Archive for February 2nd, 2009

Opening Splits for Augustana & St. Cloud State

Augie Logo stcloudstate_logo

The 2009 Division 2 baseball season kicked off yesterday for Northern Sun Conference members Augustana and St. Cloud State and both came away with similar results, although via different routes.

Augustana opened with a doubleheader at Arkansas Tech where they lost the opening game 6-5 but came back strong in the second with a dominating 17-2 win.  In the first game the Augies got back to back home runs from Dan Morrison and Charles Dubanoski but couldn’t come back from the 5-0 deficit they found themselves in after 3 innings.  The team committed 3 errors which led to 3 unearned runs charged against starting pitcher Tyler Pierson.

In the 2nd game the Augies put on a dominating offensive performance which overshadowed their very good pitching.  3 more home runs gave them 5 for the day, which went along with a triple, 2 doubles and 11 overall hits.  Starting pitcher Per Nestigen got the win with 5 solid innings and although he only gave up 1 hit, the 7 walks charged to him are somewhat concerning.  The recap and boxscores can be found here – Arkansas Tech Writeup

Augustana plays a 3rd and final game against the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys today at 3pm.

St. Cloud State played Midland Lutheran at the Metrodome and got their split via a different way.  While Augustana was pounding out 22 runs, the Huskies used excellent pitching and only gave up 4 runs over 2 games.  Unfortunately for them, they only scored 4 runs as well.

In the first game, the Huskies used 5 pitchers to combine for the win which went to starter David Deminsky.  Joey Benke was the offensive leader going 3-3 at the plate along with Joe Kroc who got 2 RBI’s.

In the nightcap the game went to extra innings before Midland was able to push across a run in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 2 out bases loaded walk by losing pitcher Josh Boyer.  St. Cloud could only manage 4 hits in the game which undid another solid pitching outing.  The Huskies used 10 pitchers during the 2 games and struck out 15 batters.  The recap can be found here – St. Cloud Recap

St. Cloud State is off until next weekend when they will play a pair of doubleheaders against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside at the Metrodome.

Northern Sun Conference Early Signing’s

signing-nli7 of the 13 Northern Sun Conference baseball teams announced the signing of players for the 2010 season during the early signing period (Nov/Dec 2008). 

In looking at the list of names they are dominated by players from Minnesota.  For whatever reason, the Minnesota schools were definitely the most active in signing players early (unless the others just didn’t announce them publicly).

Based on these announcements, it looks like Minnesota State and St. Cloud are the clear winners so far in the early recruiting battle.  While I’m typically a little suspect of small school and out-state players, Jordan Smith looks to have all the makings of an early impact player for the Huskies.  There is a bunch of depth in the rest of St. Cloud’s list as well.  Mankato looks like they got at least 3 guys that will contribute early from their group of 5 signings.

It will be interesting to see how the strategy of signing these guys early, based on their junior seasons will work as opposed to others that wait and get the benefit of seeing players play at least part of their senior campaign.

One other thing to watch play out is the different strategies of the coaches when it comes to how they configure their rosters.  For example, St. Cloud already carries one of the largest rosters in the league and yet had the most signings.  They typically red-shirt a good number of their freshman and discourage walk-on’s as compared with other coaches that play with a much smaller roster.  Some coaches are also more about recruiting primarily out of high school and getting a player for 4 years (Duluth) vs. others that have no problem in going after community college and transfer players.

Here’s the early signing list as posted on school sites –




First Last High School College Pos Previous School
Nate Alfson Pipestone, MN Augustana C Mesabi CC
Brendan Koistinen Watertown, SD Augustana 1B  
Grant Larson Burnsville, MN Augustana RHP   
Deryk Marks Cottage Grove, MN Augustana SS Iowa Central CC
Ben Van Kekerix Sheldon, IA Augustana LHP  
Marcus Fitzgerald S. St Paul, MN Concordia RHP/OF DCTC
Griffon Kilber Chaska, MN Concordia LHP  
JT Schneider Oak Creek, WI Concordia 2B/OF  
Ben Keller Andover, MN MSU-Mankato C  
Brock Lloyd Mankato West MSU-Mankato RHP  
Matt Lutz Centennial, MN MSU-Mankato RHP  
Bret Mitchell Lakeville North, MN MSU-Mankato RHP Iowa Central CC
Mike Schultz Forest Lake, MN MSU-Mankato C/OF  
Joey Althoff Delano, MN SCSU C/1B South Dakota St
Max Gregory Cretin St Paul, MN SCSU RHP  
Jeremy Ische Norwood-YA, MN SCSU C N. IA CC
Tyler Jendro Royalton, MN SCSU OF/P St Cloud Tech C.
Adam Johnson St Cloud Tech, MN SCSU RHP  
Travis Kulla Maple Grove, MN SCSU OF  
Scott Lieser Broweville, MN SCSU P  
Jordan Smith Willmar SCSU 3B/OF  
Evan Knutson Faribault UM-Duluth P/1B  
Parker Olson Duluth East UM-Duluth IF  
Lucas Steinbach Wayzata UM-Duluth OF  
Justin Wallace Rosemount UM-Duluth RHP  
Aaron  Woods Menomonie, WI UM-Duluth P  
Adam Zwak Duluth East UM-Duluth P/IF  
Jeremy Cruz Frankfort, IL Upper Iowa IF  
Brett Young Appleton East, WI Winona State C  

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February 2009