Archive for February 23rd, 2009

Northern Iowa Drops Baseball Program

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The University of Northern Iowa officially announced today that they are dropping their college baseball program effective at the end of the 2009 season.  The Panthers made the decision after projecting a large cut in their athletic department funding due to current economic conditions and cutbacks in state government funding.  Northern Iowa is a Division 1 program that plays in the Missouri Valley Conference.  A conference that is known for a strong baseball tradition.

University of Northern Iowa Official Announcement

Des Moines Register Story – AD Had Pledged to Save Program

Earlier this weekend, the University of Vermont had also had announced that they were eliminating both their baseball and softball programs due to economic conditions.  The Catamounts are also a Division 1 program.  Vermont Announces Athletic Department Reorganization

One has to wonder how long it will be before the fallout turns into a full fledged free-fall in all of college athletics.  Based upon these 2 schools, it looks like college baseball is definitely one of the more vulnerable programs where cuts will be considered.

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NCAA Division 2 Baseball Rankings – Feb 23

NCAA Baseball Logo

As is typical on each Monday, the College Baseball News and Ping!Baseball NCAA Division 2 College Baseball rankings are out.  The 2 polls continue to have widely divergent ideas of how teams should be ranked.  Next week I’m hoping the National College Baseball Writers rankings will start to be delivered as well and we’ll have a 3rd source to use for comparisons.  Both polls did have their #1 team maintain their ranking from the week before. 

College Baseball News has Lynn University as the #1 team in the country.  The Fighting Knights are 11-1 on the season and had a perfect week.  Lynn comes in at #3 in the Ping poll.  For fans of the Northern Sun Conference, this assures Winona State of playing the #1 ranked team when they play a pair of games this weekend.  College Baseball News Rankings

Ping!Baseball has Southern Arkansas as their #1 team for the 2nd consecutive week.  The Muleriders (12-3) beat Northwest Missouri State and Southern Indiana to maintain their spot.  Ping obviously has a thing for Donkey’s as their #2 team is the Central Missouri Mules.  Central Missouri totally dismantled 2 well regarded Northern Sun teams this past weekend beating Upper Iowa 7-1 & 10-1 on Friday and then beating Winona State 17-5 on Sunday.  To show what a difference in polls there are, the Mules are ranked #13 in the College Baseball rankings.  Ping!Baseball Rankings

Finally, after splitting against a team they were expected to sweep, Wayne State dropped from #19 in last weeks CBN poll out of the top 30 rankings and is now at #33.  They were the only Northern Sun team to receive any votes.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

 Schilling Sock

Years from now, the 7 Northern Sun Conference baseball teams that played games yesterday may hear U2’s anthem and think back to Sunday February 22nd instead of the massacre of 13 people in Derry, Northern Ireland.

The teams (Upper Iowa, Minnesota Duluth, Wayne State, Augustana, Bemidji State, Mary and Winona State) combined for some of the worst baseball results imaginable –

  • Combined record for the 10 games played:  2 – 8
  • The “fewest” runs given up in any of the games:  5
  • Combined runs given up in 10 games:  110  (yes, 11 per game on average)
  • Combined # of errors given up in 10 games:  30  (including a 6 spot by Wayne State in their loss)
  • Combined # of unearned runs:  27
  • Winona State starter, Andrew DeSousa tossed 5 Wild Pitches in 2+ innings to miss the Conference record by 1 set earlier this year –  Augustana Pitcher sets  Record
  • The Northern Sun’s #1 team in the preseason poll (Wayne State) could do no better than a split against the Mid-America’s Pittsburg State who was picked 9th of 11 teams in their preseason poll
  • The teams actually combined to score 65 runs themselves in 10 games – you’d think that should amount in more than 2 wins.

All in all, a pretty disappointing day which just continued what had been a bad weekend all around – Rough Start to Weekend

For the weekend, the teams came away with a combined record of 6-16. 

Minnesota Duluth and Wayne State continue play with double headers today.

Big Innings Prevail in Augies Split

Bemidji State Drops Final Game in Set

Wayne State Opens With Split

Winona State Tumbles to Central Missouri

Minnesota Duluth Comes Up Empty Handed

Mary Rally Falls Short in Series Finale

UNO Tops Upper Iowa


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