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.
This is shaping up as a pretty good season for Gophers baseball coach John Anderson.
After years and years of waiting, his team has a new on-campus ballpark. Now if the weather would just get better.
Anderson got his 500 career victory in the Big Ten on Sunday when his players pounded Northwestern 7-1 in Evanston, Ill., to sweep a three-game series.
"We just seemed to be able to make the big pitch, have the big at-bar or get the big hit at the right time," Anderson said.
The U is now 22-13 overall, 7-2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is tied for first place in the conference with Michigan.
Anderson's chances of winning Sunday were pretty good when he wrote in DJ Snelten's name as the pitcher.
Snelten is a 6-7 lefty from Ingleside, Ill. He is 3-0 now with a 0.73 ERA and 19 Ks in 24.2 innings. Opponents are hitting a mere .138 off him.
He went 6.2 innings, giving up the one run and four hits.
"DJ made some big pitches early, then eventually we were able to put together a big inning, late again," Anderson said. "We had some crummy weather hee the last two days. It is a compliment to the player for their resiliency and passion showed here this weekend."
The Gophers scored two run in the fifth inning and five in the seventh.
Andy Henkemeyer was 3-5 with two RBI for the Gophers and Connor Schaefbauer was 2-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Henkemeyer is hitting a team-high .331 and had 20 RBI.
Relievers Ben Meyer and Drew Ghelfit shut out the Wildcats over the last 2.1 innings.
"We have had outstanding pitching for the most part out of the bullpen," Anderson said, "as well as from our starting pitching. That has been the key to our season. For most of the year, our pitching staff has given us a chance most every game."
How about the 500th win? "There is a lot of losses in there, too," Anderson said. "Longevity is a wonderful thing. I have been blessed in my career. I have been surrounded by great players and great coaches. And I am happy for those people who contributed along the way."
Anderson's conference record is 500-293.
The Gophers play Augsburg at 3 p.m. Tuesday, then host Michigan State Friday thru Sunday. All games are at Siebert Field.
* The Gophers' staff is third in the conference in team ERA at 2.79. ... Junior lefthander Tom Windle leads the Big Ten with a 1.35 ERA and in strikeouts with 57. Snelten does not have enough innings yet to be considered for the individual leaders list.
There is somebody in the Twins braintrust really thinking. Let's charge $15 for batting pratice.
That's a revenue stream which hasn't been explored yet. Even so after a few complaints on radio and twitter, the Twins say it was a premature news release. That there's nothing to it.
I sure wasn't complaining and never will. What an ingenious way to get publicity. It would have gone national, maybe global.
And you always need new revenue streams. And BP could just be the start.
How about $5 to watch the groundscrew mow the grass and rake the infield?
Maybe $3 to stare at the concession people as they get their stands ready? They might give you a taste, if you look real hungry.
Another $3 to observe the ball boys get the bat racks loaded up?
The possibilities are limitless. Only your imagination stands in the way.
And postgame, how about $5 to watch the workers clean the Target Field, expertly sweeping away and then picking up those peanut shells, hot dog wrappers and empty cups of spilled pop? For $5 more you can join them and be a part of the "Twins" team. Maybe get a "I clean up for the Twins" patch for another $5? Nah, that's too cool. Make it $10 for the patch.
Boy, if the Twins did all this, the money would come pouring in. There would be no more talk of being a small-market team. The $15-for-BP idea could have just grown and grown.
Please call the Twins and ask them to reconsider quashing it. The clever BP promotion -- and all its offshoots -- could have legs. [That's hip jargon for something that could catch on.]
The 2013 Big Ten Men’s gymnastics championships will be held Friday and Saturday at the Sports Pavilion on the U campus.
Team and all-around competition will be tonight. Individual event finals will be Saturday.
Competition starts at 7 p.m. and, for couch potatoes, will be televised live on BTN.
Illinois is the gold standard in the conference. The Illini have won the last four team titles.
No team has won five consecutive since the Gophers from 1976-1980. Illinois leads all conference squads with 27 team championships, followed by theGophers with 21.
There are three defending individual champions in the field:
* Sam Mikulak, Michigan, parallel bars, high bars
* Craig Hernandez, Penn State, pommel horse
* Scott Rosenthal, Penn State, still rings
Seven of the nation's top 10 gymnastics teams will be competing. Penn State is rated No. 1, the Gophers, who lost to the Nittany Lions in their last meet, No. 6.
Some of the Gophers to watch are: Steve Jacik in the high bar, Matt Frey in parallel bars, Adam Kem on vault, Jack Metcalf on still rings and Ellis Mannon on pommel horse.
Team scores a year ago:
Penn State 350.000
Ohio State 343.650
Six Minnesotans this week will be competing for U.S. teams in Five Nations Cup tournaments starting Wednesday in Scandinavia.
The U17 team will play Russia in its first game in Jarvenpaa, Finland.
The two Minnesotans on that team are defenseman Ryan Collins of Burnsville and Jack Glover of Golden Valley. They both played for Class 2A champion Benilde-St. Margaret's last season and since have committed to the Gophers.
The U18 team will open against Finland in Jonkoping, Sweden, and it has four Minnesotans. They are goalie Hunter Miska of North Branch, defensemen Gage Ausmus of East Grand Forks and Clint Lewis of Burnsville and forward Hudson Fasching of Burnsville.
Fasching has signed with the Gophers. Ausmus is goiong to Denver, Lewis to Cornell.
Good thing the Gophers women's gymnastics team is used to cold weather.
Their most recent meet was in cold and drafty Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich.. on Friday before an annouced crowd og 1,024.
The Gophers, rated No. 10 nationally, won -- 194.325 to 192.625 -- but had to overcome the elements.
“It was so cold that I had the team wear sweatshirts under their warm-ups, and many of them had socks and gloves on,” Gophers head coach Meg Stephenson said. “I spoke to Michigan State’s meet administrator about the conditions, but there’s not much they could do about it.”
The Gophers won despite competing without sophomore Jenny Covers, their second best all-around performer in the past two meets. She fell during her bars warm-up.
I was really proud of the girls, because they really worked not to let it be an obstacle,” Stephenson said. “We had heat packs and hand warmers, but it was cold and drafty. And Jenny wanted to compete, but we felt it was best to just hold her back for tonight.”
The Gophers are now 8-0 overall, 3-0 in the Big Ten. Jenison FIeld House will be the side of the Big Ten meet.
Freshman Lindsay Mable of the Gophers won her third all-around title in a row.
Sophomore Kylie Schermann led a 1-2-3 sweep for the Gophers in floor exercise, tying her career-high with a 9.875, while junior Kayla Slechta (9.850) finished second and Mable (9.800) third.
The Gopehrs took the top four spots on balance beam, with senior Shannon Golich winning the event with a 9.850. Mable, junior Justine Cherwink and Schermann took the next three spots.
And Janell Campbell of the U won the vault with a score of 9.850.
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