Gophers to Begin 2017 Season In Irvine
 Minnesota at UC Irvine
 Game 1 Friday, Feb. 17 | 8:30 p.m.
 Game 2 Saturday, Feb. 18 | 4 p.m.
 Game 3 Sunday, Feb. 19 | 1 p.m.
 Location Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark (3,408) | Irvine, Calif.
 UCI Audio Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 
 Live Stats Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 
 Game Day Live Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 
 Social Media @GopherBaseball | Facebook 

Feb. 16, 2017

Weekend Game Notes

Minneapolis, Minn. - The University of Minnesota will begin their 2017 campaign Friday as they head to Irvine, Ca. to take on the UC Irvine Anteaters for a three-game series.

Friday's bout will begin at 8:30 p.m. central time while Saturday's game will be at 4 p.m. and Sunday will begin at 1 p.m.

The Gophers are coming off of a 36-22 season where they went 13-6 in the conference and won the Big Ten regular season championship. Minnesota ended up winning two games in the NCAA College Station Regional before falling to Texas A&M.

After having six student-athletes drafted in the Major League Baseball draft, the Maroon and Gold bring back nine individuals to the lineup that played a significant amount of innings last season. Four pitchers with 25 or more innings also return to the Minnesota pitching staff.

The Pitching
The weekend rotation will be Lucas Gilbreath on Friday, Brett Schulze on Saturday and Toby Anderson on Sunday.

Gilbreath enters the rotation after posting a 3-2 record out of the bullpen along with a 1.36 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 33.0 innings pitched. Schulze, a freshman from Maple Grove, Minn., had a 12-6 record in his last two seasons at Maple Grove High School and entered the section playoffs with a 1-1 record his senior season with a 1.91 ERA and 21 strikeouts.

Anderson returns to the rotation for his senior year after a 7-1 record in 2016. He struck out 34 batters and had a 3.32 ERA. The bullpen will see Brian Glowicki return who had a 3.29 ERA and 29 strike outs in 27.1 innings pitched in 2016.

Senior Tyler Hanson made 17 appearances and six starts last season, posting a 4-2 record with a 4.82 ERA and 36 strikeouts. Sophomore Nick Lackney will also be in the mix after a 1-0 2016 season. He established a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings with 10 strikeouts.

The Lineup
Micah Coffey returns to third base after playing in 56 games last season. He had a .333 batting average, seven home runs and 42 RBIs. Another familiar face is outfielder Jordan Smith who had a .296 batting average with three home runs and 34 RBIs.

Shortstop Terrin Vavra looks to continue his hot start to his collegiate career after finishing 2016 with a .358 batting average, one home run and 20 RBIs. Toby Hanson, Alex Boxwell, Luke Pettersen and Riley Smith also return to the Maroon and Gold lineup. Last season, Riley Smith helped turn 15 double plays while Pettersen was involved in 17. Boxwell posted a 1.000 fielding percentage to lead the team.

Senior Matt Stemper will be taking over the catching duties this year. Last season he had a .272 batting average with one home run and 14 RBIs in 125 at-bats. Ben Mezzenga will see more action in centerfield after only 23 plate appearances where he had three hits, scored seven runs and stole three bases.

About UC Irvine
Last season UC Irvine finished in seventh place in the Big West with a 31-25 (18-11) record. The Anteaters lost five student-athletes with significant playing time including LHP Elliot Surrey who started 14 games and first basemen Mitchell Holland who played in 55 games. In 2017 they will be led by junior outfielder Keston Hiura who has been racking up multiple preseason awards. Last season Hiura played in 53 games where he had a .358 batting average, 41 runs scored, seven home runs and 41 RBIs.

Their top returning pitcher is junior left handed pitcher Cameron Bishop who started 15 games and went 5-5 with a 4.61 ERA, 70.1 innings pitched and 79 strikeouts. Bishop will start Friday's game. Saturday's starter will be freshman right hander Andre Pallante who was 6-3 his senior season with a 1.02 ERA and 100 strikeouts. For the final game of the series the Gophers will face off against junior righty Louis Raymond who transferred from Cuesta College. While at Cuesta, Raymond posted a 10-2 record with a 1.57 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 103 innings.

You can follow the action this year by following the Gophers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Last Meeting
UC Irvine6
Minnesota2
May 3, 2015
Siebert Field
Anteaters Complete Series Sweep
Minnesota Outhit UC Irvine on Sunday but committed two errors and fell 6-2.


 

 

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