The 2010 Northern Sun Conference baseball tournament starts today in St. Cloud, MN at Joe Faber Field. The 6 teams will play a double elimination format tournament which is scheduled to be played Wednesday thru Saturday, with the winner getting an automatic bid into the NCAA Division 2 Baseball Central Region Tournament. In 2009, Minnesota State came in as the 2nd seed, lost their first game and then won 5 straight to win the Tournament Title.
My thanks to Minnesota State for doing a nice little recap of the teams participating which you can see below. You can find more details on each team at their link.
#1-Seeded Minnesota State The Mavericks baseball squad (36-12 overall, 25-7 NSIC) won the NSIC regular season title. Sophomore pitcher, Blake Schwartz, was just named Player of the Week and leads the team with a 10-1 record. The Mavericks are coached by Matt Magers Minnesota State Preview
#2-Seeded Winona State: The Warriors finished the regular-season 35-12 overall and 24-8 in NSIC action. Warrior sophomore Tony Mueller leads WSU at the plate with a .438 clip and a team-low 4.83 ERA. The Warriors are coached by Kyle Poock. (no preview listed)
#3-Seeded St. Cloud State: The Huskies finished the regular-season 36-13 overall and 23-9 in the NSIC. St. Cloud freshman Jordan Smith leads the Huskies in nearly all offensive categories, while David Deminsky owns a team-low 2.95 ERA. The Huskies are coached by Pat Dolan. St. Cloud State Preview
#4-Seeded Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs finished the regular-season 34-18 overall and 22-10 in NSIC action. Minnesota Duluth junior Tyler Erickson leads UMD at the plate, owner of a .439 batting average. Junior Josh Foreman leads the team in wins with six. The Bulldogs are coached by Bob Rients. Minnesota Duluth Preview
#5-Seeded Southwest Minnesota State: The Mustangs finished the regular-season 26-16 overall and 22-10 in the NSIC. SWMS junior Cody Curry leads the Mustangs at the plate with a .460 clip, while senior Adam Schrader has been successful on the mound, going 5-3 with a team-low 2.97 ERA. The Mustangs are coached by Paul Blanchard. SWMS Preview
#6-Seeded Wayne State: The Wildcats finished the regular-season 26-21 overall and 21-10 in the NSIC. Wayne State senior Joe Wendte leads WSC in nearly all offensive categories, while sophomore Austen Wisroth owns a 5-3 record and a team-low 3.00 ERA. The Wildcats are coached by Brian Disch. Wayne State Preview
The NSIC Tournament has its own website where fans can follow along with updated Live Stats and an In Tournament Blog. The Blog is done by St. Cloud State who is hosting the Tourney. They’ve been doing it all year and it’s quite well done and allows fans to interact with the bloggers at the game.
Tourney Website and Blog
NCAA D2 Baseball News
Also starting on Wednesday is the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s baseball tournament. Northern Sun fans may want to keep one eye on the results from Kearney, NE. RMAC 2010 Baseball Tournament
As of last week, teams from the Northern Sun Conference held down spots 2,3 & 5 in the NCAA Central Region Rankings. It’s important to keep 3 of the top 5 spots in case there is an upset in the RMAC or NSIC Tournaments. The winners of the RMAC and NSIC Tournaments each get an automatic bid into the NCAA D2 Central Region Tournament and then the next 4 highest ranked teams are invited. If a team like Wayne State, SMSU or Duluth wins the NSIC title they will knock out team #6 (and something similar can happen in the RMAC). The NCAA will release updated rankings today where I expect Minnesota State will jump ahead of St. Cloud and Winona State but the key is whether the NSIC teams stay ahead of Mesa State. NCAA D2 Regional Rankings
Finally, the NCAA has updated their D2 Notebook which describes how Southern Arkansas has fallen out of the #1 position in the polls. More importantly, Catawba won the Southern Atlantic Baseball Tourney and is the first team to gain an automatic qualifier into the D2 Regional Tournaments. NCAA D2 Notebook