Archive for April 28th, 2009

Northern Sun Players of the Week – 4/28/09

Players Of The Week

The Northern Sun Conference has named their Players of the Week for the week ending 4/21/09 (week 12) and they are:

The Player of the Week is Ben Smothers from Winona State.  The senior shortstop from Waconia, MN hit .579 for the week which included 11 hits, 7 run scored and 7 RBI’s.  His hits included 4 extra base hits (1 double, 2 triples and 1 homer) for a 1.000 slugging percentage.  In addition to all the hitting he was perfect in the field, converting on all 22 chances he had.

The Pitcher of the Week is Tom Doran from Wayne State.  The redshirt freshman from Oakdale, MN pitched a complete game 3 hitter, allowing just 1 unearned run in a key conference battle against Minnesota State.  The 9-1 win by the Wildcats helped the team reclaim first place in the NSIC standings.  He struck out 5 and allowed just 3 hits in improving his season record to 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA.

Northern Sun Conference Week 12 Press Release

Northern Sun D2 College Baseball Poll – 4/28/09

Northern Sun D2 Poll1

Each week, the Northern Sun Baseball Blog combines the 3 primary Division 2 College Baseball Poll’s into 1 composite ranking.

There’s a new unanimous #1 team in D2 college baseball – it’s Barry (Miami Shores, FL).  The Buccaneers beat Rollins and then took 2 of 3 from Tampa.  They are led by a potent offensive attack as they are hitting .349 as a team.  Their first baseman, Yudelmis Hernandez, has broken the school record with 20 home runs and catcher, Yan Gomez, has 18 homers while breaking the school records for RBI’s and Total Bases in a season.  With all of the home runs they’ve broken the NCAA D2 team record for Grand Slams in a season with 10. 

Barry took over from Southern Arkansas who had held the top spot the past 2 weeks.  The Muleriders lost 2 of 3 to Delta State over the weekend which helped Delta move up 7 spots in the rankings. 

South Carolina – Aiken made a big move up this week going from #14 to #6.  Catawba College made an impressive debut in the poll as they were ranked in all 3 polls for the first time to move from unranked to a solid #19. 

Emporia State took a tumble from #2 to #7 and Mesa State was another previous top 5 team to move the wrong way as they lost 4 games last week to drop from #4 to a tie for #9. 

The Northern Sun Conference’s Wayne State (NE) moved up another spot to get to #20.  Minnesota State also received votes in 2 of the 3 polls but finished just outside of the top 30 in 33rd place.

 

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CBN – College Baseball News; Ping – Ping!Baseball; NCBWA – National College Baseball Writers Association; NSB Rank – Northern Sun Baseball Composite Poll; Comb Pts – Combined points in the composite rankings; LW – Last week’s composite ranking

College Baseball News Poll

Ping!Baseball Poll

NCBWA Poll

NCAA D2 College Baseball Proposal Advancing

NCAA Baseball Logo

The NCAA has been considering a number of changes within Division 2 athletics that would reduce the playing and/or practice time of various sports.  As I reported here (NCAA Recommending Reductions in College Baseball Season) and here (D2 Baseball and Shorter Season) the D2 Management Council was taking up these issues before advancing them to higher level decision makers within the NCAA.

These proposals have now advanced to the NCAA Division II President’s Council who will take up the issue this week on Wednesday and Thursday.  It was the President’s Council who started this whole thing in January –

The Presidents Council charged the Division II Legislation and Championships Committees in January to recommend ways in which the division’s playing and practice seasons legislation could be modified to better align with the Division II strategic-positioning platform. In essence, the presidents were asking the division’s governance structure for a gut-check on whether the division’s sports interests were skewing the academics/athletics balance stated in the platform.

It’s all well and good to go talking about “academic balance” but the real reason for these potential changes is in a paragraph further down –

The exercise also coincides with the division’s attempt to seek better business practices to ease fiscal pressure during the current downward economic trend.

As usual, it’s all about the money. 

It seems like D2 schools are only looking at the expense side.  I’m guessing that “most” Division 2 college baseball programs give anywhere from 2-5 equivalent scholarships plus the expense of running a program (travel, coaches, equipment, recruiting).  Still, if there are 30+ kids attending your school to play baseball (and attend school) what is the total amount of tuition that those students bring in?  How many of them would be at your school if it weren’t for the baseball program?  I don’t think my son would be attending the school he’s going to if it weren’t for the baseball program.  My $16k+/year (no financial aid) goes straight into the school’s bank account – all for the pittance of a baseball scholarship they offer that at best covers his books.

NCAA President’s Council to engage in Playing Season Debate

6 Games Left in Northern Sun Race – Gap Appears

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There are only 6 games left in the Northern Sun Conference D2 college baseball regular season.  Teams are scheduled to play 2 games on Wednesday and 4 this coming weekend with the top 6 teams advancing to the Northern Sun Baseball Tournament which starts May 7th in St. Cloud.  With the results yesterday we are starting to see a gap appear.  There had been 4 teams bunched together in the 5th-8th spots in the standings.  St. Cloud State has opened up a 2 1/2 game lead over 7th place Concordia and Upper Iowa has opened a 2 game lead.

  • Concordia could have been a lot closer but they dropped 2 of 3 yesterday in a triple header against Bemidji State.  They lost 5-2 & 10-2 before winning the final game 7-6.  Bryan Jamieson pitched great in game 1 after coming in as an injury replacement after the starter, Matt Fossen, took a line drive off his leg and couldn’t continue.  Jamieson went 5 innings giving up just 1 earned run to get his first win of the season.  Game 2 saw a complete game win by Beaver starter Ryan Sander.  Concordia has 2 games on Wednesday against Minnesota State and a final series against Winona State so they have a very tough schedule in which to try and make up games.  Bemidji Recap  Concordia Recap
  • Southwest Minnesota State may have ended Augustana’s hopes of reaching the NSIC playoffs with a doubleheader sweep yesterday.  The Mustangs won a couple of tight contests by scores of 2-1 and 7-6.  The losses drop the Augies a full 3 games out of the playoff hunt and are now only 1/2 game ahead of a recently surging Minnesota Duluth for 8th place.  They will have to pin their hopes on sweeping 6th place Upper Iowa on Wednesday as they do finish with 4 games against last play Northern State.  SMSU solidified its spot in 3rd place and would hold on to that spot even if they got swept by 4th place Winona on Wednesday.  They finish with Mary this weekend.  Augie Recap  SMSU Recap
  • Winona State split its games with Minnesota Duluth winning the first game on a walk off homer by Kyle Collins (9-8) but losing the nightcap 11-4.  Minnesota Duluth is definitely playing better of late and actually has a chance to finish as high as 7th in the standings.  They finish with 2 against Minnesota Crookston and 4 at Upper Iowa.  Winona State has a tough schedule with 2 against SMSU and 4 against Concordia so they still have a little work to do to guarantee a spot in the NSIC Tourney.  UMD Recap  Winona Recap

There is another threat of rain coming into the region mid-week so that could play a major factor in these final games.  The 7th-9th place teams will want to at least have a chance on the field.


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