U’s Scanlon brings in player of week honor

Sarah Mitchell

For the first time in his career, Gophers infielder Matt Scanlon earned Big Ten player of the week honors on Monday. Scanlon was recognized for his efforts in the Gophers’ (27-9 overall, 9-3 in the Big Ten) weekend split with Michigan (21-19, 8-8).
“It’s a short week and anything can happen,” Scanlon said. “Anyone on Michigan could have had it. They all had good weekends. But it’s an honor.”
The junior went 10-for-25 and picked up 13 RBIs. Scanlon doubled three times while hitting two three-run home runs.
One of Scanlon’s dingers tied the score at 11-11 in game two on Saturday. He then drove in pinch runner Chris Guetzlaff from third base in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Minnesota to a 15-14 win.
Scanlon was the third Minnesota player to be named conference player of the week this season. Seniors Aron Amundson and Robb Quinlan have also been selected.
“Maybe more can get it,” Scanlon said.

Big Ten bummer
The Gophers’ Big Ten home opener didn’t go exactly as planned. Minnesota entered the weekend on a nine-game win streak and had won 19 of its past 20 games.
Despite the impressive numbers, the Gophers had to overcome sloppy play — including 10 errors — to salvage a split. After the weekend, Minnesota is in second place in the team standings, two games behind Ohio State.
“We didn’t play like we’re capable of, but really we’re 9-3,” Gophers reliever Bob DeWitt said. “It’s not like we’re out of it.”

Hannahan can
Jack Hannahan stands out from the rest of the freshmen in the Gophers lineup. Unlike his peers, Hannahan is a true freshman.
The St. Paul native had a slow start to the season and went 2-for-12 in a pinch hitter role. Since then, however, Hannahan has climbed to the top of the team’s batting average chart. The infielder went 4-for-12 over the weekend, including his fourth home run of the season, and is third on the team with a .408 batting average.
“At first I was kind of frightened when they put me in the lineup,” Hannahan said. “I didn’t want to make mistakes.”
Hannahan did commit two errors at third base against the Wolverines. But the rookie also showcased his range, making a diving stab to retire the Wolverines on Sunday.
“The game’s a lot different than in high school. The balls comes at you a lot quicker,” Hannahan said.

More for Quinlan
Quinlan claimed another school record over the weekend. The senior made 17 trips to the plate, breaking Ryan Lefebvre’s (1990-93) career at-bats record of 787. The first baseman now has 796.
Quinlan also picked up his 300th career hit against the Wolverines. The Minnesota career hits leader’s solo home run off starter Vince Pistilli during the second game Saturday marked the milestone. After the weekend, Quinlan has 302 hits.