Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.
As the 15 games in the major leagues were coming into the Star Tribune headquarters on the wire Wednesday night, one thing seemed peculiar. The number of homers being hit.
So early -- very early -- Thursday morning, I added them up.
There were 48 hit in 15 games, or just over three per game. Seemed like more.
Here is a breakdown, with a few hightlights:
* Boston tied a franchise record with eight in a 20-4 stomping of Detroit.
* Pablo Sandoval, a third baseman, hit three of San Francisco's six against San Diego.
* There were two grand slams, one by Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, one by the Red Sox's Will Middlebrooks, a third baseman.
* There were two grand slams, four three-run homers, 18 two-run homers and 24 solo homers.
* The only teams that did not go deep were Arizona, the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
* The Giants had only 80 homers all season before hitting six. Shocking.
What do you think of all that? ... zzzz.
For the first time since 2005, the Gophers women's golf team will host a tournament. It will be called the Minnesota Invitational, of course, held Sept. 16-17 at the Minikahda Club.
The course has been the site of some national and international events, namely the 1916 U.S. Open, the 1927 U.S. Amateur, the 1957 Walker Cup, the 1988 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 1998 Curtis Cup.
The 12-team field, besides the Gophers: Illinois and Nebraska of the Big Ten, Texas State, Kent State, San Diego State, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Jacksonville, Idaho and Georgia Regents.
Here is the rest of the fall schedule for the Gophers:
Northwestern’s Windy City Collegiate Classic at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill., Sept. 30-Oct. 1
Indiana’s Hoosier Fall Invitational at Hickory Stick Golf Club in Greenwood, Ind., Oct. 19-20
UNLV’s Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown on Oct. 27-29 at the Stallion Mountain Golf Club
The Gophers finished eighth in the Big Ten meet, but should be improved.
They added two talented freshmen, Sophie Kitchen from Collingwood, Ontario, and Emie Peronnin from Frejus, France.
Kitchen won the Toronto Star Women's Amateur. Peronnin is one of the best young women players in her country.
Junior Anna Laorr, of Eden Prairie, also had a big tournament win recently. She won the Minnesota Women's Golf Association State Match Play Championship.
Coach Michele Redman also has junior Carmen Laguna of Spain back. Last spring she was the top Gopher in the Big Ten meet, tying for ninth.
Then there is Banchalee Theinthong, the only senior on the team from Bangkok, Thailand. (One of two players from Bangkiok.) Her career stroke average of 76.66 is the second best in program history. She had three top 10 finishes in tournaments last school year.
The Minnesota Invitational, with two conference schools and four California schools, should give an early indication of how improved the Gophers could be.
* The Minikahda Club was established in 1898 and derives its name from two Sioux words meaning "by the side of the water." It is near Lake Calhoun.
PrepVolleyball.com recently rated the nation's 2013 college recruiting classes.
And, in this sport, at least, the Big Ten, led by Nebraska and the Gophers, does real well.
Minnesota is rated No. 3 in the country behind Nebraska and Southern Cal. Also in the top 10 are Wisconsin at No. 4 and Michigan State at No. 7. Three other conference teams crack the top 25: Ohio State is No. 11, illinois No. 20 and Michigan No. 25.
Here is what John Tawa says about the U, which is bringing in six player, three from in-state:
Tyler Marie “Kalei” Mau, 6-1 OH, St. Francis, Honolulu, Hawaii;
Katie Schau, 5-9 S, Gull Lake, Richland, Mich;
Hannah Tapp, 6-1 MB/OH, Stewartville, Minn;
Paige Tapp, 6-1 MB/RS, Stewartville, Minn;
Sarah Wilhite, 6-1 OH, Eden Prairie
COMMENT: In his first recruiting class, Gophers head coach Hugh McCutcheon adds seven athletes who provide a tremendous combination of athleticism, skill, and history of winning to a team that returns 11 players from the 2012 Elite Eight roster.
Mau brings a physical presence and is a true competitor at the outside hitter position. She led St. Francis High School to a 2011 state championship and chose to graduate early from high school in order to join the Gophers for the 2013 spring semester, gaining valuable collegiate on-court experience.
No. 14 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces, Wilhite is a six-rotation outside hitter with a live arm who led Eden Prairie
High School to its first-ever Class 3A State Championship in 2011. She is a two-time Minnesota Gatorade POY and 2012 Baden Minnesota Miss Volleyball honors.
Stewartville standouts Paige and Hannah Tapp add speed, power, and versatility with their ability to play multiple positions at a high level. Together with Wilhite, the Tapps, both Top 30 Senior Aces, led the Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1s team to the 17 Open title USAV Junior National Championships last summer.
A fantastic leader and fierce competitor, Schau brings a unique ability to manage a game that isn’t seen by many young setters. She understands the game at a high level and her ability as a great decision maker will help her develop quickly in the collegiate game.
Minnesota also adds two defenders from outside the USA. Puerto Rican libero Dalianliz Rosado, a Youth National Team member, has a natural feel for the game and an elite ability to read in the backcourt.
Australian Brittany Jack represented her country in several major tournaments over the past several years and is also a talented beach player. This is an extremely well rounded class with elite players at every position.
Earlier this week, the Big Ten released its all-conference teams. The Gophers had two pitchers on the first team, a catcher on the second team and an infielder and outfielder on the third team. They did not have anyone on the all-rookie team. The teams:
ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
C – KYLE SCHWARBER, IND
1B – David Kerian, ILL
2B – Pat Kelly, NEB
SS – Thomas Lindauer, ILL
SS – Kirby Pellant, OSU
3B – Dustin DeMuth, IND
OF – Justin Parr, ILL
OF – Michael O’Neill, MICH
OF – Chad Christensen, NEB
DH – Scott Donley, IND
SP – AARON SLEGERS, IND
SP – DJ Snelten, MINN
SP – Tom Windle, MINN
RP – TRACE DEMPSEY, OSU
ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
C – Kurt Schlangen, MINN
1B – Sam Travis, IND
2B – Zach Morton, NU
3B – Jacob Cronenworth, MICH
OF – Jordan Parr, ILL
OF – Eric Toole, IOWA
OF – Jimmy Pickens, MSU
DH – Michael Pritchard, NEB
SP – Kevin Duchene, ILL
SP – Joey DeNato, IND
SP – Luke Farrell, NU
RP – Scott Effross, IND
ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
C – Cole Martin, MICH
1B – Kash Kalkowski, NEB
2B – Connor Schaefbauer, MINN
SS – Michael Basil, IND
3B – Blake Headley, NEB
OF – Andy Henkemeyer, MINN
OF – Rich Sanguinetti, NEB
OF – Kyle Ruchim, NU
DH – Blaise Salter, MSU
SP – Andrew Waszak, MSU
SP – Brad Goldberg, OSU
SP – Brian King, OSU
RP – Ryan Halstead, IND
ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM
C – Jason Goldstein, ILL
1B – JOSH ESTILL, PUR
2B – Nick Ramos, IND
SS – TRAVIS MAEZES, MICH
3B – Jacob Cronenworth, MICH
OF – CAM GIBSON, MSU
OF – JAMES COATES, PSU
OF – Kyle Johnson, PUR
DH – KYLE WOOD, PUR
SP – KEVIN DUCHENE, ILL
SP – Will Coursen-Carr, IND
SP – Evan Hill, MICH
SP – Jordan Minch, PUR
RP – Scott Effross, IND
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Alex Lincoln, ILL
Michael Basil, IND
Ricky Sandquist, IOWA
Patrick Biondi, MICH
Jordan Keur, MSU
Ryan Abrahamson, MINN
Bryan Peters, NEB
Trevor Stevens, NU
Ryan Cypret, OSU
Luis Montesinos, PSU
Robert Ramer, PUR
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Justin Parr, ILL
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Aaron Slegers, IND
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Kevin Duchene, ILL
COACH OF THE YEAR
TRACY SMITH, IND
Two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Tony Nelson was named the MVP of the Gophers wrestling team.
He led team to a 16-2 dual meet record, 7-1 in Big Ten. Gophers won national duals title, were second in Big Ten and third in NCAA meet.
Nelson was 33-1 overall, 8-0 in conference. He also had seven pins, tying David Thorn for team high.
Other award winners:
Most dedicated: Scott Schiller, 29-6 at 197.
Most courageous: Logan Storley.
Leadership award: Kevin Steinhaus.
Most improved: Cody Yohn and Danny Zilverberg.
Intensity award: Chris and Nick Dardanes.
Nine of 10 starters were juniors or younger. Yohn was the only senior, so team should be good again next season barring key injuries.
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