March 12, 2013
Minnesota hosts Nebraska Omaha on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. and follow with a Wednesday 3 p.m. afternoon tilt. The Gophers then host Indiana State, March 15-17 at the Dome.
Minnesota is in the midst of a 17-game homestand. The Golden Gophers are 9-3 within the Metrodome confines and currently on a four-game win streak. Last year, Minnesota was home for 39 games, including a 25-game homestand.
Minnesota went 4-0 last week with a 3-1 win over Hamline and a series sweep over Western Illinois last weekend. The sweep marks the first of the year for the Gophers and the first since March 23-25, 2012 against The Citadel. Minnesota won 3-0 on a no-hitter by Tom Windle, followed by a 5-1 win on Saturday and a 5-3 comeback win on Sunday. Saturday's game was a highlight of an eight-inning performance by starting pitcher Ben Meyer and everyone in the starting lineup had a hit. On Sunday, the Gophers trailed, 3-1, but came back to win, 5-3, when the Gopher pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts. Lance Thonvold came in relief, collected the win and had six strikeouts. Andy Henkemeyer returned to the lineup after a shoulder injury and went 2-4 with two runs scored and a RBI.
Tom Windle has been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after an outstanding performance last weekend against Western Illinois. The award is the first of Windle's career and the second Golden Gopher pitcher to receive the award in back-to-back weeks. Ben Meyer was named the Big Ten Pitcher last Monday after a 5-1 Utah win (3/2).
Windle accomplished a complete-game no-hitter to lead Minnesota to a 3-0 win over Western Illinois Friday. Windle went nine innings, struck out eight batters, walked one and held the Leathernecks hitless and scoreless. He accomplished the feat in 95 pitches and is the first Gopher to earn a no-hitter since Joe Westfall accomplished a seven-inning no-hitter in 1993. Windle became the first Golden Gopher pitcher since 1931 to throw a nine-inning no hitter. Prior to Windle's complete game on Friday, the last Gopher to throw a nine-inning no-hitter was Walfrid Mattson against Wisconsin on June 3, 1931. With his pitching performance, Windle lowered his ERA to 1.96, holds a 2-1 overall record and has pitched 23 innings.
Omaha enters the Minnesota games with a 1-6 overall record. Now in the Summit League, UNO dropped the first six games of the season before it defeated North Dakota in its last game. Against UND, the Mavericks won, 13-2, the highest run total for the program since a 13-1 win over Bucknell on March 16, 2012. Pitchers are yet to be determined for the Minnesota games, yet 16 pitchers have been on the mound this season. Tyler Fox has pitched the most at 10.0 innings and holds a 0.90 ERA in two starts. Matt Tew has an 8.31 ERA in two starts and 8.2 innings pitched and has allowed eight earned runs. Also starting games for the Mavericks are Cory Buckley and Cole Volkers. Clayton Taylor leads the offensive charge for UNO with a .444 batting average in five games played. Alex Mortensen has played in all seven games and holds a .333 batting average, while Brett Miller is also at .333 in six games. On two hits, Caleb Palensky leads the team with four RBI.
Minnesota played Omaha for the first time in school history last season in a two-game series. Minnesota earned an 8-4 win and completed the sweep with a 1-0 win, April 17-18, 2012. Minnesota utilized five pitchers to shut out Omaha. Ty McDevitt started the game and tied a career-long outing of 4.0 innings pitched. Picking up his second win of the season, McDevitt scattered three hits, one one and three strikeouts. Dustin Klabunde followed with 2.0 innings pitched, did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out three. Drew Ghelfi followed with a hitless inning, one walk and one strikeout. Tom Windle became the Gophers's fourth pitcher to see action. He went 1.1 and struck out three of the four batters he faced. With two outs to get, Kevin Kray came into the game and collected his seventh save. After striking out one, Kray allowed back-to-back hits, but regrouped and got Jared Patton to fly out to left and ended the game. Andy Henkemeyer led the Gopher offense when he went 2-3. In the series, Henkemeyer went 5-6 with two RBI and a run scored.
Ty McDevitt is making his fourth collegiate start and first of his sophomore season. This year, McDevitt has thrown nine innings in five appearances and holds a 3.00 ERA. His longest career outing came against the Mavericks last season when he went 4.0 innings pitched on April 18, 2012.
Kyle O'Shea is scheduled to make his fourth start in a month on Wednesday. Against Western Michigan earlier this year, O'Shea collected his first collegiate win when he went 5.0 innings, allowed one run and walked one. Against North Dakota State, O'Shea started the game and pitched 3.0 innings of scoreless work. He struck out two and walked two. In four appearances in 2013, O'Shea holds a 2.84 ERA.