Series Preview: Augustana vs. Concordia

augustana  Concordia

In the 3rd Northern Sun Conference baseball series of the weekend, Concordia University of St. Paul hosts Augustana.  The games have been moved from Concordia’s home field to Minnetonka (MN) High School which has a field turf surface that is much more playable.  Weekend Series Moved

Concordia (15-3) comes into the series with their best start in school history and is ranked #28 in the country in the recent Northern Sun Poll (Northern Sun Baseball Poll).  The Golden Bears were picked in the preseason coaches poll as one of the Conference’s top 3 teams. 

Augustana (8-5) is playing their first series as a part of the Northern Sun Conference.  The team has already had a great turnaround from a year ago.  Last year, the team had a 13-30 record on the season.  Statistically, the team’s batting average is up 30 points, the pitchers ERA is down a full 1.5 runs/game and they’ve stolen more bases in 13 games than in all 43 last year.  First year head coach Tim Huber seems to have the Augies headed in the right direction.

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Coming into the series, Concordia holds most of the statistical advantages.  In comparison with all other Northern Sun teams the Golden Bears are #1 in Team Batting Average, #2 in Team ERA and #1 in Fielding.

Augustana Approach

  • Test Concordia’s Pitching Depth – Concordia’s #2 starter, Blake DeVries, hasn’t pitched since leaving a game against St. John’s with an injury.  In addition, the way their schedule has been spread out really hasn’t required that they go very deep into their staff.  Kirk Ingram has been great in relief but there’s not much else in their bullpen that has been tested.
  • Start Right Handed Hitters – Right handers are hitting .305 against Concordia pitching while lefties are hitting only .194.  When facing Concordia’s star pitcher Jake Schmidt the bias is even bigger (.316/.146).  On the other hand, when Ingram comes into the game put in a left handed pinch hitter as the bias reverses for him.
  • Be Careful Stealing – The Augies like to steal but need to be wary of Concordia catcher Chris Herbert who has thrown out 6 of 19 runners

Concordia Approach

  • Be aggressive at the Plate – Augies pitchers have a poor strike out ratio so they aren’t overpowering for the most part.  On the other hand, if Per Nestigen starts you may want to be a little patient with him as he’s got more walks than Innings Pitched which indicates control issues.
  • Run – Starting catcher Charles Dubanoski has only thrown out 1 base stealer in 9 attempts.

Prediction – Concordia is the better team, especially some of their top end guys.  That said, they’ve played an easy non-conference schedule and might not be extremely deep.  I’ll predict Concordia wins the series 3 games to 1.

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3 Responses to “Series Preview: Augustana vs. Concordia”


  1. 1 augiefan March 22, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I was at all 4 games this weekend at the Minnetonka field. What a series for Augustana. Augustana won 3 out of the 4 games.
    In the two games,Nate Baumann a Marshall,MN native went 4-7 with two home runs, 4-5th of the season, eight RBI and four runs scored to lead Augustana. J.Anderson was 3-4 with a home run with four RBI in the second game. Tyler Pierson threw a gem in the second game to win 13-1.
    On Sunday Kenny Lidke (2-0) won the pitching dual against Chris Kimpton (2-2), after giving up just 1 run on 4 hits in 6.1 innings, while striking out 6 batters.
    Game 2 Per Nestigen pitched a 2-hit gem for Augustana, while Jeff Green came in and pitched 3 scoreless innings to hold off Concordia. Tom Hill hit a homerun in the 8th to seal the 2-1 win.

    Game scores
    game1 8-5
    game2 1-13
    game3 1-2
    game4 1-2

    A great series for the Vikings as they look like a team that gels and plays together.
    Concordia is a very good looking team that Augie played at the right time.
    Was a fun series to watch.

  2. 2 fishingmn March 22, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for the report Augiefan – We’ll look forward to your reports anytime and congrats on a great weekend for the Vikings!

  3. 3 Wow March 23, 2009 at 10:19 am

    All I can say is Wow. 3-1 win over Concordia. Looks like new coach is doing wonders. Nice player in Nate Baumann with 5 homeruns already. He was the top Freshman in the NCC last year. They have Drew Heithoff back as he did a Medical RS last year. They have 12 So. that are contributing right now. Pitching has come along way.
    A good bunch of Seniors that are playing very well. They will no longer surprise anyone. Lets hope the weather cooperates and we can get the games in.


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