The Gophers baseball team beat Rutgers 5-3 on Friday afternoon in Piscataway, N.J., to lock up first place in the Big Ten. It’s the 24th conference title in program history and the 11th for coach John Anderson.

Eli Wilson and Micah Coffey hit solo homers — Coffey’s started a three-run seventh — for Minnesota (37-13, 18-4 Big Ten), ranked No. 12 by D1Baseball.com. Jordan Kozicky had an RBI single for the Gophers and Toby Hanson a sacrifice fly. Their fifth run scored on an error.

Freshman Patrick Fredrickson gave up three runs, two earned, in 6⅓ innings to get the win, improving to 8-0.

Edina legend retires

Art Downey, the only head coach in Edina boys’ swimming history, announced his retirement after 62 years. His Hornets teams won 10 state titles, including three consecutive from 2008-2010. He is a member of five halls of fame, including the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association’s.

U tennis loses

The Gophers men’s tennis team lost 4-1 to No. 3 Ohio State in the NCAA tournament’s round of 16 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Jackson Allen earned the lone point for Minnesota (17-9), beating Martin Joyce 6-3, 7-5 at No. 5 singles. Ohio State (32-2) clinched the match when Mikael Torpegaard beat Felix Corwin 7-6 (5), 6-0 at No. 1 singles.

Steveson advances

Apple Valley’s Gable Steveson is one step closer to defending his junior world championship after winning the challenge tournament portion of the U.S. World Freestyle Team Trials on Friday in Rochester.

Steveson, a high school senior who’ll wrestle for the Gophers this fall, went 3-0 at 125 kilograms (275.5 pounds), capped by a 12-2 win in 2:10 over Iowa signee Anthony Cassioppi in the final. Steveson will meet U.S. Open junior champion Gannon Gremmel, an Iowa State freshman, in a best-of-three final on Saturday for a spot on the U.S. team that will wrestle in the world championships on Oct. 20-28 in Budapest, Hungary. Steveson outscored his three opponents 35-2 and won each match on superiority.

Also Saturday, Steveson will wrestle in the senior division at 125 kg.

Daniel Kerkvliet, a junior at Simley High School, will wrestle Missouri signee Zach Elam for a spot on the U.S. world junior team at 97 kg.

Randy Johnson

 

Pro bike races off

The 2018 North Star Grand Prix, part of USA Cycling’s prestigious Pro Road Tour, was canceled because of problems solidifying course venues, organizers said. Road construction in Minneapolis would have made it impossible to hold the Uptown Criterium, the most popular stage.

The five-day, six stage North Star Grand Prix was scheduled for June 13-17.

Curling update

USA Curling announced that 17 Minnesotans, including five skips, will be part of its six high-performance teams during the 2018-19 season.

John Shuster (Chisholm), Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park), Korey Dropkin (Duluth), Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul), Cory Christensen (St. Paul) and Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.) were named as skips. Sinclair’s team, which in April became the first U.S. team ever to win a Grand Slam of Curling event, will add Sarah and Taylor Anderson of Minneapolis.

Rachel Blount

 

Saints lose opener

The visiting St. Paul Saints lost their season opener to the Gary SouthShore RailCats 10-5. Kes Carter hit a solo homer and had three RBI for the Saints, and Justin O’Conner hit a two-run homer.