Series Preview: St. Cloud State vs. MN Crookston

stcloudstate_logo    Crookston Golden Eagles

The Northern Sun’s baseball teams begin Conference play today.  Two of the weekend’s series have been moved from Saturday/Sunday doubleheaders to Friday/Saturday contests in order to try and avoid poor weather forecast for Sunday.  This series was moved from its scheduled location in St. Cloud to Freeman, SD to find a dry field.  Changes For Weekend Series

We’ll see if I can keep up with each series but for each weekend set of games I’ll begin with a common “tale of the tape” comparison to give some feel for the teams’ overall success in 2009:

image

As is painfully obvious in this view, the Huskies are the vastly superior team in almost every category. 

I also plan to look a little deeper at the stats to talk about how each team might approach the series –

Minnesota Crookston Approach

  • Run early and often – About the only area I found that is a little chink in the armor for St. Cloud is that their catcher, Nate Hammes, has been below average to date on throwing out base stealers.  So far he’s thrown out 3 in 18 attempts for an .833 clip.  Crookston doesn’t look like they’ve run much but I’d try to exploit this a little
  • Also, in the game Pat DeLaHunt is pitching for St. Cloud – throw in as many right handed hitters as possible.  Right handers are hitting .361 against him while lefites are hitting only .100.  The other St. Cloud starting pitchers don’t have any obvious right/left bias.

St. Cloud State Approach

  • Stay with your starters – This one is totally obvious too but St. Cloud’s starters have been dominating this season.  Logan Birr (4-0, 2.45 ERA), Pat DeLaHunt (4-0, 3.51), Tim Scott (5-0, 3.91) and David Deminsky (3-0, 4.13) have a combined 16 wins while 4 of the 5 losses have been pinned on relievers.  That said, this is the type of series that you might be able to spread the innings around a little bit.
  • Have fun but stay focused – the Huskies really can’t afford to drop one of these games

Prediction – St. Cloud State Sweep

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