Go Gophers!

2) Two National Baseball Hall of Famers played their college ball at Minnesota. Dave Winfield was the first Gopher inducted in Cooperstown in 2001. Paul Molitor followed in 2004.

Dave Winfield was the 1973 College World Series Most Outstanding Player, and was also a first-team All-American that year, holding a 9-1 record and 2.74 ERA as well as a .385 batting average with 33 RBI. Winfield was drafted fourth overall after that season.

Molitor was drafted third overall in 1977 after an All-American season that ended at the College World Series. He held a career batting average of .350 and set what were then school records in  runs (112), triples (11), hits (159), home runs (18), total bases (254), RBI (99) and stolen bases (52).

In 21 seasons in the Major Leagues, Molitor amassed 3,319 hits, including 605 doubles, and scored 1,782 runs. He was also one of only six players to record 3,000 hits and 500 stolen bases in his career joining Lou Brock, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Honus Wagner and Ricky Henderson. Molitor was the 1993 World Series MVP with the Blue Jays.

Winfield batted .283, hit 465 home runs and piled up 3,110 hits during his Major League career. He was a seven-time Gold Glove winner and helped the Toronto Blue Jays win their first World Series in 1992. Winfield never played in the minors.

Who wears the number this year? Senior outfielder David Bettenburg.


Go Gophers! #1 Tony Skjefte
Go Gophers!
#1 Tony Skjefte
Go Gophers!

1) This year's Big Ten Tournament will be the first held at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. The ballpark has been home to the College World Series since 2011.

It will also be the first Big Ten Baseball Tournament to include eight teams. The conference announced tournament expansion from six to eight teams last week.

The Gophers have won a conference-best nine Big Ten Tournament titles, the most recent coming in 2010. All nine tournament titles have come during John Anderson's tenure.

Who wears the number this year? Junior infielder Tony Skjefte.

That's it for our countdown! The season starts tomorrow in sunny Arizona. Information for the Gophers' opening series can be found here.

Updates on Signed Recruits

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Since the announcement of the newest Minnesota baseball signing class, several of the future Gophers have already added accolades to their resumes.

Micah Coffey threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-18 passing to lead Batavia (Ill.) to the Class 6A football championship. He threw 29 touchdown passes on the season. The Daily Herald chose him as the Co-Player of the Year for the area. He also received a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award, which will be officially given at a banquet in February at the Chicago Bears' training facility.

Also happening since signing day, Fred Manke earned all-area honorable mention from the Wisconsin State Journal for his defensive play with Lodi's football team.

Record watch: Toby Hanson's basketball season has begun, and he is on track to become Delano's all-time career scoring leader. He started the season with 1,121 points, needing 136 to break the record.

Good luck to all signees participating in winter sports!