Augustana Baseball – 2010 Preview

augustana

As promised, I begin this week with a preview of the top contenders in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for the 2010 baseball title and, more importantly for some, a Top 6 finish which gets teams into the NSIC post-season tournament.  My goal with these is to look back at the 2009 season for each of the teams I preview, give a recap of the key players who are no longer with each team and highlight any statistical factors that are interesting.  I’m starting with 2009’s surprise team of the Conference – Augustana.

Augustana 2009

The Vikings came into the 2009 season with a brand new coach (Tim Huber), a new conference (moving into the Northern Sun) and low expectations.   The team was coming off of 2 losing seasons (2008 record: 13-30, 2007 record: 14-24) which led to the pre-season NSIC coach’s predicting an 11th place finish for the Vikings –

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The 2009 preseason schedule started out well enough with a 9-5 record but it was their first weekend of Conference games that put them on the map as they took 3 of 4 from preseason Top 3 favorite Concordia, holding the Golden Bears to 1 run in each of the final 3 games they played.  They finished the Conference season with a 4 game sweep of Northern State to hold on to the 6th spot in the standings and qualify for the Northern Sun Postseason Tourney:

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Statistically, the team was pretty average in many ways.  Of the 228 NCAA Division 2 college baseball teams in 2009 (and among Conference teams), Augustana was ranked right in the middle for many key statistics like batting average, runs scored, fielding percentage and ERA.  A couple areas they did excel included stolen bases (2nd in NSIC), home runs (3rd in NSIC) and double plays turned (1st).  Being in the middle of the Conference in stats gets you to the middle of the pack in W-L which is where they finished.

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Outlook For 2010

The Vikings lose 5 of their top 9 batters which accounted for 47% of all their at bats as a team.  This includes their starting catcher, shortstop, 3rd baseman and center fielder.  Their impact may be most felt in the field as 3 of those players (JaColby Anderson, Ian Strum & Tom Hill) were among their top 4 fielders.  Strum & Hill also were in the top 3 for stolen bases on the team.  As I stated above, stolen bases and double plays had been a strength of the team in 2009.  They do return Nate Bauman (RF) who was first team all-Conference and led the team in most hitting categories. 

The team should be much better off on the mound in 2010 as they only lost 1 pitcher of significance – JaColby Anderson.  5 of the teams top 6 pitchers do return who accounted for 74% of all the Viking’s innings pitched.  They should have a strong core of 4 starters to go along with their top pitcher last season, Bret Severtson who was named 2nd team all-Conference as a reliever.  Severtson had a 2.81 ERA and in 23 appearances didn’t allow any hitter more than a double.  He doesn’t strike many out but doesn’t give up many walks or hits either.

The team was very active on the recruiting trail as they’ve brought in 18 new players who will look to compete on the 2010 squad, especially for those open spots in the everyday lineup.  Augustana Adds To Recruiting Class

The team plays one of the tougher schedules in the Conference (same teams as last year) so by missing out on playing Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota Crookston & Mary they will have a harder road to the Top 6 than most.  Therefore, I expect that they will be in the mix to finish in the 5th-8th range in the final standings.

Statistics of Interest

The following statistics from 2009 caught my eye –

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As you can see, the team gave up more runs in the 4th inning than in innings 1,2,3,6,7 by a factor of almost 2x.  What that tells me is that their starters did a great job of getting through the line-up the first time but didn’t fare nearly as well the 2nd time through.  In addition, it shows that their back end relievers (especially Severtson) brought the bleeding to a stop.  The 2nd group of stats is also interesting and ties into that.  Basically, in 2009, Augustana’s games were over at the end of the 4th inning.  If they were ahead they would win 83% of the time and if they were behind they would lose 86% of the time.

With the Conference changing to a 9 inning/7 inning format for their doubleheaders it will be interesting to see how this might impact a team like Augustana that seems to struggle in the middle of the games.

Augustana Baseball Site

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6 Responses to “Augustana Baseball – 2010 Preview”


  1. 1 John Plasha Sr. December 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Wow, pretty impressive. You’ve deffinatly done your homework and I think it goes without saying, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. I look forward to seeing more.

  2. 2 WSCDad December 13, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Me too!
    I have a friend here in Kansas City who is an Augie alum. I don’t think he knows they have a baseball team.

    By the way, I have tried to post a couple of times and they didn’t show up.

    Looks like they have some holes to fill. Maybe the coach will show up and give us a little preview. Coach Huber?

    • 3 fishingmn December 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm

      Hey WSC – don’t know what to tell you about missing comments. I use Akismet (the WordPress default tool) to filter comment spam. The only thing that really triggers the spam filter is if you try to include links in your comments.

  3. 4 Wow December 14, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I do know Augie brought in a bunch of kids. Derrick Marks and Nate Alfson juco transfers will help with the bat and in the field. Marks at SS and Alfson catching. A few bright spots in the freshman class will also help. Nate Hewes from Stilwater had a nice fall and plays the infield.
    The pitching staff is basically the same except for
    Anderson. They brought in about 10 freshman pitchers that will need to contribute.
    They should strong defensively and score runs.
    Pitching will have to step up this year and the team needs to stay healthy.
    MY LINEUP
    1. Heithoff 2nd
    2. Marks SS
    3. Baumann CF
    4. Dubanowski DH
    5. Morrison 1st
    6. Hewes 3rd
    7. Alfson C
    8. Johnson/Knight LF
    9. Cook RF

    Untill Feb I will have to put up with basketball.

    • 5 Stat Rat February 9, 2010 at 11:18 am

      I see you guys picked up deryk “scrunchy face” marks… he was a threat in high school i cant imagine what he will do to the NSIC with all the scrunchyness on one team

      • 6 MnTwins February 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm

        Stat Rat.. I predict Augie will make the playoffs with his help as he took down the Conference Player of the Week for Week 1.


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