Each Tuesday throughout the summer on the official Minnesota Gophers Facebook page (be sure to "like" us if you don't already!) we'll be highlighting a great moment in Gopher history to help populate our Facebook Timeline.
Have a suggestion for what we should feature next for Timeline Tuesday? Write a note on our Facebook Timeline! June 8, 1973: Dave Winfield fans 14 Oklahoma Sooners to lead the Gophers to a 1-0 win in the opening game of the '73 College World Series.
The 2012 College World Series is unique in that two "northern" teams (Stony Brook and Kent State) made the tournament, but baseball fans should remember that Minnesota was once a dominant force on the national scene in the sport.
In 1973, a senior named Dave Winfield turned in arguably the greatest individual performance in CWS history -- tossing 17 1/3 innings, allowing just nine hits, one earned run and striking out 29... In addition, he batted .467 in the Series!
Winfield tossed a series-opening shutout against the Sooners, and also tossed 8 scoreless innings in the Gophers' 8-7 dramatic loss to USC, which is widely recognized as one of the most memorable games in World Series history.
Despite the fact that the Gophers were eliminated by the Trojans in the semifinals, Winfield still earned Most Outstanding Player honors -- a feat accomplished by just 10 men in the history of the tournament.
Although the University of Minnesota baseball program has completed the season, a number of Gopher Baseball players will continue action throughout the summer months. In fact, some loaded up immediately after the annual end-of-the-year banquet and have already started their season. Four Gophers, Andy Henkemeyer, Ben Meyer, Tony Skjefte and Billy Soule will play for the St. Cloud Rox (Northwoods League), while DJ Snelten and Matt Halloran play for the Rochester Honkers. In all, 10 members will play within the NWL. Jordan Jess already collected a win for the Wisconsin Woodchucks on opening day (5/30/12).
Dan Olinger and Tom Windle will head to the Cape Cod League and the Brewster Whitecaps, while Kurt Schlangen will play with the Goldpanners in Alaska. Over 20 players will compete this summer. Here's a link to all the websites of the Gopher connections and their summer teams.
Minnesota baseball players are picking up publicity throughout hometown papers recently. The La Crosse, Wis., connection of Drew Ghelfi, Bobby Juan, Austin
Lubinsky, as well as assistant head coach Rob Fornasiere were featured
in the La Crosse Tribune this past weekend.
Kurt Schlangen chatted with his hometown paper, Albany Enterprise, talking Gopher baseball since playing with Albany back in 2008 (Subscription access is required to read the full article).
Gopher signed recruits continue to get in the news as they compete for their high school teams. Earlier this year, Connor Schaefbauer was named the
South Dakota's AA Basketball Player of the Year as well as well as a
first-team All-State selection.He was recently featured in an extensive interview through his hometown paper of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader as he is in his final season with O'Gorman.
Alec Crawford was recently named the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week on April 26th. So far this season, Crawford is 8-1 with a 2.49 ERA in 65 innings pitched. Allowing just 18 earned runs, he has scattered 52 hits so far this season.
Burnsville's Dan Motl was recently named a finalist for the Lions Male Amateur Athlete of the Year, which is determined by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Motl, along with Burnsville teammate Matt Stemper, and Gopher recruits Dalton Sawyer and Troy Traxler were named to Minnesota Baseball Hub's Players to Watch coming into the season.
After 41 years, 766 games (including 585 wins) and countless memories, Gopher Baseball said one final goodbye to historic Siebert Field Tuesday, May 1. Siebert Field's "Final Pitch" was a resounding success, with a capacity crowd of nearly 1,500 spectators braving potential thunderstorms to bid farewell to one of college baseball's true historic landmarks.
GopherSports.com was there to capture Siebert Field's final contest, fittingly, a 9-2 Gopher victory. Enjoy this music video "One Final Goodbye."
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 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
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.
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.
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
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
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.