Gophers Start Road Trip at Sacramento State

 Minnesota at Sacramento State
Date/Time

 Fri., March 14 - 5 p.m. CDT 
 Sat., March 15 - 4 p.m. CDT
 Sun., March 16 - 3 p.m. CDT

Friday Probable Pitchers  Alec Crawford (RHP) vs. Brennan Leitao (RHP)
Saturday Probable Pitchers
 Jordan Jess (LHP) vs. Sam Long (LHP)
Sunday Probable Pitchers  Ben Meyer (RHP) vs. TBA
Location  Sacramento, Calif. | John Smith Field
Game Day Live  Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Social Media  @GopherBaseball | Facebook
Game Notes  Minnesota | Sacramento State

The Last Meeting
Minnesota7
Sacramento State5
March 17, 2011
Sacramento, Calif.

March 13, 2014

The Golden Gophers (7-5) will begin a 10-day road trip with a series at Sacramento State (7-9) before traveling from there to play St. Mary's (Calif.) and Northwestern.

LAST WEEKEND
• Minnesota went 1-2 in the weather-shortened Chanticleer Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
• On Saturday, the Gophers lost 5-2 to Elon before beating Coastal Carolina by the same score. Elon’s Lucas Bakker earned a complete-game victory and retired 18 consecutive Minnesota batters.
• In the second game, the Gophers scored three runs in the top of the ninth, starting with a Connor Schaefbauer double that scored Jordan Smith to take a 3-2 lead before going on to win 5-2.
• In Sunday’s loss, Ben Meyer pitched seven innings, struck out six and gave up just one run. But UNC Greensboro’s Max Povse threw a one-run complete game to win 4-1. 

OLINGER ON A ROLL
• Senior first baseman Dan Olinger is the only Gopher to have a hit in all of the Gophers’ first 12 games. He is batting a team-best .348 with a team-high 16 hits in 46 at bats during the streak.
• The streak includes 11 starts and one game in which Olinger had only one at bat as a pinch hitter.
• If he records a hit in all three games this weekend, he would be the first Gopher since AJ Pettersen to put together a 15-game streak. Pettersen’s streak spanned 22 games from June 5, 2010 to April 8, 2011.

ABOUT THE HORNETS
• Sacramento State lost three games played at UC Riverside last weekend. The Hornets lost twice to UC Riverside (9-1 Friday and 6-1 Sunday) and once to West Virginia (8-1 on Saturday).
• The Hornets have wins against two ranked teams early in the season. They beat then-No. 21 Texas Tech 1-0 in the first of a three-game series, and they beat then-No. 24 Fresno State 2-1 in a 10-inning mid-week game.
• Sacramento State currently has three players batting over .300. Sophomore outfieder Nathan Lukes leads the way at .350.
• Projected Saturday starter Sam Long, a freshman, has a 2.50 ERA to lead the Hornets’ starters.

ROAD WARRIORS
With the demolition of the Metrodome, Minnesota will not play a true home game until March 26. The Gophers will play games in six different states (Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, California and Illinois) before their Siebert Field home opener.

The first two series were neutral-site home games for Minnesota, while the others are true road games or tournament games.

Minnesota will be on the road for 10 of 14 weekends during the season. In addition to their early non-conference games, the Gophers will also travel to play Florida State in Tallahassee May 2-4. 

PRINCE OF THIEVES
Connor Schaefbauer enters the weekend 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts. His seven steals have already surpassed his total from last season (four), and are two shy of last year’s team lead (nine by Michael Handel). Schaefbauer stole five bases in Minnesota’s series at Louisiana Tech. He stole two bases in two of the games against the Bulldogs, the first Gopher to have more than one steal in a game since Handel stole four against South Dakota State on March 28, 2012. 

SUNDAY MATINEE STAR
Junior right-hander Ben Meyer has turned in two consecutive one-run, seven-inning starts in morning games. Meyer owns the only win for a Gophers starter so far after holding Louisiana Tech to one run on two hits March 2. On March 9, he again pitched seven innings against UNC Greensboro, tying a career high with six strikeouts while surrendering just one run on five hits. Meyer’s 2.74 ERA and 23.0 innings pitched lead Minnesota’s strarting corps. 

SINGLE-GAME STRIKEOUT MARK TOPS IN THE BIG TEN
The Gopher pitching staff combined to strike out 15 batters in Minnesota’s season opener against Northern Illinois. That mark remains the highest team total for any Big Ten team at this point in 2014. Starter Alec Crawford struck out eight in just four innings. Relievers Dalton Sawyer and Kevin Kray added four and three, respectively.

PITCHING STAFF IN CONFERENCE'S TOP THREE
Minnesota’s team ERA of 3.58 ranks third in the conference after Indiana (2.91) and Michigan (3.40) in all games through March 12. Gopher pitchers also rank third in opposing batting average (.257) and saves (4).