#41 Minnesota Baseball 2018 Preview

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Overall Rank: #41
Conference Rank: #3 Big Ten
Despite a 36-21 overall record, Minnesota missed out on the NCAA Tournament. Once again it was the strength of schedule that kept the Golden Gophers on the outside. A couple extra wins here and there should be enough for this group to put an end to their seven year NCAA Tournament drought. Losing starting pitcher Lucas Gilbreath and closer Brian Glowicki is a big blow though. Gilbreath went 4-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts, while Glowicki tallied 16 saves. Brett Schulze, Reggie Meyer and promising sophomore Nolan Burchill will have to pick up the slack.
2017: 36-21, 15-8
2017 Postseason: None
Coach: John Anderson
Key Departed Players:
Jordan Smith, OF, .309 BA, 6 HR, 30 RBI
Lucas Gilbreath, P, 2.66 ERA, 81.1 IP, 92 SO
Brian Glowicki, P, 2.20 ERA, 32.2 IP, 39 SO, 16 SV
Key Returning Players:
Luke Pettersen, IF, .354 BA, 0 HR, 30 RBI
Micah Coffey, IF, .340 BA, 4 HR, 46 RBI
Toby Hanson, 1B, .319 BA, 5 HR, 57 RBI
Reggie Meyer, P, 3.18 ERA, 56.2 IP, 32 SO
Brett Schulze, P, 5.50 ERA, 70.1 IP, 58 SO
Minnesota led the Big Ten in batting average last season and that should be the case again this year. Luke Pettersen led the way with his .354 average. Micah Coffey was close behind with a .340 average. Coffey also added four homeruns and 46 RBIs. Jordan Kozicky and Toby Hanson have also proven that they can hit for average and power. From top to bottom, Coach John Anderson has a very dangerous lineup. The opposition will not have an easy time keeping Minnesota off the scoreboard. If the Golden Gophers can be consistent, especially on the mound, this is a team that can win the Big Ten and, more importantly, finally get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament