April 4, 2012
Troy Larson has appeared as the Gopher leadoff hitter since the Hamline game on March 7. In that span, Larson had a nine-game hitting streak a batting.426 and an on-base percentage of .508. Hitting a .333 so far in this regular season, this red-shirt junior has appeared in 24 games and has started in 22 of them. In the final series game against The Citadel (3/25), Larson went 3-4 with two runs scored to contribute to the 5-0 shutout over the Bulldogs. Making some great catches this year as the Gophers' starting centerfielder, Larson holds a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Q: You have been hitting really well in the last couple of weeks, especially in the leadoff spot. Talk about what has felt different for you this year to allow you to be so successful.
A: "I think most of it contributes to all of my hard work in the off-season. Every day we have to get out on the field and hit. The coaches have been really supportive. We have a full time hitting coach this year (Robb Quinlan), and that has helped a lot getting the mechanics down. He keeps drilling us pretty hard to makes sure we are doing everything right, so a lot of it goes to that. And you know it is just fun to be out there."
Q: How do you balance having such a difficult major, with your commitments with baseball, along with having a social life?
A: "I am lacking a little bit with the social life." It is a grind, but it is easier when you can come out on the baseball field and have fun with your friends and relax. It makes all the hard work worth it, all the school work and time spent studying ,it is all worth it when you can come out here and play with your friends."
Q: What interests you about your genetics major? What do you want to do with it?
A: "Ideally I want to go to medical school. I thought I was going to just do biology as a major, but then I took a genetics class and got really interested in that. It is shaping me for my future career path. I potentially want to be a geneticist and work with people. The major is fascinating so I just like to learn more about it."
Q: Tell me about the South Florida game where you guys had to sprint to make it to the airport on time.
A: "To be honest, last year I would say was probably the biggest inconsistent season because every trip there was something that went wrong. Thinking back to the first Florida series last year, there was a snow storm and we were stuck in Florida for three extra days. Then we missed our bus on the spring break trip so we are used to that kind of stuff. It was unfortunate that we weren't able to stay and play the whole game throughout, but you can't really think too much about it. We could have been on the other side of the coin, they could have been up with two guys in the scoring position able to win when we stopped the game, but it is just what happens."
Q: Talk about having so many home games this season.
A: "Playing at the Metrodome is it kind of nice to stay at home for so long to get a consistent place to practice and play. It helps with school because it is hard to stay focused when you are on connecting flights on airplanes, or in hotels, so it is nice in that regard too. It is a great place to play, you know that when you play here you are going to play every day; you will never get rained out. That is what I like about it, but I am excited about next year with the new stadium. I am pretty fortunate I am an only child so my parents have made a commitment to watch every game. I do not think they have missed a game in my four years playing here, it is awesome to have them here supporting me."
Q: Who is your favorite opponent to play?
A: "I like to beat Ohio State and I like to play Michigan State."
Q: Do you have a pre-game ritual?
A: "I don't really have one, because it is so hectic. I get here almost as late as I can because I am coming from lab. There is no time to have rituals, because if I am on a ritual it is most likely that I am not going to get it in. I don't really need one, I am not superstitious, I just like to have fun. My pre-game routine is just to match sure that I have food in my stomach. "
Pitching Coach Todd Oakes Passes Away At 55
Minnesota assistant baseball coach Todd Oakes passed away today after a courageous and public battle with leukemia. Oakes, who coached the Minnesota pitching staff, was 55.
Gophers Drop Out of B1G Tournament
Minnesota falls to Michigan 3-2 in an elimination game on Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park
Minnesota Falls in B1G Tournament Opener
Gophers play at 1 p.m. in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon against either Michigan or Ohio State