Get To Know: Gophers RHP Tim Shannon (And Gophers Notes)
Image courtesy of GopherSports.comToday, we get to know more about right-handed pitcher Tim Shannon. Coming into the season, he had pitched in 52 career games for the Gophers including 23 starts. This year, he has been working out of the bullpen for the Gophers (and making a fairly significant mechanical alteration). The Hopkins graduate grew up miles away from the Metrodome (and now Target Field) and was a big Twins fans. Let’s spend a little time today getting to know him.
Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Hopkins, were you a big Twins fan? Did you get to many games? Who were some of your favorite ballplayers?
Tim Shannon (TS): I was always a huge Twins fan, and my family actually had season tickets for most of my childhood. I went to tons of games, and a good amount of playoff games as well, including Game 163 against the Tigers in 2009 which was definitely a highlight. My favorite players were Delmon Young, Alexi Casilla, and Michael Cuddyer.
SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school career?
TS: High school baseball was a phenomenal experience for me, and I have a lot of great memories from it. If I had to pick one, it would be a win that I got against Wayzata in 2012 to get into the state tournament.
SS: What was it about the University of Minnesota that made you decide to play for the Gophers?
TS: I really wanted to be part of the Gopher baseball family. I knew many of the guys on the team, and had heard nothing but good things about the coaches and support staff.
SS: Have you played summer ball through your college years?
TS: I have played in the Northwoods League with the Waterloo Bucks. My time in summer ball has been some of my favorite in the sport, and I made a lot of good friends in my time there. The Northwoods League is also a tremendous place to grow as a collegiate player and gain experience.
SS: Which pitches do you throw, and what makes you successful on the mound?
TS: This is my first year as a submariner, and so far it has been a blast. I rely mostly on deception and movement, and throw a sinking fastball, a frisbee slider, and a ridiculously slow changeup.
SS: What have been some of the highlights of your time with the Gophers?
TS: The big one is obviously winning the Big Ten Title in 2016. The team we had that year was a special group of guys that were really close on and off the field, and the things that we had to deal with off the field, including the passing of Todd Oakes, only worked to bring us closer. As far as personal highlights, my first career start came on the road at the University of Texas and I pitched pretty well. The next day, Auggie Garrido came and found me and told me he was impressed with the way that I threw, and that was a really cool moment for me.
SS: What are your goals for the 2017 season?
TS: My goals for the 2017 season are to help out in any way that I can out of the bullpen. One of the perks of being a submarine guy is that it doesn't take much of a toll on my arm, so I should be available for many of the games which is exciting for me. I also hope to grow as a leader on and off the field, especially as one of the older guys on the team.
SS: What is your major, and what are your career goals going forward? (How does baseball fit into that equation?)
TS: I am a political science major, and a sport management minor. I am hoping to go to law school down the road, and would love to work as an agent within the baseball field.
Thank you to Tim Shannon for taking time to answer our questions. We certainly wish him continued success throughout the season and beyond.
On Thursday, Hawaii topped the Gophers 11-2, though going into the ninth inning, it was a 5-2 game. Terrin Vavra went 3-4 with a stolen base in the game. Micah Coffey went 2-4 with a double. Jordan Smith added his first home run of the year.
Friday night, the Gophers played Oral Roberts in their first game of the Dairy Queen Classic. It went to the 13th inning when catcher Cole McDevitt hit a sacrifice fly to win the game. McDevitt went 2-4 with a walk and two RBIs in the game. Jordan Smith went 2-5 with a walk and a double. Terrin Vavra also had two hits. Ben Mezzenga went 1-4 with two walks. Lucas Gilbreath had his best start of the year. He gave up two unearned runs in the first inning and ended with six innings of just one-hit baseball. He walked three and struck out five. Jackson Rose threw two scoreless innings. Brian Glowicki gave up a run in his two innings. Nick Lackney finished the game with three shutout innings with a walk and three strikeouts.
On Saturday night, the Twins were unable to get the bats going against Hawaii, falling 4-0. Brett Schulze started and was solid again. The freshman worked five innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. Tim Shannon struck out two over the final five outs. Terrin Vavra was 2-4 with a stolen base. Luke Pettersen was 1-3 with a walk.
On Sunday, the Gophers played an afternoon game against Iowa. It won’t count as a Big 10 game, but the Gophers were able to pick up a 6-3 win. Toby Anderson was on the mound to start the game. He gave up a three-run homer in the first inning, but he settled down nicely. In total, he went six innings and gave up three runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out four. Nick Lackney got the next five outs, and Brian Glowicki recorded the final four outs for the save. Ben Mezzenga led off and went 2-4 with a walk. Luke Pettersen also went 2-4. Jordan Smith went 1-3 with a walk and his second home run. Micah Coffey was 1-3 with a walk, a double and a couple of RBIs.
- In the four games, shortstop Terrin Vavra went a combined 7-17 (.412) with a couple of stolen bases. After starting the season 5-27, it was a nice turnaround for the infielder. Vavra has more Twins ties that most. His father is Joe Vavra, the Twins current bench coach who has served the organization for a couple of decades. His brother Tanner Vavra spent three seasons in the Twins farm system, reaching Ft. Myers and twice being awarded a Harmon Killebrew Award. He spent 2016 with the St. Paul Saints. Another older brother, Trey Vavra, is a first baseman in the Twins system. He spent 2016 with the Miracle. He’s been named to his league’s All-Star team each of the last two years.
- Senior Jordan Smith also had a strong four-game weekend. He went 5-15 (.333) with two walks, a double and two home runs. The senior from Eden Prairie plays left field for the Gophers.
- Coming into the weekend, Luke Pettersen led the country with a .667 batting average. He went 3-13 with a walk in the Dairy Queen Classic. He is now hitting .529 (18-34) on the season.
- Micah Coffey leads the team with nine RBIs. Smith and Toby Hanson each have eight.
- Nick Lackney is a left-handed reliever from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. He has appeared in four games and pitched nine innings. He has yet to give up a run. He has given up just one hit and struck out seven. He also has seven walks.
Feel free to discuss the Gophers, the Dairy Queen Classic and more. Feel free to ask questions and discuss college baseball.