April 8, 2014
• Minnesota took of three games at Michigan to improve to 5-4 in conference play.
• The Gophers got out to a 5-0 lead on Friday but needed 11 innings to eventually get the 9-6 win. Tony Skjefte hit 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI to lead Minnesota’s offense.
• The Wolverines came back with an 8-1 win Saturday. Michael Handel’s second home run of the season was Minnesota’s only run.
• Ben Meyer gave up one run in 7 1/3 innings and Dalton Sawyer earned his fifth save as Minnesota won 3-1. Bobby Juan’s throw out of a runner at third from right field and Dan Motl’s diving catch, both in the fifth inning, helped the Gophers preserve their lead.
• The Gophers and Jackrabbits last met on March 27, 2013. It was Minnesota’s last game at the Metrodome, and the Gophers won 5-1 with Andy Henkemeyer leading the way on offense.
• John Anderson has now coached more than 1,900 games at Minnesota. He is the program’s all-time winningest coach, with 1,141 wins.
• The Gophers are undefeated when leading after six (14-0), seven (14-0) and eight (12-0) innings. They have not won when trailing after six (0-9), seven (0-8) and eight (0-10) innings.
• Minnesota is 3-0 in midweek games so far this season. The Gophers won two games at Saint Mary’s (Calif.) during spring break, and beat Augsburg last Wednesday.
ABOUT THE JACKRABBITS
• South Dakota State split a doubleheader against Fort Wayne on Sunday, winning the first game 2-1 and losing the second 9-5. The Jackrabbits won a Tuesday game against Mount Marty 16-3.
• Scott Splett leads the Jackrabbits offense with a .357 batting average and .443 on-base percentage.
• Chad Hodges has the lowest ERA (2.37) of the regular starting rotation. Right-hander Tyler Shannon (3.72 ERA in six appearances) is scheduled to make his first start of the season against the Gophers.
• The Gophers and Jackrabbits share a common non-conference opponent, as both played Creighton earlier in the season. South Dakota State lost two games, 5-4 (10) and 3-1, and the third game was canceled.
SECOND BASEMAN IS FIRST
Sophomore second baseman Connor Schaefbauer currently leads the Gophers in several statistical categories. His .282 batting average, 29 hits, 18 walks, 40 total bases, nine steals and three triples are all tops on the team. His .388 slugging percentage is also tied for first with Tony Skjefte. (Minimums: 15 GP, 2.0 AB/team game, 3.0 PA/team game.)
SMITH ON A HOT STREAK
Outfielder Jordan Smith enters Wednesday’s game with a 15-game on-base streak. He has recorded a hit in four straight games. The redshirt freshman leads the Gophers with an on-base percentage of .398.
MAY I BE OF ASSITSTANCE?
The Gophers have eight outfield assists this season, and five of them were by Bobby Juan. The most recent was at Michigan. A runner tried to take third from first on a single to right, but Juan threw him out at the base with no cutoff.
MORE INNINGS? NO PROBLEM
The Golden Gophers have played four extra-inning games in 2014 and won them all. The Gophers were the home team for the first (3-2 against Northern Illinois in Glendale, Ariz.) and the visiting team for the other three (4-2 at Louisiana Tech, 5-3 at Sacramento State and 9-6 at Michigan). The first three lasted 10 innings and the fourth lasted 11. The Gophers have already won three more extra-inning games than they did in 2013, when they went 1-4 in extra innings.
OAKES A “MAN OF THE YEAR” CANDIDATE
Pitching coach Todd Oakes, a cancer survivor, accepted a nomination for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Soceity’s Man & Woman of the Year competition to raise money to fight blood cancer.
Gopher pitching alum Glen Perkins, currently the Minnesota Twins’ closer, is joining the campaign. He has pledged a $100 donation for every batter he strikes out during April. The Gophers and Minnesota high school teams will also collect pledges for their own strikeouts. The Gophers’ April 12 game against Nebraska has been designated as a Strike Out Cancer game.
To learn more about Oakes and his “Strikeout Cancer” campaign, visit his page at http://www.mwoy.org/pages/mn/MN14/toakes