Archive for May 3rd, 2009

2 Games Left – Can Duluth & Augies Pull It Off?


There are 2 games left in the Northern Sun Conference Division 2 college baseball regular season.  After Thursday’s games there were some who suggested that the NSIC’s top 6 teams were determined already and that this weekend didn’t matter all that much.  For example, there was this quote on the D2 Message Board –

It looks like the top six spots for the NSIC tournament are pretty much wrapped up.

Well, after Saturday’s games the top 6 spots are still very much up for grabs:

  • Minnesota Duluth came into their series with Upper Iowa on a tear having won 13 of their last 18 Conference games to move into 7th place.  The path to the NSIC playoffs was clear – sweep all 4 games from the Peacocks.  After Saturday the Bulldogs are half way there as they won 7-1 and 5-4 to pull within 1/2 game of Upper Iowa.  If they sweep the games today they are playing in St. Cloud on Thursday.  Duluth’s freshman starter, Anders Engberg, continues to impress with his 4th straight complete game win in game 1.  In game 2, Upper Iowa outhit Minnesota Duluth (9-6) but gave up 2 unearned runs (to go along with 6 unearned in game 1).  The Peacock’s still have their top starter, Lucas Wilsing, available to start today.   Minnesota Duluth Recap  Upper Iowa Recap
  • St. Cloud State needed to win just 2 of their last 6 games to assure themselves a spot in the NSIC Tournament.  Unfortunately for them, their last 6 games were against the league’s top 2 teams.  So far they are 0-4, having lost 2 to Wayne State on Thursday and being swept yesterday by Minnesota State by scores of 6-3 and 6-4.  In game 1, the Maverick’s ace pitcher, Patrick Lenton, moved to 9-1 and the Huskies starter, Logan Birr suffered his first loss of the season (8-1).  Another of the Huskies top 3 pitchers (Tim Scott) took the game 2 loss.  If St. Cloud State doesn’t sweep today they are in serious danger of missing the playoffs.  St. Cloud State Recap
  • One of the big reasons the Huskies are in danger is because Augustana is finishing their season with 4 games against last place Northern State.  Yesterday they easily swept their fellow South Dakota school by scores of 11-4 and 11-2.  There’s every reason to think they will get the sweep today as well.  There are 2 ways that the Augies reach the NSIC Tourney – Augustana Recap
    • Sweep Northern State and have SCSU lose a game.
    • Split with Northern State, have SCSU get swept and UMD get swept  but
    • If Augustana sweeps, SCSU sweeps and Upper Iowa/Minnesota Duluth split it would tie Augustana for 6th place with Upper Iowa but according to my reading of the tiebreaker the Peacocks would get the bid because of a better record against Winona State of all teams.
  • Speaking of Winona State, they split a pair of games against Concordia (14-12 & 2-3).  Winona starter, Ross Hellenbrand, moved to 8-2 on the season with a win in game 1.  Concordia’s senior catcher, Chris Herbert, had 6 RBI’s in the game 1 loss to break the Golden Bear’s record for RBI’s in a season.  He then got 2 more in game 2 to lead the team to victory.  Concordia Recap  Winona State Recap
  • Wayne State swept Minnesota Crookston (17-1, 13-1) to maintain their 1/2 game lead atop the standings over Minnesota State.  It looks likely that the Wildcats will win their 6th straight regular season title.  Wayne State Recap
  • Southwest Minnesota State managed to recover from a late game loss to gain a split against the University of Mary (5-6, 8-7).  The Mustangs have shown a propensity to lose to lower tier teams as they now have losses on the season against Mary, Crookston and Bemidji.  Mary’s Casey Gray came up with a walk off single in game 1 with 2 outs in the 7th inning.  Mary Recap  SMSU Recap
  • Bemidji State split a pair of non-Conference games with Montana State – Billings  Bemidji State Recap

Daily Posts

May 2009