First 2 Weeks of Northern Sun Play Complete

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We are 2 weeks into the Northern Sun Conference’s league games and there seems to be a clear division between the haves and the have nots.  The top 6 teams are a combined 37-3 and have outscored the other 7 teams 476-134.  Poor Minnesota Crookston is losing by an average score of 15-1 (and that’s rounding up).

News of Note –

  • Wayne State has only lost 2 games but the fact that they won 3 of 4 from 2 different teams that they easily swept last year (Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth) is another sign that this team isn’t quite as good as last years squad.  They would seem to be doing okay at 6-2  but that already drops them 2 games behind a number of other top contenders.  Last year’s Wildcats were 27-4 in league play so they have to go on quite the streak to match them.
  • Wayne State’s 1 loss this weekend was dealt by Duluth’s starting pitcher, Anders Engberg.  The Burnsville, MN native was dominant in the 2nd half of 2009 and earned 2nd team all-conference accolades as a freshman but was battling early season arm troubles.  It looks like he may be coming back into form.  If that’s the case, he can be hard to beat anytime he starts so it will be interesting to see how St. Cloud State fares after facing 2 cupcakes.  Duluth’s coaching staff would probably do well to go with him in one of the 7 inning contests as they did against Wayne State.
  • Winona State’s head coach, Kyle Poock, won his 200th game as coach of the Warriors.  The 2 wins on Saturday gave him an overall record of 200-148-1 in 7 seasons as head coach which include 5 straight winning seasons.  Winona went on to sweep all 4 games against Crookston to kick off their NSIC title hopes.    Poock Gets 200th Win
  • 2 of the more dominant pitchers so far this season are freshman from Minnesota’s Lake Conference –
    • St. Cloud State is loaded with great pitching stats and the pitcher with the best line so far is Shawn Riesgraf, a freshman from Chaska.  Riesgraf improved to 5-0 over the weekend and leads all Huskies pitchers with a 1.40 ERA and .174 BAA.  While not nearly as heralded as his pitching teammate from the 2008 class (Brad Hand) he was highly recruited by Minnesota State and others.
    • Augustana’s Grant Larson doesn’t have quite the same ERA but he leads the Vikings with a 4-0 record.  The freshman from Burnsville, MN does need to work on some control issues as he’s already hit 11 batters in just 28.2 innings of work.
  • The big series for the coming week will be the home and home series between Minnesota State and Southwest Minnesota State.  These 2 teams split the only 2 games they played last year.  With the Mavericks finishing just 1 game out of first place in 2009, it was a costly loss. 
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32 Responses to “First 2 Weeks of Northern Sun Play Complete”


  1. 1 Dave March 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Looks like it’s going to be a fun, competitive season. I am so looking forward to the next couple of months. The next couple of weeks are going to be very telling with those top teams squaring off. It’s going to be tough to win the conference with more than 4 or 5 losses.

    I heard someone talking somewhere about the end of year tournament possibly expanding to 8 teams (maybe it was on here?). Anyone heard that and what are the chances of that?

    Congratulations to Coach Poock. That’s quite an accomplishment (the 200 wins AND the 5 out of 7 winning seasons). From all of my interactions and observations of him he is a real class act and obviously a good coach too.

  2. 2 Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I heard that the first two years of the new NSIC was going to have he same schedule and same tournament format. The 3rd year they were going to change it up and have 8 teams participate. I asked why the Softball Girls had 8 in the tournaments. I was told because of the pitching. Softball pitchers can pitch almost everyday.

  3. 3 cu17dad March 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Question?

    Is there no suspension for being ejected from a game?

    I see the UMD player ejected versus CU was allowed to play against Wayne St first game.

    • 4 John Plasha Sr. March 30, 2010 at 11:27 am

      Good question. I thought so too. I couldn’t question it at the time it was happening because we didn’t have “Live Stats” for all 4 of our home games so I didn’t realize it was happening till after the fact. I guess this internet thing hasn’t caught on in Nebraska. It was always my understanding that anyone ejected from a game was also prohibited from participating in the next contest also. This makes sense otherwise a ball player could do anything he wanted in the 6th or 7th inning and only have to sit out an inning or 2. From what I can gather it wasn’t just a verbal outburst either. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought there were spikes involved at 1st base after a verbal issue at the plate. You would think that would warrent more time off than a couple innings.

  4. 5 Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I have one for you. In a Minnesota High School Basketball tournament involving a Hopkins player. After the game he went to the opposing fans and dropped a bunch of fbombs while acting out the act of masturbation. He was not only allowed to play the next game but made the sportsmanship all tournament team. What the fluck.
    So nothing seems to matter anymore.

  5. 6 cu17dad March 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Okay the play at first involved spiking the 1st base man. I was told he did say something to the umpire after the play was over or said something the umpire heard. Not sure if the spiking incident was the reason.

    Prior to his at bat, the previous player was rung up on a very high strike. That player was none too happy. The ejected player at bat had a questionable strike call before the play at first.

    • 7 Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      OK. So the ump didn’t like what he heard and I’m sure the 1st baseman didn’t like getting spiked. So that brings us back to the origional question. Why was this ball player allowed to play in the very next game?

  6. 9 Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    AUGUSTANA COLLEGE
    Nate Baumann (Jr., Outfielder, Marshall, Minn. / Marshall HS) helped
    the Vikings to a 6-1 record this week, including a four-game sweep of
    conference foe, Bemidji State. Baumann was 4-of-5 in game one with
    Bemidji State, recording three RBI. He was also 3-for-4 in the second
    game of that day, collecting three RBI. For the week, Baumann was 16-
    for-27 and averaged .593. He totaled eight RBI and eight stolen bases
    while committing no errors as a center fielder. He had two double and
    two home runs. Baumann was also scored 15 runs, hbp 3 times, walked 3 times.
    The Vikings have 40 HRs this year. The most in the last 7 years in a season has been 50. I see a change to the NSIC one of the reasons. Last year the first season they had 50. The most in a season before that was 40.

    • 10 John Plasha Sr. March 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      Not trying to rain on your parade or anything but last year Wayne had 93 Home Runs total and 61 if you only count NSIC games. Not sure where you got your info about 50 being the most in a season.

  7. 11 Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Not raining on my parade. I was talking about Augustana’s hr totals. 50 being the most they have ever had dating back to 2004. The reasons I believe for the increased hrs is the new NSIC league does not have the pitching. Also the 9-7 double headers will play in to the increase of hrs and all stats.
    As far as I know Wayne may have had 200 in one season.

    • 12 John Plasha Sr. March 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      Sorry, I missunderstood. You mentioned the NSIC in the sentence after you said “the most in the last 7 years in a season has been 50”. I guess my brain processed it all together instead of 2 seperate sentences. No biggie. I do agree that on the average HR totals will go up for 3 reasons. # 1 more innings = more at bats. Simple math. # 2 pitchers are gonna be forced to go deeper into games and therefore be less efective. # 3 Teams are gonna be forced to use kids that aren’t used to pitching at this level or at a minimum kids without the pitching experiance of your lead horses.

      But you will surley see the season totals go down next year. If I’m not mistaken hasen’t the NCAA has shortened the season by 5+/- games.

      And by the way I forgot to mention in my previous post, What a week for the young Mr. Baumann. You won’t see to many better than that.

  8. 13 Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    The reason they went to the 9-7 inning games is to make up for the 5 or so games they are cutting out next year. The cost of travel to 2-3 more away games will cut the cost. So in 32 confernce games /half with the 9 innings, that would be another 32 innings. So about 4 1/2 games. I also agree with all you said up above.

  9. 14 IMAFAN March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    The Duluth kid should have ridden the pine for the whole series not just the next game if what happened as described happened. Where is the discipline for the team from that? Baseball teams need discipline as much as football and basketball. Not a good move for the conference cred….

  10. 15 cu17dad March 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Sure wish UMD had Live Stats. CU is up there for a DH and I cannot find any results. What I find incredible when you go to the UMD baseball page and click Live Stats you get lineups for a WSC and Emporia game scheduled for March 16.

    • 16 John Plasha Sr. March 30, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      So I guess Wayne isn’t the only school with no live stats. That’s a shame for those of us trying to follow our sons colligate careers from afar. Some schools however really do have their stuff together. Last weekend my son had an away series in Bemidji and I was able to watch “Live Stats” on one computer and listen to a live radio broadcast on another. Aside from my daughter telling me from time to time that “I needed Help” it was a great afternoon. What bothers me the most is how baseball gets screwed over time after time. Some times it amasses even me. I sent an e-mail to our school’s radio station asking if they were gonna broadcast that afternoons DH and was told “Sorry, we are broadcasting the Rugby March Madness Games.” I kid you not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess that’s what 6 or 7 NSIC regular season championships will get you.

  11. 17 cu17dad March 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Bauman had an incredible week! Young pitching this year will grow as the season progresses. I think toward the end of the regular season and certainly Conference Tournament hitting will slow down for most players.

  12. 18 Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I would bet the house that any player in the NSIC would prefer to play more games/more innings. I hope people don’t start thinking the 9/7 Dh’s are a bad idea after two weekends.

    Time will allow programs to develop pitching staffs, which is needed to win in the post season. If it wasn’t a good idea the RMAC and pretty much every other DII program in the country wouldn’t be playing as many 9 inning games as possilbe.

    Plus it helps reduce the upset win with a quality pitcher only having to throw 7 innnings, at least in 2 of the 4 games. And it gets more players playing time. How can anyone argue with that. Now the scores might get inflated a bit, but is that a bad thing?

  13. 19 Wow March 30, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    It was good to see #1 Batter Baumann and #2 Batter Heithoff finally starting to click. With the lineup Augie has they are going to give anyone fits. Keeping in mind #1 pitcher will be coming back soon. #2 pitcher hopefully get it going. These were the top two from last year.

    #1 Baumann .396 5hr
    #2 Heithoff .286 1hr
    #3 Marks .411 9hr
    #4 Dubanoski .444 9hr
    #5 Morrison .356 5hr
    #6 Alftson .386 3hr
    #7 Hansen .419 2hr
    #8 Knight .333 2hr
    #9 Hewes .319 0hr

  14. 20 fishingmn March 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Minnesota Duluth swept both games of today’s non-conference doubleheader against Concordia St Paul – http://cugoldenbears.com/Articles/03-30-10_-_Base_UMD.html

    The Golden Bears are not very good this year. They are very young so hopefully taking their lumps this year will prepare them for better things in a couple years.

  15. 21 John Plasha Sr. March 30, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Wonder what the author of the article you posted the link to was referring to when he said the game was played in “Hostile Territory”? Tounge in cheek I hope.

  16. 22 Baseball March 31, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I hope the weather holds on Friday. I heard from a friend that SMSU vs. MSU baseball could be moved to Wednesday and Thursday, since the weather was 70 degrees both days and only expected to be 50 with rain on Friday. SMSU wanted to move it up, but both program’s have to agree.

    Hope the weather holds.

    • 23 John Plasha Sr. March 31, 2010 at 8:35 am

      I’m hopeing with you. I’m on my way to MSP tonight for a 4 game series with Concordia Thur/Fri. Thur looks great but I’m seeing .75″ rain on Friday. Hope it starts about 6 PM.

  17. 24 Anonymous March 31, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Snow predicted for early next week in Sioux Falls area

  18. 25 John Plasha Sr. March 31, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Hey cu17,
    I gota cold one that says your kid runs this week his record ain’t perfect anymore! (Can you tell I started my pre-game scouting?)

  19. 26 cu17dad March 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I am sure if the situation warrants him to run he will. He has done a very good job running the bases this year.

    #17 is having a good offensive year struggling a bit in the field.

    I think the Bears will walk out of their slumber by Friday if not before.

    A cold one it is if he runs. I will happily ship an Iowa microbrew to Pa. IF your kid throws mine out. Not a pick off steal

    • 27 John Plasha Sr. March 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      Cool. Your on! Won’t have to ship it cause I’ll be there in person. Plane leaves at 5:00. Look forward to meeting if you plan on attending. Good Luck. And your right. Jr17 is having a real nice year. 8 for 8 is pretty good.

  20. 28 Anonymous March 31, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Call me crazy but my son from SMSU played this weekend and they rolled NSU pretty well but one thing stuck out to me as Northern’s head coach wasn’t there. So, I called a buddy of mine who supports and follows Mankato baseball fairly well and asked if the head coach was there that weekend. He had to think about it but called me back later and said he did not see Coach Gulseth at the field that weekend. What is going on with Northern State baseball?

  21. 29 Anonymous April 1, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Here is a score for you.
    03/29/10 Boys Town, Neb. Emporia State 34, Nebraska-Omaha 19

  22. 30 gowolves92 April 1, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    As a frequent reader of this blog and NSU supporter, I was very curious about one of the previous posts. Living in another part of the country makes it impossible to attend any games anymore, but this blog has been very useful in staying up to date. I decided to do some investigating myself into what is happening back at Northern, but all of the details seem to be rather cloudy. I did hear one rumor that was rather upsetting, but after doing my own search online my concerns were confirmed. Have a look for yourself.
    http://www.curlingchicago.org/

    • 31 WSCDad April 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      Wow. Curling? Really?
      Maybe he combined it with a recruiting trip and some of Chicago’s finest are headed to North Dakota.

      I guess you get that 15 win season under your belt and your job is secure. Yikes!!

  23. 32 Baseball April 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Is that the same guy? wow if this is true


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