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2-Gophers vs. 3-Baylor Bears - in LSU Regional

Baseball_hat_mediumThe Gophers begin their quest for Omaha on Friday as they travel to Baton Rouge to face the Baylor Bears in the LSU Regional.

Baylor is a very talented team that began the season ranked in the top 20 and moved up to as high as fifth in Baseball America poll.  But the Bears finished the regular season losing 12 of 14 down the stretch and finished 8th in the Big-12 after a regular season ending sweep at the hands of Nebraska.  

Key players to keep an eye on for Gopher fans.

Baylor All-Big 12 players

  • 1st team - Dustin Dickerson - .373 is 2nd in Big 12, 10 HRs, hit safely in 34 of last 35 games.
  • 1st team - Shaver Hansen - SS, 15 HRs is Baylor record for short stops.  .325 and leads the team with 50 RBIs
  • 2nd team - Aaron Miller - .335, 11 HR and 43 RBI
  • HM - Kendal Volz - pitcher with 3-6 record and a 4.62 ERA.

Volz will likely be the starter facing the Gophers.  The right handed, junior is a top 30 draft prospect, and The College Baseball Blog has him as the 7th best player in NCAA baseball...BUT the Bears have not exactly had a great record in the games he pitches (3-5 in Big 12 play) so maybe he isn't the dominance one would expect from someone we may be seeing in a big league ballpark near you.

For the Gophers the likely starter will be Chauncy Handran who is 7-3 in his 14 starts this year.  But the strength of this Gopher pitching staff is it's depth.  The key to advancing out of this regional is not having a dominating pitcher but rather having a full pen of quality pitching to get through the weekend.  If the bats can stay as hot as they were against every team, except Indiana, during the Big Ten Tournament I like our chances of getting through to the Super Regional the following weekend. 

Hopefully more to come on this weekend as we get closer to the game on Friday.