PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UP
IA: Jarred Hippen (Sr., LHP) vs MN: TJ Oakes (Jr., RHP)
IA: Matt Dermody (Jr., LHP) vs MN: DJ Snelten (So., LHP)
IA: Sasha Kuebel (Fr.., LHP) vs Austin Lubinsky (Sr., RHP)
• Minnesota hosted Iowa last year at Target Field and won two-of-three in the series. Minnesota earned a 1-0 win, followed by a 5-4 win and dropped the series finale, 7-1.
• Although the Gophers hosted Iowa in 2011, it’s been a long time coming since hosting the Hawkeyes in the Metrodome. Minnesota and Iowa battled against each other in the Pillsbury Classic, in 1988. The event has now been called the Dairy Queen Classic. Minnesota earned a 7-6 win. The two teams have never competed in a Big Ten series in the Metrodome.
• The last time the Gophers lost in a series to Iowa was in 2008 when Minnesota lost two-of-three. The Gophers swept the Hawkeyes in 2010 and won two-of-three in 2011.
• John Anderson is in his 31st year as the Golden Gopher head coach and 34th year overall at the University of Minnesota. Anderson is coaching his 1,839-41st career game. He currently holds an all-time record of 1,087-718-3 (.602 winning percentage).
• The Golden Gopher baseball team is in its 124th year as a Minnesota varsity sport.
• Minnesota is 24-19 on the season. On Wednesday, the Gophers came back from a 6-2 deficit and won, 11-7 over North Dakota State.
Minnesota has won 13 of its last 15 Big Ten Conference games at the Metrodome. Minnesota has won all six league games this year. With the collapse of the Metrodome roof, the Gophers played away from the facility in 2011. Minnesota went 7-2 at the end of the 2010 season against league opponents and is now 6-0 this year. In 2010, Minnesota won 2-3 against Indiana (4/23-25) and Michigan (5/7-9) and swept Penn State (5/14-16) to end the home 2010 season.
ON THE DOCKET
The Gophers host St. Thomas, May 1 at 6:35 p.m. The game marks the final game at Siebert Field. The Gophers will the close out their home season with a series against Penn State, May 4-6.
THREE GAMES, THREE VENUES
Following the Iowa series, Minnesota will play the next three games in three different venues. The Golden Gophers will host St. Thomas on Tuesday at Siebert Field. The Gophers will then return to the Metrodome on Friday, May 4 against Penn State. Saturday’s game will be held at Target Field. The Gophers will then return back to the Metrodome on Sunday for the final home game of the season.
The Gopher pitchers continue to prove their worth not only in the Big Ten, but nationally. As a team, Minnesota ranks 13th nationally with the lowest ERA with a team 2.95 ERA. Minnesota as a unit, also ranks 20th in the country for lowest hits allowed in a nine inning game. With 390.1, the Gophers have allowed just 351 hits.
TJ Oakes continues to holding the opposing teams to minimal runs. On the season, he holds a Big Ten Conference best 1.54 ERA. His ERA currently ranks 16th in the nation. Of the 16 with lower ERAs, nine have pitched over 50 innings this season. Oakes has seen action in 70.3 innings pitched.
OAKES ON CBHOF PITCHER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
College Baseball Hall of Fame has named its initial Pitcher of the Year Watch List this morning. Golden Gopher junior right-handed pitcher TJ Oakes has been named to the list. He is only one of two pitchers named from the Big Ten Conference.
Leading the Big Ten Conference with a 1.54 earned run average, Oakes has appeared in 10 games and holds a 6-2 overall record. In his league best 70.1 innings pitched, Oakes is also two shy of the Big Ten Conference lead in strikeouts with 58. Earlier this year, he was named a Big Ten Pitcher of the Week when he led the charge in a 1-0 shutout win over Milwaukee the second weekend of the season. In conference action, Oakes has struck out 31 Big Ten opponents and holds a 1.50 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched. In both his freshman and sophomore seasons, Oakes was named Third-Team All-Big Ten selection.
The winner of the Pitcher of the Year Award will be announced on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions. The event features the presentation of numerous awards and the induction ceremony for this year’s Hall of Fame class.
GOPHERS IN THE LAST FIVE GAMES
Minnesota has had some hot hitters in the last five games. Bobby Juan has gone 7-17 with one double. Andy Henkemeyer has reached base 11 times in 22 at bats and hit three doubles for a.364 batting average . Matt Halloran has hit .350 with 20 at bats and seven hits.
SCOUTING THE HAWKEYES
The University of Iowa Hawkeyes makes their way into Minneapolis with an overall season record of 16-20. In Big Ten conference play, they stand at 5-7 after losing two games in a three game series against Penn State last weekend. Currently however, Iowa enters the Metrodome coming off a 7-3 loss against Bradley on April 24. Mike McQuillan looks as a strong offensive player for the Hawkeyes, claiming a batting average of .344, along with 33 runs, 45 hits, five doubles, a triple, and 16 RBI on the season. Other top players include Phil Keppler, who holds the team high batting average of .352. Jacob Yacinich sits with an average of .304, with 18 runs, six doubles, and the team high of 17 RBI. Friday night’s estimated left-handed pitcher Jarred Hippen has an ERA of 4.25 with a record of 3-4, he leads the team with innings pitched with 65.2 and strikeouts with 46. Saturday Minnesota will see another left-handed pitcher with Matt Dermody. Dermody holds an ERA of 4.32 and a record of 1-5 in 50 innings and has 40 strikeouts in the season. Sunday, Gophers can expect Iowa to throw a third left-handed pitcher with Sasha Kuebel. He has a strong ERA of 3.05, and a record of 4-0 in nine appearances.
This time last year, the Golden Gophers defeated the Hawkeyes in a three game series, winning 2-of-3. Coming away with Friday (1-0) and Saturday (5-4) wins, Minnesota then lost sight of a series sweep when Iowa claimed Sunday’s match-up 7-1. Thus prompting Minnesota to a 16-17 overall regular season record and an 8-7 record in the Big Ten conference. Iowa fell after the weekend to an overall season record of 16-25, and 5-10 in conference play. On Friday’s April 29 game, the Gophers seized the win when Troy Larson slammed a triple into the right field corner in the fourth for the Gophers' lone hit. Former Gopher Justin Gominsky followed by driving a ball deep enough into right field to score Larson on a sacrifice fly RBI. The next day on Saturday April 30, Minnesota claimed the win after being tied 4-4 after regulation time. Forced into extra innings, Matt Puhl took advantage and ended in the 12th inning with a game-winning single base hit. The Sunday May 1 finale, the Gophers dropped a 7-1 decision when Andy Henkemeyer earned Minnesota’s only run of the game in the bottom of the 7th inning.