Gophers head coach John Anderson won his 1,300th game on Tuesday, but he didn't know it.
Minnesota (12-14, 5-1 Big Ten) beat the College of St. Scholastica 14-4 in the second Division III matchup of the year at Siebert Field on Tuesday. Minnesota had 20 hits, and pitched seven different players to get ready for the weekend's away series against Michigan. Out of the 18 Gophers players who played, 15 were underclassmen.
When Anderson took the job of head coach in 1981, he was 26 years old. He said he never thought of coaching for long enough to accumulate 1,300 wins — a feat that puts him 26th all-time among NCAA baseball coaches.
"I had no idea. To be honest with you I don't keep track of that stuff," Anderson said after the win. "It's always 'get ready for the next day.'"
He said his first year as head coach prepared him well because his players battled through the losers bracket of the Big Ten Tournament to win the championship and secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
"There were some questions as a young coach, and [it] wasn't going very well the first year," Anderson said. "To have it end up that way, I think, is probably why I'm still here today."
Gophers starting pitcher Sam Thoresen got the start and win, with 10 strikeouts and no runs during four innings. Designated hitter Gabe Knowles led Minnesota at the plate, hitting 5-6.
Minnesota held a 7-0 lead by the end of the second inning after outfielder Easton Bertrand hit a two-run home run. Before that, the Gophers scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning.
St. Scholastica scored for the first time in the top of the fifth inning when Saints junior shortstop Joey Zwak hit a solo home run to make it 9-1.
Minnesota responded in the bottom of the inning when outfielder Andrew Wilhite hit a two-run home run. Then, first baseman Cole McDevitt doubled and drove two more in, bringing the Gophers' lead to 13-1.
The Saints gave Minnesota trouble in the top of the seventh inning and scored three runs. St. Scholastica scored three runs and ran through three Gophers' pitchers to trim Minnesota's lead to 13-4.
Gophers catcher Chase Stanke finished the scoring with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Minnesota won 14-4.
"It was awesome to see all the guys contribute. Today, it was coming out here and getting better," said outfielder Drew Hmielewski, who hit 3-for-6 Tuesday. "Moving on to the next day, sharpening the axe."
Minnesota will play Michigan (19-7, 2-0 Big Ten) in an away Big Ten series Friday through Sunday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"I think what happens in this business, unfortunately, [is] we don't take enough time to reflect. It's always the next day, it's the next practice, it's the next game," Anderson said. "You do reflect a little bit more as you get into it longer, and you think more about some of the special memories."