Archive for February 14th, 2009

Upper Iowa Games Canceled

Upper Iowa

It appears that the Upper Iowa trip to Grand Junction was canceled, I assume because of weather, and they will not be playing Chico State or Mesa State. 

Mesa State did play a 4th game against Chico State in their series and won again by the score of 14-7 to take the series 3 games to 1.  With the win Mesa State moves to 5-2 on the season and is averaging more than 9 runs a game.  They will definitely move up in the national rankings from their current #23 position after such a good showing against the #3 ranked Chico St. Wildcats.  At this point, it looks like the Mesa State Mavericks are the early favorite to advance out of the NCAA Central Region bracket.

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Upper Iowa Starts – Conference Watches

Upper Iowa

Upper Iowa University kicks off their 2009 season today with a double header in cold Grand Junction, CO where the high temperature is expected to be in the low 40’s.  The Peacocks are coming off of a 2nd place finish in the Northern Sun Conference in 2008 with a 24-8 record (30-25 overall).  In the NSIC preseason coaches poll they were picked to finish 5th in 2009 2009 Preseason Poll.  They will be lead by 3 returning 2008 2nd team all-conference players, Brian Solemsaass (P), Kreston Albright (OF) and Lucas Wilsing (DH).  Northern Sun Preseason Release

The opening game for head coach, Mark Danker’s, squad will be #3 ranked Chico State (Chico, CA).  Chico is coming off a season where they advanced to the Division 2 College World Series and they return their entire starting pitching staff from a team that finished last year 42-17. 

While the Chico State game may be a barometer of where Upper Iowa stands the far more important games start later in the day with a single game Saturday against Mesa State and then 2 more against the same Mavericks on Sunday.

The Mesa State games have playoff implications for every team with post season aspirations in the Northern Sun Conference.  The NCAA reorganized how the playoffs work for 2009.  This year, 6 teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) will meet in the first round of the NCAA Regional Tournament with the winner of that double elimination event advancing to the NCAA Division 2 National Tournament.  The #23 ranked Mesa State Mavericks are the preseason favorites in the RMAC.  Therefore, these Upper Iowa games should be watched closely as a gauge of how well the Northern Sun might match up.  The Northern Sun Baseball blog will be keeping a close eye on the RMAC all season.

Mesa State will likely be a very tough opponent as they are coming off of 3 games against #3 ranked Chico State and have won 2 of 3.  Mesa State Recaps.  The Mavericks have won the RMAC 5 straight years and are led by 2008 conference player of the year, Mike Provencher (IF).

St. Cloud State’s Ugly Collapse

stcloudstate_logo

Well, it’s not over yet but St. Cloud State’s baseball team is trying to avoid one of the uglier losses in recent memory.  The Huskies played the beginning game in a 4 games weekend series yesterday with Missouri Southern State in Joplin, MO.  As I wrote in my series preview (Here) the Lions have a very suspect pitching staff and the Huskies should be able to take advantage of that.  Sure enough, St. Cloud jumped out front to a 9-1 lead after 4 innings and a 13-4 lead after 6 1/2 innings.  In the bottom of the 7th they gave up 9 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and a HBP.  That tied the game and Missouri Southern took the lead in the bottom of the 8th with a home run to make it 14-13.

Then a funny thing happened.  The game took so long that the umpires had to leave to go to a different contest.  So the game restarts today in the top of the 9th inning and the Huskies have 3 outs left to try and redeem themselves.  Or if that doesn’t work, they have 2 more games right afterward.  St Cloud’s Suspended Game


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