Feb. 21, 2013
John Anderson is in his 32nd year as the Golden Gopher head coach and 35th year overall at the University of Minnesota. Anderson currently holds an all-time record of 1,093-728-3 (.600 winning percentage).
The Golden Gopher baseball team is in its 125th year as a Minnesota varsity sport. It was the very sport to be played on the U of M campus.
The Golden Gophers will open their newly constructed stadium, Siebert Field. The synthetic turf field was complete for fall practice with the first game slated for April 5, 2013 against Ohio State University.
Minnesota begins its home season this weekend against Western Michigan, Feb. 22-24. Saturday will include a double-header for Minnesota, the only scheduled one of the season.
The Western Michigan series begins a 17-game homestand, which runs from Feb. 22-March 17. After a two-game road series against Kansas State, Minnesota then hosts Texas and South Dakota State prior to the Big Ten season.
Minnesota will be home for the next 17-straight games. On the season, the Gophers have 37 home games, 21 of which will be played in the Metrodome. Minnesota also plays 16 games at the newly constructed Siebert Field. Minnesota played 39 home games last season, a program high. Of those 39, 27 were consecutive, a Gopher homestand record.
Minnesota came out of the UCLA series with a 1-2 record. The Gophers defeated the No. 2 Bruins, 6-2 in 10 innings on Friday night. Minnesota trailed 2-0 in the fifth, tied the game in the top of the seventh to send into extra innings. Minnesota would then push across four in the 10 inning for the win. UCLA, however, used early runs in both the Saturday and Sunday to propel itself to 14-0 and 14-1 wins respectively. On Saturday, the Bruins jumped out to a 7-0 lead by the third inning, while the Gophers had four errors in the game. On Sunday, Minnesota fell behind 6-0 in the first as UCLA went on to score another five in eighth.
UCLA was ranked second in the USA Today/Coaches poll entering the Minnesota series. The Gophers defeated the Bruins, 6-2 in 10 innings Friday night. The last time the Gophers defeated a top-five ranked team dated back to March 26, 2008 when it defeated then-No. 2 Missouri in a 12-5 win. Prior to their win against Missouri, Minnesota fell, 17-8 the previous night.
Western Michigan opened the 2013 season against Pepperdine and fell in four games to the Waves. Last year, the Broncos 26-29 and 14-12 in the Mid-American Conference. Andrew Shon leads the Broncos with four runs batted in while he, Hunter Prince and Jared Kujawa leads the team with four hits. Steve Laudicina is WMU's Friday starter. In his first game against Pepperdine, Laudicina pitched three innings, gave up three earned runs. Last year, Laudicina started in 15 games, held a 7-4 record, 3.51 ERA and had 50 strikeouts. Mike Moyer is the scheduled Saturday (first game) starter and appeared in 12 games last season with eight starts. In 35.2 innings pitched, Moyer had 32 strikeouts. Will Nimke will also be a scheduled starter and appeared in 15 games last season. With a 3.74 ERA, Nimke started in 12 games, struck out 31 and pitched 67.1 innings.
Minnesota leads Western Michigan in a the all-time series, 5-3, with the last meeting coming on March 7, 2009. Playing in the Metrodome Tournament, the Gophers defeated the Broncos, 7-1 in the lone meeting. In that game, former Gopher Tom Buske pitched eight innings, gave up just three hits, one unearned run, walked one and struck out six batters in the game. The bats were led by then-junior Eric Decker, who went 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Former Gopher Derek McCallum also had a multi-hit game, as he went 2-for-5 with a run.
All 11 Big Ten baseball teams were in action last weekend. Indiana and Purdue lead the way with 2-1 records, followed by Northwestern and Michigan State at 1-1. Five teams went 1-2 (Minnesota, Illinois, Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa), while Michigan was 0-3 and Nebraska was 0-4.