PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UP
PSU: Joe Kurrasch (So., LHP) vs MN: TJ Oakes (Jr., RHP)
PSU: Steven Hill (Jr., RHP) vs MN: DJ Snelten (So., LHP)
PSU: John Walter (Jr., RHP) vs Austin Lubinsky (Sr., RHP)
TICKET INFORMATION FOR TARGET FIELD GAME
The Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Gopher baseball program today announced additional details for the Golden Gopher baseball game at Target Field scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
The tickets for the game will be sold only at the Target Field ticket windows starting at 9 a.m. on May 5. Tickets for the game will be general admission, costing $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets will be sold at the Target Field ticket windows on Target Plaza and may be purchased with cash only. There will be no checks or credit cards taken at the ticket window. Fans can enter Target Field through Gate 29, which will open 30 minutes prior to game time.
The 2012 season marks the third-straight year the University of Minnesota baseball team will play at Target Field. The Gophers played in the first-ever game at Target Field on March 27, 2010 against Louisiana Tech in front of 36,056 fans, the second-largest crowd to ever witness a collegiate baseball game. Last year as the Metrodome roof was being restructured, the Twins and Target Field opened the doors to the Gophers and played 12 Big Ten Conference games against Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa and Ohio State.
PENN STATE NOTES
Minnesota earned one win against the Nittany Lions last year, held May 13-15, 2011 in State College, Pa. The Gophers fell in the opener, 7-0, won the second game, 3-2, and lost the series finale, 4-2. Minnesota, however, would win the two team's last meeting when the Gophers won 8-2 in the Big Ten Tournament on May 26.
The last time the Gophers hosted Penn State was in their Big Ten Championship season, 2010. Minnesota earned a three-game sweep over PSU, May 14-16 at the Metrodome. The Gophers defeated the Nittany Lions, 12-7, 5-1 and 8-1 for the sweep.
Minnesota will face its fourth-straight left-handed pitcher in Big Ten play Friday. PSU's Joe Kurrasch is scheduled to pitch Friday. He holds a 1.86 ERA and started in seven games this season. Iowa threw three-straight left-handed pitchers last weekend against the Gophers.
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 1,843-45 career games this weekend. He currently holds an all-time record of 1,090-719-3 (.603 winning percentage).
The Golden Gopher baseball team is in its 124th year as a Minnesota varsity sport.
Minnesota is 27-20 on the season. Minnesota is coming of a mid-week win against St. Thomas Tuesday, 9-2, and a series win against Iowa last weekend at the Metrodome.
Minnesota will honor its senior class following the Sunday game. Minnesota will recognize seniors Kyle Geason, Dustin Klabunde, Austin Lubinsky and Trip Schultz, along with red-shirt junior Ethan Liederman. All graduating seniors, along with their families, will be honored on the field.
GOPHER HOME SCHEDULE
Minnesota will complete its 39-game home schedule this weekend. The Golden Gophers enter the final weekend with a 24-12 record on their home field and 23-12 within the Metrodome confines. One game was played at Siebert Field (5/1), while this Saturday's game is at Target Field. Minnesota held a 27-game homestand earlier this year that ran from Feb. 24-April 3 as Minnesota went 16-11.
AT TARGET FIELD
Minnesota and Louisiana Tech competed in the first-ever game at Target Field on Saturday March 27, 2011 as the Gophers fell, 9-1. TJ Oakes threw the first pitch in the new facility as the Minnesota Twins held their facility opener, April 12, 2010. With the Metrodome collapse of 2011, the Gophers would play their home conference games at Target Field. Minnesota went 6-6 in home conference play last year. The Gophers hosted Purdue (won 2-of-3), Northwestern (lost 2-of-3), Iowa (won 2-of-3) and Ohio State (lost 2-of-3).
THREE GAMES, THREE VENUES
In a span of a week, the Golden Gophers will play in three venues in four games. Tuesday night, Minnesota played its final game at the current Siebert Field. The Gophers 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.
LARSON NAMED FIRST TEAM ACADEMIC ALL DISTRICT
University of Minnesota baseball center fielder Troy Larson has been named a 2012 Capital One Academic First-Team All-District honoree, announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Larson was only one of two baseball student athletes from the Big Ten Conference to receive the honor. The 2012 selection marks the first award for Larson, which is based on both academic and athletic success. First-team Academic All-District honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.
Larson has played in 34 games this season, starting in 30. Missing 13 games due to an injury, Larson returned to his starting spot in center field against Iowa. On the season, Larson has 111 at bats and holds a batting average of .333. Batting as the Gopher leadoff hitter, Larson has 18 runs scored this season. At the time of his injury, he also held an on-base percentage of .416. He currently holds the Gophers' longest streak, reaching base safely in 15-straight games. The Maplewood, Minn., native excels in the classroom as well. Holding a grade point average of 3.94 and double majoring in genetics/cell biology and biochemistry, Larson was named a Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten selection his sophomore year. Of the Gopher male student-athletes, he also holds one of the department's top five GPAs, which was awarded on April 23rd.
Minnesota has won 15 of its last 18 Big Ten Conference games at the Metrodome. Minnesota has won eight of nine 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 7-1 this year. In 2010, Minnesota won 2-of-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 hit the road to close out the Big Ten regular season schedule. Minnesota will make the eight-hour bus trip to Lincoln, Neb., to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers, May 11-13. The Gophers, who have completed their midweek games, will then travel to Illinois, May 17-19, in Champaign, Ill.
A TIGHT BIG TEN RACE
Other than Purdue, Northwestern and Michigan, the rest of the Big Ten standings is separated by just three games. Purdue holds an 11th RPI rating and leads the league with a 14-4 record. Minnesota and Indiana are currently tied for second in the Big Ten with a 9-6 record. Four teams follow with an 8-7 mark in Nebraska, Michigan State, Illinois and Penn State. Of those four teams, Minnesota will play three of them, all consecutively. After hosting the Gophers this weekend, they travel to Nebraska (5/11-13) and Illinois (5/17-19).