Archive for April 14th, 2009

Northern State Basketball – Don Meyer ESPN Story

northern state

I was making dinner tonight and had ESPN’s E:60 program on. 

There was a very moving story about Northern State’s head basketball coach, Don Meyer, and the aftermath of his car accident on September 5, 2008.  The accident may have saved his life as doctor’s discovered he had liver cancer while patching him up.  Meyer ended up in the hospital for weeks to repair his broken body – he ended up with a partially amputated leg in the process.

All along it was Meyer’s love of coaching that drove his recovery and his passion to be with his team.  He coached the season from a wheel chair and ended up breaking the record for most wins by any men’s college basketball coach – his record now stands at 910 wins.

You can read the story and watch the story preview here – ESPN Story on Don Meyer

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Northern Sun – Big Midweek Update – 4/14/09

banner baseball

There’s a big batch of news to share today impacting the Division 2 college baseball world and the Northern Sun Conference.

  • Teams continue their midweek Conference doubleheaders tomorrow with the following games scheduled:
    • Wayne State @ Augustana
    • Mary @ Minnesota Crookston
    • Minnesota State @ Minnesota Duluth
    • Upper Iowa @ Winona State
    • Northern State @ Concordia (NSU is home team for games)
  • A number of updates regarding players from Concordia:
    • Blake Devries, who started the season as the Golden Bears #2 pitcher will seek a medical redshirt.  He started 3 games before getting injured.
    • Chase Brown, who started the first 18 games for Concordia at 2nd base was dismissed from the team after their March 16th games.  This was a big loss as Brown was hitting .413 at the time and led the team in stolen bases.
    • Bryan Lippincott, Concordia’s freshman starting shortstop, hasn’t played in their past 6 contests as he hurt his leg.  No word on his expected return.
    • Ben Lemke, a freshman pitcher who has had early success, is dropping from the Concordia football team to concentrate on baseball
  • St. Cloud State’s head coach, Pat Dolan continues to take 5 questions each week from fans on a radio broadcast.  You can listen to his responses here – Pat Dolan’s 5 Q’s
  • The University of Mary was forced to cancel its scheduled game against the University of North Dakota because of poor field conditions – Marauders Cancel Game
  • Upper Iowa also cancelled games today against Wisconsin – Parkside, this was because of rain – Peacocks Cancel Games
  • Wayne State announced yesterday the first official spring signing I’ve seen for a 2009-10 athlete.  It was Justin Beranek, an outfielder from Freemont, NE.  WSC Inks Beranek
  • It sounds like the Minnesota Duluth pipeline of recruits from Burnsville (MN) continues as LHP Jack Lassonde has reportedly committed to play for the Bulldogs next year.  Lassonde got the win in a Lake Conference game against Rosemount yesterday (2-1 in 8 innings).  He doesn’t throw all that hard (78-80?) but he has a very nice curveball which he can throw for strikes. 
  • The NCAA published their D2 Baseball Weekly Notebook which has interesting updates on a number of teams, including Mesa State – NCAA D2 Weekly Notebook
  • Finally, this has nothing to do with the Northern Sun but it was an interesting read this morning to find out about the rare “4 out play” that occurred in the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game yesterday.  Read about how Arizona’s coaches blew it by not knowing the rule book.  It just reinforces how important it is to understand the game.  Rare “4 out play” helps Dodgers

D2 College Baseball – NSIC Stat Comparison

NCAA Baseball Logo

Each week I am providing a comparison of how each Northern Sun Conference college baseball team compared to each other and every other NCAA Division 2 baseball team.  This is using statistics that will be published each week by the NCAA.  NCAA Statistics Site

I’m using a comparison of some primary hitting, pitching, running & fielding statistics for my comparison.  Each number shown is the team’s rank among the 229 Division 2 college baseball teams and the difference in where they compare from last week so you can see if they are improving or declining compared with other teams.

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Based on these numbers we can say –

  • Northern Sun teams has a good week with strikeouts – all but 2 teams gained in the D2 comparisons on K’s/9 innings pitched
  • On the flip side, all but 2 teams dropped in fielding (although the drop wasn’t very big in most cases)
  • SMSU still leads the nation in Batting Average and Slugging %.  That’s impressive as I had assumed they’d drop off as they got a larger cross sample of games played.
  • Wayne State, Upper Iowa and Mary had the best increases on the hitting side this week all gaining double digits in the hitting categories

While these statistics are somewhat interesting we are now into our 4th week of data so I thought it might be more interesting to look at the trends for each team in the major categories of Team Batting Average and Team Earned Run Average to see how they’ve been trending over the 4 weeks of Conference play.

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The following allows you to see how each team has been trending compared with the other 229 Division 2 college baseball teams.  Teams with big trends one way or another:

  • Augustana has been declining rapidly in batting average.  They clearly need to pick it up at the plate if they are going to make the top 6 in Conference.
  • Minnesota Duluth has also seen a huge hit to their team batting average.  When combined with their mediocre pitching it’s been a recipe for poor results.
  • Upper Iowa has gone the other way and has seen their team batting average improve significantly over the past 4 weeks.  This has coincided with them getting back into the mix in the race for a spot in the NSIC Tourney.
  • Winona State’s pitching has gone from quite bad to at least okay.  They did play a tougher non-conference schedule than most and have played some easier Conference games which explains some of that.
  • Overall, many teams have seen a remarkable sameness from week to week which gives you a pretty good idea that it probably won’t be changing much over the remainder of the season.

Northern Sun Players of the Week – 4/13/09

Players Of The Week

The Northern Sun Conference has named their Players of the Week for the week ending 4/12/09 (week 10) and they are:

Jake Schmidt of Concordia was named Player of the Week.  The senior from Oakdale, MN hit 5 homers in the 6 games played by the Golden Bears last week and helped the team to a 4-2 record.  In addition the home runs he hit .400, had 11 RBI’s, scored 6 times and was perfect in the field.  This is the 2nd time Schmidt has been recognized this year as he won the Pitcher of the Week honors in the first week of the season.

For the 2nd week in a row the Pitcher of the Week comes from Upper Iowa University.  Gavin Mason, a sophomore from Naperville, IL, got his first ever collegiate start and it was a dandy.  He tossed a 3 hit, complete game shutout against Winona State – the #3 team in the NSIC standings.  Mason improved his record to 2-1 on the season and likely earned himself more starts.

NSIC Week 10 Release


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