Gophers in the News

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With the Final Pitch at Siebert Field, the Gophers were in the news last week in a few locations. Holding previews in the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and Minnesota Daily, the Gophers were also covered on the day of the event. With a live shot from WCCO to a MinnPost writeup on the field's history, the Gopher facility (please excuse the mispronunciation) made it on the Diamond Report through the Big Ten Network. Here's links to some of the action we found throughout the week:

The Final Pitch at Siebert Field

Game Highlights (5/1/12)

Diamond Report (5/6/12)

WCCO (5/1/12)

KSTP (5/1/12)

Postgame Star Tribune (5/2/12)

Postgame Pioneer Press (5/2/12)

Minnesota Daily (5/2/12)

Gophersports.com Photo Gallery (5/1/12)

PRE-GAME COVERAGE

MinnPost (Great historical piece) (5/1/12)

Star Tribune (5/1/12)

Pioneer Press (5/1/12)

Minnesota Daily (5/1/12)

One Week Til Final Pitch at Siebert Field

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Photo Gallery-One Week til Final Pitch

The University of Minnesota baseball program will hold its Final Pitch at Siebert Field, one week from today as the Golden Gophers host St. Thomas, May 1st at 6:35 p.m. The game, originally scheduled for the H.H.H. Metrodome, was moved to honor the legendary field over the past 41 years.

In preparation for the event, the athletic department will have a series of videos as well as launching a Siebert Field history site leading up the event. With a beautiful 70 degree, sunny today, Gopher coaches sat down with gophersports.com, while the current team practiced on the field in preparation for the North Dakota State University game (in Fargo, N.D.) tomorrow.

Fans can purchase tickets online, by phone (612-624-8080), at the Mariucci Ticket Office (during business hours), at the Metrodome (before the 5th inning of Gopher Baseball games), or at Siebert Field on game-day (starting at 2:30 p.m.). All tickets will be issued as general admission and seating is available on a first-come, first serve basis.

President Kaler's day at the Metrodome

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Go Gophers! Eric Kaler
Go Gophers!
President Eric Kaler throws out the first pitch.
Go Gophers!
Gopher head coach John Anderson invited University of Minnesota President, Dr. Eric Kaler, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at last Saturday's game against Stony Brook. With ties to both Minnesota and Stony Brook (Dr. Kaler was the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and vice president for Brookhaven affairs prior to his arrival at Minnesota.)

Along with throwing out the first pitch, Dr. Kaler visited the radio booth and sat in on the Gophers/Seawolves' third inning. Gophersports.com's Matt Nelson also had him call Andy Henkemeyer's walk. In the radio booth, he talks about his love for the sport of baseball, the Gophers' need for a new stadium, the search for a new athletics director and of course Gopher Baseball.

Here's his 20 minutes in the booth.

Alumni Corner: New website designed for contact information

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Calling all Golden Gopher baseball alums. Gophersports.com and the Gopher baseball program has designed a new website to keep in contact with its alums. Gopher baseball prides itself on keeping a connection with members of its family. If you are an alum, please take the time and make sure Golden Gopher baseball has the appropriate information.

Please check out our website and fill out the appropriate information here.
Go Gophers! Kyle Geason
Go Gophers!
Geason was named one of three Gopher players to watch.
Go Gophers!

Full Big Ten Conference Release here.

Senior Kyle Geason, junior TJ Oakes and sophomore Tom Windle was named to the Big Ten's Players to Watch List, announced Tuesday by the Big Ten Conference office. Along with highlighting athletes, the conference announced that Michigan State was selected by the coaches as the preseason favorite to win the conference title in 2012. Following the Spartans on the coaches' preseason top six list are No. 2 Purdue, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Illinois. The conference's baseball coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three players from their own teams to a Players to Watch List.

Geason has been the Golden Gophers' starting third basemen for the past three seasons. Entering his senior year, he has played and started in 170 games, dating back to 2009. In 602 career at bats, Geason averages .252 for a career and held a .278 batting average in 2010, the year the Gophers won the Big Ten regular season and tournament title. In the field, Geason has been stellar at the hot corner, holding a .938 fielding percentage as a freshman, .919 as a sophomore and .916 as a junior.

A two-time third-team All-Big Ten selection, Oakes was the Gophers' Friday starter in 2011 and looks to take the lead again this year. As a sophomore, the 6-5 right-hander pitched a team-high 85.2 innings and held a 3.26 earned run average in 14 starts. In that span, Oakes struck out 52 batters, including 24 looking. As a rookie, he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen team and the first freshman to earn all-conference accolades since Glen Perkins was named in 2003. Oakes returns to the Gophers after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 27th round of amateur draft last June.

Tom Windle closed out a phenomenal rookie season when he was named to the 2011 Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Windle pitched eight scoreless innings during the tournament, allowing eight hits and striking out six without a walk.  He started in his second career game against Purdue and pitched five innings in a 1-0 win. In his first season with the Gophers, Windle held an ERA of 1.52 in 41.1 innings pitched, ranking 10th in school history for lowest season ERA. He appeared in 19 games, the third-most games by a Gopher pitcher, and had two saves and struck out 35 batters. 

Minnesota kicks off the season against No. 24 Louisville this Friday in the first of three games of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Gophersports.com will broadcast all games this weekend. Friday's game against the Cardinals will be at 9 a.m. CT, followed by St. John's Saturday and South Florida Sunday at noon.

Gophers in the Community: 2012 TwinsFest

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Photos from 2012 TwinsFest

Although the Gophers started their first practice of the season on Friday, Jan. 27th, members of the team were still able to join baseball fans young and old at the 2012 TwinsFest, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28-29 at the H.H.H. Metrodome.

While the others were practicing on campus, the team took shifts and signed autographs, played games and manned the stations throughout the course of the two days. Due to the Dome collapse last season, the 2012 TwinsFest marked the Gophers' first appearance to the event since 2010. Posters and schedule cards were able at the event, supporting the season that starts this Saturday with the Pro-Alumni Game, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.

Gophers Kick off 2012 Campaign with the First Practice

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Photos from First Practice

The University of Minnesota held its first official practice of the 2012 season, today at the Bronko-Nagurski Indoor Practice Facility on the U of M campus. The Golden Gophers held a team meeting before the first practice started at 4 p.m. The Gophers kicked off the season with the quote of the day, warm-ups and then off to base-running and fielding drills, as well as hitting fundamentals.

The Gophers will practice in the indoor, on-campus facility throughout the weekend and Monday afternoon. Starting tomorrow and Sunday, members of Gopher baseball will be at Twins Fest signing autographs. On Tuesday afternoon, the Gophers will move into its home for the 2012 season, the H.H.H. Metrodome. The Maroon and Gold kick off the season with the Pro-Alumni Game, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. After the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, Feb. 17-19 in Florida, Minnesota returns for a 27-game homestand. 

Former Student Managers Excel in Coaching

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Former Gopher student manager Parker Kruckenberg has accepted a position as an assistant coach with the Thunder Bay Border Cats (Northwoods League). He is currently in his first year as an assistant coach with Augsburg College. A 2011 University of Minnesota graduate, Kruckenberg was with the Gophers for four years, including two NCAA Tournament teams and the 2010 Big Ten Championship team. A Fargo South High School graduate, Kruckenberg was a three-year letterwinner.

Kruckenberg joins Dan Pavlue as a former Gopher student manager currently in coaching. Pavlue is an assistant coach at Edgewood College in Madison, Wis. During Pavlue's three years (2007-10) with Minnesota, the team compiled a 92-84 record. Like Kruckenberg, Pavlue was a part of two NCAA Tournament teams and the 2010 Big Ten Championship team. Following his time as a Minnesota student assistant, Pavlue was a volunteer coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, before taking the job at Edgewood College in 2011.

Gophers Add Michael Kvasnicka to Pro-Alumni Roster

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Former Gophers Michael Kvasnicka will also be attending the Pro-Alumni game and will play for the alumni team on Feb. 4 at the H.H.H. Metrodome. The game is slated to start at 3 p.m. Kvasnicka brings the total to 27 Gopher alums participating in the event.

Kvasnicka was drafted by the Houston Astros with the 33rd overall pick of the Major League Baseball Draft on June 7, 2010. Kvasnicka was the highest drafted Golden Gopher player since Glen Perkins was selected with the 22nd overall pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2004 in the first round. As a junior, Kvasnicka batted .355 with eight home runs, 50 RBI, 51 runs, a .459 on-base percentage and 46 walks on the season.Kvasnicka, was named a Second-Team All-Big Ten outfielder in 2010 and in a Third-Team All-Big Ten selection in 2009. In his sophomore year, Kvasnicka batted a .341 and had a team-high 18 doubles, 85 hits, 10 home runs and 65 RBI.