Baseball: Three Gophers drafted

The Gophers' wildly successful baseball season crashed to a disappointing end with four losses in their last five games. But at least three Gophers ended the season on a high note when they were selected in this week's MLB draft. Also, let's see what Dinkytown developments have tongues wagging on both sides of the river.

Even though the Big Ten regular-season champion Gopher baseball team crashed hard in the conference and NCAA tournaments, at least three players will end an otherwise successful season on a high note. Three Gophers were selected in this week's Major League Baseball draft.

Team MVP Luke Appert was a sixth-round pick of the Oakland A's. Appert, a senior second baseman from Park-Cottage Grove, capped his Gopher career by winning his second straight Big Ten Player of the Year award -- the only other player ever to turn that trick is Cincinnati Reds star Barry Larkin.

Pitcher C.J. Woodrow was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in 25th round, while Appert's double-play combo mate Scott Welch went to the Texas Rangers in the 33rd round.

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Meanwhile, local multimedia legend Sid Hartman reported in the Star Tribune this weekend that men's hoopster Rick Rickert has indeed signed with an agent -- Bill Duffy, former Gopher Kevin McHale's college roomie -- and will not be coming back to the U.

Not that anybody should be surprised. But now it's in ink.

And apparently, Rickert isn't too concerned by the prevailing 'Net chatter that says he won't be a high first-round pick.

"I'm not paying attention to those Internet sites," he told Hartman. "I'm just working out for the teams. The Internet sites don't draft for the teams."

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Meanwhile, across the river, Shooter says the U of M is making a bid to host the 2007 or 2008 Frozen Four tourney, once again at the Xcel Energy Center, the site of the Gophers' 2002 title victory. A contingent comprising representatives from the U of M athletic department and various St. Paul and Xcel Center officials are heading to Indianapolis this week to make the bid.

Also, Shooter notes that former Gopher Flip Saunders can win in the postseason after all. He coached an AAU team featuring his son and a few Gopher recruits to the 17-and-under state championship last weekend.

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Check back tomorrow for more updates from Dinkytown!

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