“All three offensive linemen [Isaac Hayes, Ben Lauer and Jonah Pirsig] that we redshirted did a really good job. … [Tight end] Maxx Williams, another kid we redshirted, had a nice spring. I mean we had quite a few of those guys that redshirted that really stood out.”
Pirsig, a top recruit out of Blue Earth, was slowed in the spring by a left knee injury that eventually was operated on, but Kill said: “Pirsig is really doing good off of his knee surgery, he’s already back doing some things. I’m excited about that. I was concerned, but he’s progressing nicely.”
Making pro pitching debuts
Great Lakes Loons manager Razor Shines spoke about the first pro performances of two Minnesota pitchers new to his team, Chris Anderson and the Gophers’ Tom Windle, after their win on Wednesday. Both college players were drafted by the Dodgers and assigned to their Class A Midwest League affiliate in Midland, Mich.
“I saw two innings of work from each guy,” said Shines, according to the team’s website. “We really liked what we saw. They were electric and both kids have good arms. Anderson really let the ball fly. Tom looks like he knows how to pitch and he had some good off-speed stuff.”
Windle talked about how getting to pitch behind Anderson, whom he has known for years, made the debut easier.
“I didn’t feel much pressure,” Windle said. “Chris went out there and set the tone. It got me excited to go out there and do my thing. It was exciting to be in the stadium. To be on the field and in the stadium in front of this crowd, they were in the game. It just kind of gets you going a little more.”
• Kevin Garnett eventually coming back to the Timberwolves as either an owner or a player was a rumor going around the NBA recently.
• Unfortunately, Trevor Mbakwe wasn’t drafted, and the word from NBA sources is that the former Gophers forward’s best bet to play pro basketball will be overseas. The Timberwolves will have a Summer League team play in Las Vegas next month, a team that includes draft choices and some free agents, but Mbakwe isn’t expected to get an invitation.
• Among the wedding guests of Eric Decker last weekend as he wed girlfriend Jessie James in Colorado was his first coach with the Gophers, Glen Mason, along with Mason’s wife, Kate. Mason posted a photo on Twitter of the four of them together. As for Decker and James, the Broncos receiver and country music singer will be starring in a reality television show that is set to debut later this summer.
• Minneapolis native Josh Johnson picked up his first victory as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays last Sunday, but he got hit hard Friday night against the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox. Johnson is 1-2 this season with a 5.21 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 48⅓ innings pitched.
• Jason Marquis, the pitcher the Twins released last season after he went 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA in seven starts, is 9-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 16 starts this year for the San Diego Padres. He will make his third attempt at reaching 10 victories Monday.
• One of the top basketball recruits for 2014 is 6-9 forward Henry Ellenson of Rice Lake, Wis., the brother of the Gophers’ Wally Ellenson. The younger Ellenson being recruited by schools such as North Carolina and UCLA plus Minnesota and Wisconsin, and he’s a player the Gophers would love to sign.