|Gopher Baseball (34-13, 16-4 Big Ten) | Week 15: Games 48-51
|Gophers vs. St. John's (34-12, 13-2 Big East)
||Tuesday, May 15, 2 p.m. ET|
|Location||Jack Kaiser Stadium, Queens, N.Y.|
|Follow Live||ESPN3 | Game Day Live|
|Gophers vs. Rutgers (24-23, 7-14 Big Ten)
|Date/Time||Thursday-Saturday, May 17-19, 1 p.m. ET/1 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. ET|
|Location||Bainton Field, Piscataway, N.J.|
|Follow Live||Friday: BTN Plus/BTN2Go | Game Day Live
Saturday: BTN Plus/BTN2Go | Game Day Live
Sunday: BTN Plus/BTN2Go | Game Day Live
||Minnesota | St. John's | Rutgers|
|Social Media||@GopherBaseball | Facebook | Instagram|
QUEENS, N.Y. – The No. 12-ranked Gopher Baseball team is on the east coast for its final four games of the regular season, exiting conference play one last time to take on St. John’s before looking to take at least 2-of-3 against Rutgers to stake at least a share of the Big Ten Championship.
Sunday Gem Seals Series
Minnesota claimed yet another series victory with 2-of-3 against Michigan State, and Jake Stevenson returned to the starting rotation Sunday with a career-best outing, allowing just four hits in 5.2 innings as the Gophers defeated the Spartans 3-1. The team came from behind with an eight-run seventh inning on Saturday to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 9-4 lead and an eventual 10-5 victory.
Gophers in the Polls
Minnesota continued to rise in the national polls this week, now ranked 11th by Baseball America, 12th in the nation by D1Baseball and Perfect Game and 15th by Collegiate Baseball News. Other polls are not available at press time.
Minnesota is 21-3 when Reggie Meyer and Patrick Fredrickson start on the mound and have just one defeat in the last 19 starts by the duo.
Minnesota continues to rank among the best in the nation and several key categories. The Gophers’ .301 combined batting average ranks 15th and their .395 on-base percentage ranks 23rd. The pitching staff isss not to be outdone with ninth-best WHIP at 1.20, and ranks 19th in ERA at 3.31 and 20th in hits allowed per nine inningss at 7.71. Individually, Terrin Vavra’s .397 batting average ranks 17th nationally while Ben Mezzenga (.380) is not far behind at 36th.. Patrick Fredrickson’ss 1.71 ERA is 20th in the country and his 0.95 WHIP ranks 28th. Brett Schulze’ eight wins lead the Big Ten and are among the best totals nationally, while Max Meyer ranks fourth with his 13 saves.
Against the Competition
Minnesota took the first 2-of-3 against St. John’s earlier this year. Luke Pettersen went 6-for-11 with 3 doubles and a home run, scoring four runs. Terrin Vavra hit two doubles, going 4-for-9 with four runs scored. Joshua Culliver tossed 2.2 shutout innings in relief against the Red Storm. The Gophers swept a doubleheader with Rutgers last season. Micah Coffey finished 4-for-7 with two doubles against the Scarlet Knights and scored four runs. Jordan Kozicky was 3-for-8 with two home runs and three runs scored. Fred Manke has 3.2 scoreless innings in his career against Rutgers.
Terrin Vavra extended his hitting streak to 10-straight games, matching Ben Mezzenga’s season-high for the Gophers ... Luke Pettersen made it 22-consecutive games reaching base, one off of Vavra’s season-high 23.
Can’t Hold Them Down
Minnesota’s pitching staff now has five shutouts this season after defeating Concordia St. Paul 5-0 on May 1. The Gophers have not been shut out themselves since April 16, 2017, a span of 70 games.
Ins & Outs
Brett Schulze struck out a season-high five in 3.1 innings of work, including striking out the side in the ninth against Michigan State on Friday ... Jackson Rose’s 4.0 innings in Saturday’s win against Michigan State represented a Gophers career high ... Jake Stevenson had not yet reached five innings in a start during his career before holding the Spartans quiet through 5.2 innings on Sunday ... Max Meyer’s five strikeouts and 3.1 innings against Michigan State also represent a season-high for the freshman as he earned the save against the Spartans on Sunday.
Micah Coffey earned a spot on the Google Cloud Academic All-District Team, selected by CoSIDA on Thursday. He now advances to the ballot for the Academic All-America teams.
Stopper of the Year Watchlist
Earlier this month freshman Max Meyer landed on the midseason watch list for the NCBWA “Stopper of the Year” National Relief Pitcher of the Year award. His 12 saves are among the highest totals in the nation. Minnesota’s Brian Glowicki landed on the midseason list last year, finishing his senior season with a program-record 16 saves.
Returning All-Big Ten
Minnesota returns four of its six honorees from the All-Big Ten Teams following the 2017 season, all of whom figure into the team’s every day line-up. Junior Cole McDevitt landed on the league’s First Team after batting .314 in league play with four doubles, 11 RBIs, and 14 runs scored. Senior Micah Coffey returns after earning a Second Team selection last year. He batted .370 in league play, lifting a team-best eight doubles and adding 22 RBIs. Senior Toby Hanson returns after driving in a team-high 24 runs against conference competition to land on the Third Team. Sophomore Jordan Kozicky was an All-Freshman Team selection, batting .351 as a utility player.
Scouting the Red Storm
St. John’s (34-12, 13-2 Big East) has won eight of its last nine games ... the Gophers took 2-of-3 against the Red Storm earlier this season at U.S. Bank Stadium ... catcher Rob Boselli III batted .545 (6-for-11) with a double, triple, and home run, five RBIs, and four runs scored in Minneapolis ... senior outfielder Jamie Galazin went 6-for-13 with a home run, five RBIs, and five runs scored on the weekend ... right-handed pitcher Sam Lara will throw for the Red Storm on Tuesday. The rookie is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 innings, starting two games this season.
Scouting the Scarlet Knights
Rutgers (24-23, 7-14 Big Ten) has lost five-straight and 8-of-10 entering the week and will meet Monmouth on Tuesday before the Gophers arrive in Piscataway ... head coach Joe Litterio is in his fifth season leading the Scarlet Knights ... junior outfielder Luke Bowerbank leads the Rutgers offense with a .308 ERA, 26 RBIs, and 28 runs ... junior catcher Nick Matera has slugged five home runs and 13 doubles this season with a .265 batting average ... right-handed John O’Reilly gets the Friday starts for Rutgers, posting a 5-3 record and 5.38 ERA this season with 40 strikeouts in 78.2 innings ... freshman lefty Harry Rutkowski (4-6, 5.34 ERA, 54 Ks) and fifth-year senior Karl Blum (0-5, 6.27 ERA, 25 Ks) round out the starting rotation.
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