Spring Fever in the Northern Sun

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It seems like the season just started and here we are just 9 days away from the start of Conference play.  Later today I’ll be starting up a poll for readers to vote on who they think will win the Northern Sun regular season title.

It’s been a week since I’ve posted the Conference standings and as you can see it really isn’t all that pretty.  Only 2 teams, Concordia and St. Cloud State, have winning records.  It’s still amazing to me that St. Cloud has played 20 games and Southwest Minnesota State has yet to play.

Yesterday was a very busy day for Conference teams and this weekend will be even busier as almost every team will see action.  To recap:

  • A potential knock on St. Cloud State’s great record (16-4) might have been their strength of schedule but yesterday they faced a tough opponent and still got a sweep.  Malone University is an NAIA school but was 7-1 coming into the game and was 42-16 in 2008.  The Huskies won game 1 in dramatic fashion as Joe Kroc laid down a suicide squeeze in extra innings to eek out a 7-6 win in 8 innings.  Sam Radbill continues to lead St. Cloud at the plate as he was 3-4 in the game as well as picking up 2 RBI’s in game 2.  That second game saw pitcher Tim Scott pick up his 5th win on the season as the Huskies won 9-6.  Scott’s win means he is leading all other Conference pitchers in that category.  St. Cloud is now 6-0 on their spring trip which concludes today with a single game against D3’s #18 team Wheaton (MA).  Doubleheader Sweep Over Malone
  • Concordia (11-2) is playing an important series for other Northern Sun teams to watch as they are facing Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams which will be in the same NCAA Regional with the NSIC.  After getting Tuesday’s game cancelled due to cold, the weather in Colorado turned much warmer and the Golden Bears were able to play 2.  In the first game, Concordia beat up on Colorado School of Mines with a 10-5 win.  Golden Bears Double Up Orediggers  In game 2, the level of competition improved but they prevailed in a close game against Regis with a 12-9 win in 10 innings even though Regis pounded out an 18-12 advantage in hits.  In that game, Regis used 10 different pitchers which is quite unusual.  On the day Concordia was led at the plate by the top of their order, Brenden Furrow had 5 hits while Jake Schmidt & Chris Herbert each had 4.  CU Out Slugs Regis  The game to watch is today’s 2pm Central tilt between Concordia and Colorado State – Pueblo (15-5).  The game features the #2 and #3 teams in the NCBWA Central Region Poll so it has potential playoff implications.  You can get a preview and follow it live here – Top Central Region Teams Meet
  • Northern State (2-7) dropped a pair of games to Dakota State.  They continue play on Friday with a doubleheader against the same Malone team that St. Cloud played yesterday – Dakota State Takes 2 From Wolves
  • Wayne State (5-5) broke a 3 game losing streak with a lopsided 17-4 win over West Liberty State (1-9).  The Wildcats had 15 hits and took advantage of 12 Liberty walks to win handily.  The same 2 teams will face off again today – Wildcats Take Care of West Liberty
  • Minnesota State continued there tough start to the season with a pair of close losses to Rockhurst (12-4).  Rockhurst is a quality team as they are currently ranked #3 in the NCBWA Midwest Region Poll.  In game 1, the Mavericks starter, Chris Odegaard, pitched a 7 inning, complete game giving up only 5 hits to go with 6 strikeouts and no walks.  The Mavericks had multiple chances to tie or win the game in the 7th inning and totally blew it, losing 3-2.  A leadoff double by Corey LaPlante was wasted when he was thrown out at 3rd on a poorly executed sacrifice bunt.  Then, after a walk to get guys to 1st and 2nd with 1 out they had Kosuke Hattori thrown at at 3rd trying to steal while Bresnahan didn’t advance to second.  As fate would have it, Ben Kincaid singled which would have at least tied the game had they Mavericks not been so sloppy.  Game 2 saw more of the same – good starting pitching by freshman Blake Schwarz was for naught as Minnesota State lost again by 1 run, 4-3.  Rockhurst scored a run in the bottom of the 7th inning – this time scoring the winning run when the Mav’s couldn’t execute the double play which allowed the winning run to come across from 3rd.  Freshman outfielder, Ben Kincaid, was 5-7 on the day and may be a player to watch.  Mavericks Fall Twice to Rockhurst 
  • Finally, the weather monkey continues to ride Upper Iowa’s back as they had their games against Washburn cancelled due to weather.  The Peacocks (0-3) have now had 12 games cancelled so far this season – Weather Keeps Peacocks On Hold
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