June 7, 2014
The Colorado Rockies selected former Golden Gopher pitcher Alec Crawford in the 25th round and incoming pitcher Lucas Gilbreath in the 36th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. Crawford was the 743rd overall pick, and Gilbreath the 1,073rd. Six former, current or incoming Gopher pitchers have been drafted in the past three years.
Crawford was an All-Big Ten Third Team selection as a senior. He went 4-2 with a 3.79 ERA. He tied for the team lead and fifth place in the Big Ten with 67 strikeouts, while walking only 18 batters. Crawford's 42 strikeouts in Big Ten play ranked second. He pitched 97 1/3 innings, tying for fifth in the Big Ten, including the second-most innings (58) within conference play.
Crawford, a native of Wilton, Iowa, received the Gophers' David Winfield Pitcher of the Year Award following the season. He led off the Gophers' rotation every weekend, starting 15 games during the 2014 season.
In the Gophers' season opener, he struck out eight batters in just four innings. He would go on to set a new career high with nine strikeouts in eight shutout innings against Penn State later in the season. Crawford earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors for his performance at Indiana, where he held the No. 8 Hoosiers to one run on three hits and a walk in Minnesota's victory.
After transferring to Minnesota from Des Moines Area Community College, where he was an NJCAA All-American, Crawford pitched two years for the Gophers. He finished his Minnesota career with a record of 8-4 and a 3.27 ERA. He made 25 appearances, including 24 starts, and pitched 148 2/3 innings. Crawford struck out 87 batters and walked 29.
Gilbreath, a left-hander, was picked out of Legacy High School in Colorado. He signed with the Gophers last November and will join the team this fall.
Gilbreath held a 1.45 ERA and 6-2 record as a senior. He pitched four complete games, including a 12-strikeout shutout. Gilbreath struck out a Colorado Class 5A-leading 111 batters on the season after leading with 93 strikeouts as a junior in 2013.
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