Get To Know: Gophers OF Troy Traxler (And Gophers Notes)
Let's get to know outfielder Troy Traxler.
Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in LaCrescent, were you a big Twins fan?
Troy Traxler (TT): I was a huge Twins fan. When I was real young, I would wear my Eric Milton jersey everywhere. I also imitated everything Jacque Jones did. I still do his pre-pitch routine, swinging the bat around until the pitcher throws the ball.
SS: Did you get to many games? Who were some of your favorite ballplayers?
TT: Since I lived a ways away from the Metrodome and Target Field, I usually got to one or two games a year. I loved Jacque Jones because he was a smaller guy who could do a little bit of everything. He's the type of player I always tried to emulate.
SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school career?
TT: Some highlights from my high school career including playing in the state tournament and winning it all in 2009. I loved playing high school baseball as I got to play a little bit of every position and our team was always competitive in the conference and in the state tournament. High school baseball was a blast that I will always miss.
SS: What was it about the University of Minnesota that made you decide to play for the Gophers?
TT: I chose the U of M because both my parents went here and I would come on campus all the time for football games when I was younger and always dreamed of playing for the Gophers. As soon as Rob called me on the first day he could call recruits, I knew I was going to be a Gopher. It was a dream come true.
SS: Have you played summer ball through your college years?
TT: Guys joke that I am a Northwoods League lifer. I played in the NWL each summer during my collegiate career. I loved the Northwoods League and would play in it for the rest of my life if I could. I played for the La Crosse Loggers, the Wisconsin Woodchucks, the Rochester Honkers and the Rockford Rivets, all in the Northwoods League. Living the professional baseball lifestyle was a blast, and I will always remember my summers in the NWL.
SS: What have been some of the highlights of your time with the Gophers?
TT: Some highlights throughout my collegiate career include winning the Big Ten title and playing in the NCAA tournament. It always was a goal of mine to play for a nationally-ranked team, and I accomplished that last year.
SS: What are your goals for the 2017 season?
TT: Some goals for the 2017 season is to defend our B1G title. I hope to help the team defend our title in any fashion, whether that be as a role player, as a starter or even just as a leader that younger players can talk to. I hope to exceed our accomplishments from last year, but realize that this is a process and not just something that talent can take care of. It will be a fun ride this year, and I look forward to the ups and downs the season brings.
SS: What is your major, and what are your career goals going forward? (How does baseball fit into that equation?)
TT: My major is business and marketing education with a minor in communications. I plan on using my major through the corporate world as I will pursue a career in sales where I can use my competitive background. Once baseball is over, I will need something to work for and sales is a good fit for my skill set as I can always strive to be better, making and maintaining relationships along the way.
On Friday night, the Gophers won 5-2. It was a tight game until the bottom of the 8th when Matt Stemper delivered a bases-clearing double to secure the win. Alex Boxwell was 2-3 with a triple. Lucas Gilbreath started. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out six. Tyler Hanson got the win. He threw three scoreless innings. Brian Glowicki recorded his fifth save with a perfect ninth.
Saturday, freshman Brett Schulze was on the mound. He gave up five runs on four hits and a walk in 5.1 innings. He struck out five. Nick Lackney walked four of the five batters he faced and got just one out. Tim Shannon worked 2.1 innings of one-run ball before Jackson Rose pitched a scoreless inning. The Gophers had just four hits though three of them went for extra bases. Matt Stemper and Micah Coffey each knocked home runs. Alex Boxwell added a double. The Gophers lost 7-2.
On Sunday afternoon, the Gophers lost 12-3. Toby Anderson was knocked out in the fourth inning. Troy Traxler was the lone Gopher with more than one hit. He went 2-3 with a walk.
The Gophers play against California-Berkeley on Tuesday night. The Bears have become a program that the Twins have drafted and signed several players out of. In fact, no other college program has more players currently in the organization. Trevor Hildenberger, Michael Theofanopoulos, Chris Paul, Mitchell Kranson, Ryan Mason and Alex Schik all come from the school.
Then the team will play three games against Sacramento State. 2016 draft pick Tyler Beardsley, a right-hander, is from the school.
If you would like to discuss Troy Traxler, the Gophers weekend or anything, please feel free to ask questions.