Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


Gopher baseball gearing up for conference play

Minnesota got a feel for their team ahead of conference play, and their record doesn’t tell the whole story.
Image by Kelly Hagenson
Pitcher Sam Ireland throws from the mound at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. in a game against the United States Air Force Academy Falcons on March 11, 2022. Photo courtesy of Gopher Athletics.

The Gopher baseball season got off to a hot and cold start in non-conference play. Though their record doesn’t completely show it, the Gophers have some positives to take away from the first month and a half.

In their only two games against top-25 ranked teams, the Gophers almost came away with a win against then-No. 25 West Virginia and then-No. 12 Notre Dame. Minnesota has also seen its top hitters take the stage ahead of conference play.

Outfielder Jack Kelly has taken a big step forward from his previous two seasons and leads the team with a .405 average and 25 RBIs. Outfielder Easton Bertrand is also having a career year with an early .383 average in his 14 starts.

Heading into conference play, Minnesota has clearly found its three-man rotation. Ace Sam Ireland has been spectacular in his third season in the Maroon & Gold.

Right behind Ireland are starters J.P. Massey and Aidan Maldonado. Both have struggled in starts, but have shown they are up for the challenge to be Minnesota’s two and three.

Now, the Gophers’ focus turns to conference play, and it starts with Rutgers on April 1. Minnesota is one of five Big Ten teams yet to play a conference game. Minnesota still will have midweek non-conference games throughout the season.

The Scarlet Knights (18-6) have had a solid start to the season and won two of three against Penn State this past weekend in their first conference series.

Rutgers has a power offense that features seven different batters who have started at least 15 games and are hitting above .300. The Scarlet Knights have also hit more home runs (29) than Minnesota (26), and have 65 doubles compared to 46 for Minnesota.

They also have a dominant pitching staff led by starter Jared Kollar who is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA. As a team, Rutgers holds a 3.27 ERA compared to Minnesota’s 6.42.

The upcoming weekend definitely will give Minnesota a challenge, but the Gophers have shown they have the ability to compete with top teams in baseball.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *