Gopher Baseball Returns to Big Ten Home Action Against Michigan State
Junior Bobby Juan

April 18, 2013

 Minnesota (23-13, 7-2 BT) hosts Michigan State (22-11, 5-4 BT)
 Date/Time April 19-21, 3:05/2:05/1:05 p.m.
 Probable Pitchers
Tom Windle (LHP) vs. Andrew Waszak (RHP)
Alec Crawford (RHP) vs. David Garner (RHP)
DJ Snelten (LHP) vs. Mick VanVossen (RHP)
 Location  Minneapolis | Siebert Field
 Video  Gopher All-Access
 Free Audio
 Live Stats  Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
 Live Blog
 Social Media  @GopherBaseball | Facebook

Head coach John Anderson established his 500th career conference win with a 7-1 victory over Northwestern, April 14, in Evanston, Ill. Anderson entered the weekend at 497 career conference wins. With a 4-2 win on Friday and a 6-3 win Saturday, he solidified his 500-win mark with a 7-1 win during the Sunday game. Overall, Anderson holds 1,115career wins over the course of his 32 years as the Gopher head coach.

Since John Anderson has become the head coach of Golden Gopher baseball, there has been 37 different head coaches in the Big Ten. Penn State entered the Big Ten in 1991 and has had two, while Nebraska entered in 2012 with their current coach, Darin Erstad. Michigan has had the most coaching changes at six, while Michigan State has had five and Illinois has had four. Between Anderson and legendary coach Dick Siebert, the duo has coaches over 3,000 games and 75 percent in school history.

Minnesota held the Siebert Field groundbreaking ceremony on June 11, 2012, broke ground the following week and held its opener on April 5 against Ohio State (Big Ten home opener). The field is named after legendary coach Dick Siebert, who led the Gopher baseball program to three national championships. The field was prepared in time for fall ball as the Gophers conducted their first practice on the new turf, Sept. 29, 2012. Phase 1 is now completed for a capacity of 1,420, while the Gophers are in the Phase 2 of donations for lights, lockerrooms and hitting facility.

Like the rest of the conference, Minnesota has had its fair share of postponements and schedule changes because of weather. Due to a potential rain out, Minnesota played a doubleheader against Michigan on March 30 and cancelled the Sunday competition. Minnesota and Ohio State played two suspended games at Siebert Field that went into the next day of competition. The Gophers also had three midweek games compromised because of weather at South Dakota State (4/3), home against Winona State (4/9) and St. John's (4/10). While getting in all three scheduled games against Northwestern, weather could affect this weekend's series against Michigan State as well.

Minnesota holds an 86-37 all-time record against Michigan State, dating back to 1925. Minnesota fell in two of three games against the Spartans last year. In fact, Minnesota has only won two of nine games contested since 2010.

For the second-straight year, the University of Minnesota swept Northwestern in a three-game series, last weekend. The Gophers, who won all three last year at the Metrodome, swept the Wildcats in Evanston, Ill., April 12-14 at Rocky Miller Park. In the first game, Ryan Abrahamson hit a deciding two-run home run, while the Gopher pitchers struck out 14 batters for a 4-2 win. On Saturday, Alec Crawford picked up his first Division I collegiate win as the Gophers won, 6-3. Lance Thonvold came in relief and earned a save. Minnesota had six hits in the game and utilized on three Northwestern wild pitches to score half of its runs. John Anderson established his 500th career conference win with a 7-1 victory over Northwestern, today in Evanston, Ill. The win also marked a sweep over the Wildcats as the Golden Gophers improve to 22-13 on the season and 7-2 in Big Ten play.

Minnesota sits high in the national standings in a few pitching categories. The Gopher pitching corps holds a team earned run average of 2.74. That mark sits third in the Big Ten (Indiana at 2.43 and Ohio State at 2.68) and 19th nationally. Individually, Tom Windle ranks 28th nationally with a 1.35 ERA.

Michigan State enters the Minnesota series with a 22-11 overall record and 5-4 in Big Ten play. The Spartans swept league-leading and No. 12 Indiana last weekend in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans have now won four-straight games in walk-off fashion. With three walk-offs against the Hoosiers, MSU also had a walk-off win against Toledo in the 12th inning Tuesday. Friday starter Andrew Waszak was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week when he went eight innings and struck out five in the series opening win against Indiana. The series win, however, came at a price as the Spartans lost its second senior of the year when Jordan Keur tore his Achilles. Keur, a captain, was the second senior to be out of the lineup as John Martinez tore his ACL. Anthony Cheky holds a .336 batting average and has palted in 28 games, while Ryan Krill has a team-best 21 RBI in 127 at bats. Friday start Waszak has a 2.66 ERA in 61 innings pitched and 43 strikeouts. Saturday starter David Garner is at a 3.55 ERA with 42 strikeouts and a 4-2 record. Mick VanVossen is scheduled to pitch on Sunday as he enters the series with a 3.38 ERA, 53.1 innings pitched and 21 strikeouts.

Minnesota dropped two of three games against the Spartans last year, April 21-22 in East Lansing, Mich. Due to weather, the two teams had to play in a doubleheader and the Gophers and Spartans split the action. Minnesota fell, 3-2 in 11 innings in the first game, but came back to win, 4-2 in the second. The Gophers then dropped its second one-run loss of the weekend on a 5-4, 10-inning game for the series loss.

Minnesota is scheduled to compete at North Dakota State on April 23 at 6:30 p.m. The Gophers are scheduled to be on the road against Iowa, April 26-28 in Iowa City. Game times will be 6:05 p.m., 1:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. The Friday game against the Hawkeyes is scheduled to be on the Big Ten Network, live.




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