Ex-Honkers teammates to square off
Minnesota’s Lyons, CSF’s Jones to meet in regional
By Donny Henn
Former Rochester Honkers teammates will be in opposing dugouts for the first round of the NCAA Division I college baseball tournament.
The University of Minnesota will meet Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA Regional at San Diego on Friday.
It’ll be a reunion for Minnesota infielder Dan Lyons, of Rochester, and Cal State-Fullerton outfielder Chris Jones, a California native. Lyons and Jones were teammates on the Rochester Honkers team which won the Northwoods League championship last summer.
Lyons is a senior with the Gophers and isn’t elligible to play for the Honkers in the 2007 season. But Jones, who is a sophomore, will return to the Honkers once Cal State-Fullerton’s run is complete in the NCAA tournament.
Jones isn’t the only Cal State-Fullerton player who will have to join Rochester with the Northwoods League already in progress; the Honkers are also expecting freshman right-handed pitcher Mike Morrison and sophomore infielder Joe Scott.
Minnesota has advanced to the NCAA Regional for the 28th time in school history and for the 15th time under head coach John Anderson.
The third-seeded Gophers (40-16) will play No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton (33-23) in the first game Friday at 6 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. First-seeded San Diego (43-16) faces No. 4 seed Fresno State (36-27) at 10 p.m. The San Diego Regional is one of two sites which will have every game televised by ESPNU, the same college-oriented network which will broadcast three Northwoods League games this summer.
Minnesota’s selection to the San Diego NCAA Regional, marks the third time in a row the Gophers have been sent to California for NCAA Regional play. Minnesota’s last two appearances were at Long Beach State in 2003 and Cal State Fullerton in 2004.
Minnesota last met the Cal State Fullerton Titans in the 2004 NCAA Regional at Fullerton, Calif. The Gophers lost 7-1 in a pitching matchup that featured that year’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player Jason Windsor and current Minnesota Twin Glen Perkins.
Information from the University of Minnesota web site contributed to this story.