Yesterday, the Northern Sun Conference released their preseason coaches poll and a surprise team sits atop the projected standings Northern Sun Press Release –
St. Paul, MN. – The defending NSIC Tournament Champions of Minnesota State University, Mankato were the top pick in the 2010 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll. This marks the first time since 2003 that Wayne State has not been selected by the NSIC Baseball Coaches as the preseason favorite. Minnesota State amassed 151 points after receiving seven first place votes (coaches can’t vote for their own team) to edge Wayne State’s 148 points and five first place votes.
SMSU, the last NSIC team besides Wayne State to earn the coaches nod, had 120 points while Winona State had 118 and St. Cloud State had 114 points and a first place vote.
In addition to the poll, coaches named their Preseason Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year –
NSIC Preseason Players of the Year
#20 Joe Wendte
OF, 5-11, Sr.,
South Sioux City, Neb.
Wayne State College
Wendte was named to the 2009 Rawlings/ABCA All-American 1st Team as well as being named the 2009 NSIC Player of the Year. He hit .396 last season with 14 homers and a team-high 67 RBIâ€™s to help the Wildcats win a sixth straight Northern Sun Conference regular season title. He set a new school record with 83 runs scored, which ranked fifth in NCAA Division II, and had a team-high 51 walks to rank eighth in NCAA Division II. Wendte was a three-time NSIC Player of the Week last season and he led the Wildcats in hits (78), doubles (20), stolen bases (19), slugging percentage (.741) and on-base percentage (.527). Wendte also received First Team Daktronics Inc. All-Central Region honors last season.
NSIC Preseason Pitcher of the Year
#23 Adam Schrader
RHP, 6-3, 205, Sr., R/R Easton, Minn.
United South Central HS
Southwest Minnesota State University
Schrader finished 5-1 last season with a 3.88 earned run average in 11 appearances, including 10 starts. He was named the team’s most valuable pitcher and a second team all-region honoree in 2009 as he led the Mustangs in innings pitched (60.1), complete games (3) and strikeouts (67). He begins the 2010 season ranking fourth in school history in strikeouts (182), seventh in games started (36) and ninth in innings pitched (188.2). Against Winona State last season, Schrader recorded a school record 15 strikeouts as he broke the previous record of 14 set by Dean Champine in 1973.
While there should be no question about naming Wendte, the naming of Schrader is a little more surprising. Schrader didn’t get named to either the Conference’s 1st or 2nd team All-Conference teams last spring and there are plenty of players who were that are returning and had better stats.