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Continued: Hartman: Willingham's bat is coming around

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 5, 2014 - 8:31 AM

Busy summer at U

Summer school starts at Minnesota on Monday, and the Gophers football team expects everybody to be in school and working out. As for injured players, coach Jerry Kill reported recently that everybody should be ready to go in the fall.

“The only one, and he’s making a run at things, is [sophomore linebacker] Cody Poock, the young man who transferred in,” said Kill. “He had a [torn] ACL during the spring, and he’s already doing things that nobody thought he would do. He’s on a mission. Whether he’s going to be ready or not — we may have him in time for the Big Ten season — but you know other than that, we’re getting pretty much everybody back.

“This is a critical time. There are a lot of them going through rehab, but I think we’ll be in pretty good shape, just according to how things go.”

Kill said redshirt junior center Jon Christenson, who missed most of last season after suffering a serious leg injury, has done really well in his rehab. “I think he’s going to be able to start with us Aug. 1,” Kill said.

Jottings

• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on whether he can tell if his players are buying into his system and coaching style: “I don’t worry about that. I don’t worry about if they are buying in. My job is to coach them hard and try to get them to be the best players they can be. You’d have to ask them if they are buying in, really. My job is to coach them.”

• Tyus Jones, the Apple Valley point guard headed for Duke, will be taking part in the USA Basketball Under-18 team training camp from June 17-24 in Colorado Springs. That team will be led by Florida coach Billy Donovan. Former Cooper standout Rashad Vaughn, who is attending UNLV, also will be at the tryouts.

• Bronson Dovich, the Chaska offensive tackle who committed to Kill and the Gophers recently, told GopherHole.com he’s happy to have signed with the Gophers because now he can just focus on playing his senior season. “Before I had an offer, I was really trying to check out a few places,” he said. “Minnesota wasn’t showing too much interest, but after the Rivals camp they started to show me more interest and offered me. I knew that was the place for me. When I heard they were getting interested in me, I knew that this was the place that I wanted to be.”

• Joe Mauer showed how quickly he can turn around his batting average, going 5-for-12 with two doubles over the past three games heading into Wednesday night and taking his average from .267 to .276. He went 0-for-4 Wednesday, dropping the average to .271.

• A year ago the Twins’ farm club at Class AAA Rochester was weak on pitching, but it is a different story this year. Since May 12, the Rochester starting rotation is 12-5 with an outstanding 2.13 ERA. One of the starters, Trevor May, was named International League Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 in two starts without allowing an earned run.

• William Leaf, an outstanding golfer from Winona, is transferring to Minnesota from SIU-Edwardsville and will be eligible this fall.

• Former Gopher Donald Snelten is 3-0 with 0.71 ERA in 11 games for the San Francisco Giants’ Class A affiliate in Augusta, Ga. Snelten has 17 strikeouts in 12 ⅔ innings pitched.

• Former Gopher Zach Budish has six goals and four assists in 21 playoff games for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, who are playing the Alaska Aces in the Kelly Cup finals. … Josh Birkholz, another one-time Gopher, is also on the team and has three goals and four assists in 21 games.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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