Baseball is in full swing, believe it or not. The Gophers have played six games already and the Twins are fully immersed in spring training. Last week the two teams did their annual scrimmage as the Gophers took a quick trip to Florida. Here is a quick recap of Gopher baseball last week and their upcoming Cambria College Classic.
This was all Twins as they pounded the Gophers 16-0. This is much more for the experience and fun for the program. But this one was all Twins with the Gophers earning just 1 hit on the afternoon.
So the Gophers headed home after the scrimmage to face TCU at US Bank Stadium. The Horned Frogs were a ranked team to start the year but currently fall outside of any recent top 25.
These teams split the first two games and play again today at 12:15.
And then the Gophers get to host three of the top ACC teams and all three were preseason ranked in the top 20. Duke, NC State and North Carolina come to town to face a trio of Big Ten teams in an inter-conference round robin series.
Friday will be North Carolina for the Gophers. The Tar Heels spend the preseason and early season ranked before recently falling outside of the top 25
Saturday is Duke who is currently ranked #14 and is 6-1 on the season.
Sunday’s opponent will be #13 NC State. Catcher Patrick Bailey is the ACC preseason player of the year and will be a highly drafted in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Tell me more about the Gophers
OK. Currently sitting at 3-3 with wins over Oregon, previously ranked Arizona and TCU.
This week, with one more game against TCU and the three ACC opponents, is going to be a really good test for John Anderson’s crew.
At the plate Andrew Wilhite, Jack Raabe and Jack Wassel are off to hot starts. Wilhite, a sophomore, is hitting .417 in his 5 starts and has moved his way up to the leadoff spot. Another sophomore, Raabe, is hitting .364 and is leading the team with 8 RBIs. Wassel is a junior and the only other player hitting above .300 with a .348 average while also leading the team with 6 runs scored.
It is early but so far Jordan Kozicky and Drew Hmielewski are struggling at the plate and were expected to be offensive contributors.
On the mound Max Meyer has been good. He has a 1-1 record but what is most impressive is his 17 strikeouts in 10 2⁄3 innings along with his .158 batting average against. He is key to the pitching staff. After Meyer, JP Massey has been a nice surprise. The 6’5” sophomore has made 3 appearances and 1 start, he may eventually earn his way into the third starter role for this team.
Bubba Horton, a sophomore out of the bullpen, has 2 saves, 10 strikeouts in 5 innings pitched and has not allowed a run yet this year.
Go to US Bank Stadium
This weekend promises to be an string of entertaining games against some of the top ACC teams. Gopher baseball is one of the most underrated entertainment values in the metro and if you have the time you should check out a game this weekend.