Coaches name Smith but not Pederson to 1st team

Matthew Cross

Big Ten baseball coaches picked the all-conference teams Tuesday, and Gophers coach John Anderson was somewhat surprised by the results.
Leading the list of Minnesota players was senior Rob Smith, who made the first team at third base. But junior right-hander Justin Pederson was named to the third team as a reliever.
Anderson considers Pederson, who led the league in strikeouts this year, one of the conference’s top major league pitching prospects.
Pederson and shortstop Steve Huls, who was also named to the third team, may leave Minnesota early for the pros, Anderson said. This has happened often in recent years. Last June, would-be seniors Shane Gunderson and Brian Mensink left after being drafted.
Huls and Pederson are both eligible for this year’s amateur draft. Huls was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993 but opted to come to the University.
“Both players will have a significant impact on the team if they decide to come back or not come back next year,” Anderson said. “They both have the chance to be in the elite group of college players. They have the ability, they just haven’t consistently done it yet.”
Gophers outfielder Bob Keeney and designated hitter Phil McDermott also made the third team at their respective positions.
The Big Ten Player of the Year is Illinois shortstop Josh Klimek, who led the conference in most offensive categories.
Klimek is also the only player in the Big Ten named a semifinalist for the Smith Award, which is given to the best collegiate baseball player.
Michigan outfielder Jason Alcaraz was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year, and Penn State ace Nathan Bump was named pitcher of the year.
The Gophers had no players named second team All-Big Ten.
The Big Ten will not announce the coach of the year until later this week. Penn State coach Joe Hindelang is the favorite to win the award.
Club crew
Minnesota’s club crew teams took first in three of the six heats it entered in the Dad Vail Regatta last weekend in Philadelphia.
The men’s squad won the varsity four and freshmen four competitions and placed third in the varsity pair. The lightweight four team made it to the semifinals but did not finish in the top-six places to move to the final heat.
Before this regatta, Minnesota hadn’t won the varsity four race since 1987.
Club team members were extremely pleased with their performance in the two-day event that drew more than 100 schools and averaged 30 to 40 boats per race.
“We accomplished what we set out to do,” said club president Pete Meiser. “This is the best we have ever done at this regatta.”
University women’s club rowers took first place in the freshmen four competition and failed to make the semifinals in the three-heat varsity four race.
Both the men and women will race May 25-26 at Lake Phalen in St. Paul at the Minnesota Rowing Classic.
Club Rugby
The University men’s rugby club defeated Carleton 38-17 at St. John’s on Saturday. With the win, Minnesota improved to 2-0-1 on the season in the Minnesota Union Rugby League.
Minnesota’s women’s club team lost Saturday to Carleton at Fort Snelling in a non-league contest and beat Macalester on Sunday in a league game.
The men’s squad hosts its alumni game Saturday at Fort Snelling, and the women’s club team finishes its season Saturday with a home league contest against St. Ben’s.