The Big Ten Conference announced its All-Big Ten Teams with five University of Minnesota individuals earning all-conference honors. Junior starting pitchers DJ Snelten and Tom Windle were both named All-Big Ten First Team, while senior catcher Kurt Schlangen was named All-Big Ten Second Team. Freshman second baseman Connor Schaefbauer and senior outfielder Andy Henkemeyer earned a spot on the All-Big Ten Third Team while senior Ryan Abrahamson was named Minnesota’s Sportsmanship honoree. With the exception of Henkemeyer receiving third-team honors last year, it’s the first career award for the other four individuals.
Snelten, a left-handed pitcher out of Ingelside, Ill., became a first-team honoree despite missing the non-conference season due to an injury. He moved back into the weekend starting rotation against Ohio State and pitched a one-hit gem and earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors. Entering the Big Ten Tournament with a league record of 5-1, Snelten holds a 1.88 ERA, has struck out 37 batters and holds a .231 opposing batting average in 52.2 innings pitched. Snelten also helped Minnesota to a 2-0 shutout against Illinois in which the Gophers closed out the regular season with a win. For his shutout performance he closed out the year with his second Big Ten Pitcher of the Week accolade.
Windle, a left-handed pitcher out of Maple Grove, Minn., has been Minnesota’s Friday starter the entire year. Leading the team in innings pitched (87.2) and strikeouts (81), he holds a 6-4 record and boasts a 2.05 ERA. Windle threw his first career no-hitter earlier this season against Western Illinois (3/8) and has a total of four complete games on the season. He led the Big Ten in strikeouts (all games) and opposing batting average, having held opponents to a .203 average. Despite missing a start against Michigan State and a shortened game against Ohio State due to weather, Windle still established 49 strikeouts against league opponents, which ranked second in the Big Ten. Named to the Golden Spikes Watch List, Windle has also been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice this season.
Schlangen, a senior catcher from Albany, Minn., is having his best statistical season of his career. Leading the team with a .309 batting average, Schlangen has solidified himself in the Gopher lineup behind the plate as well as in the outfield. Named one of the team’s most valuable players and the batting champion, Schlangen has played in 45 games with 38 starts. In 120 at bats, he’s tied for second on the team in hits with 46, has scored 20 runs and batted in 17. Known for his aggressive style in the field and behind the plate, he’s had a 169 putouts and 29 assists for a .980 fielding percentage. In his career, Schlangen has amassed over 634 putouts and 98 career assists.
Henkemeyer, a senior outfielder from Sauk Rapids, Minn., earned his second-straight third-team honor. In 47 games and 46 starts for the Gophers this season, Henkemeyer is batting .306 this year. He leads the Gophers in many statistical categories, including at bats (186), hits (57), RBI (25) and slugging percentage (.419). Playing in over 190 career games as a Golden Gopher, Henkemeyer has hit over .300 in both his junior and senior seasons. Named a Big Ten Preseason Player to Watch earlier this year, Henkemeyer missed games only due to an injury. Along with Schlangen, Henkemeyer was named one of the team’s most valuable players this season.
Schaefbauer is a freshman second baseman from Sioux Falls, S.D. He has started 33 games in his freshman campaign and has seen action in 43. Having taken over the leadoff spot in April against the Hawkayes, Schaefbauer is hitting .292 entering the Big Ten Tournament and is batting .313 in league action. In 120 at bats, Schaefbauer has collected 45 hits, has scored 15 runs and driven in 17. Along with his hitting prowess, Schaefbauer also has walked 16 times, ranking third on the team. In the field, Schaefbauer has committed just one error for a .992 fielding percentage.