Archive for the 'Baseball Media Coverage' Category

Northern Sun Baseball Hits 100,000 Page Views

100000 Views

Sometime this morning, the Northern Sun Baseball blog hit 100,000 page views over the life of the blog!  One of my main goals for this year was to reach this milestone which only a tiny percentage of blogs ever reach.

As you can see, there have been 1,647 comments – I certainly have appreciated the community of like minded baseball fans who have greatly contributed to the success of this blog.

While the future of Northern Sun Baseball is up in the air, it’s been an enjoyable 15 months. In addition, I’ve expanded my own skills as I learned a ton about creating content and using different technology tools in this “new media” age that we live in.

Thank You Readers!!

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Southwest Minnesota State – 2010 Preview

SW MN State

Today I continue with my series looking at the top teams in the Northern Sun Conference by previewing Southwest Minnesota State.  I chose them because they were the first school to post their roster and schedule for the year so it’s in deference to the fine job they’re doing at publishing information about the team.  I look back at their results in 2009, key roster transitions and what 2010 might hold for the team.

Southwest Minnesota State 2009 Results

Once again, I pull out the 2009 coaches poll to show how wrong they were about the success that the Mustangs would have in 2009.  Northern Sun coaches predicted a 7th place finish for the team –

Instead, the team finished with a 16-10 record in the NSIC (28-15 overall) and a solid 4th place finish in the the regular season to propel them into the Northern Sun Conference Postseason Tournament. 

What To Ask Coaches?

In January & February I hope to interview a number of Northern Sun Conference coaches to ask them about the upcoming 2010 college baseball season along with topics regarding the state of NCAA Division 2 baseball.

The comments section at this blog have never been more active.  I’ve already started a list of questions that I want to ask but I’m giving readers a chance to chime in as well.  So, with that in mind, what questions do you have that you think would be interesting and informative to ask the coaches?

Stories From Around NCAA College Baseball

banner_baseball

Time to catch up on stories from around NCAA college baseball as school approaches. 

  • As a follow up to my last story about the NCAA banning composite bats (NCAA Rule Changes) the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) did approve the plan to put a temporary ban on composite bats – PROP Approves Action on Composite Bats
  • I wrote some last year about the demise of college baseball at D1 schools Vermont and Northern Iowa.  In fact, colleges across the country have eliminated 227 different sports teams in the past 3 years.  This summer, the University of Wisconsin La Crosse made a similar threat to shut down their D3 baseball program.  Fortunately, the school allowed boosters to fund raise the $50k needed to save the program for now which has happened.  You can read about the effort and publicity that saved UWL baseball here – Save UW La Crosse Baseball Site
  • Something I missed back during the D2 College World Series was this blog by a Dowling pitcher about his experience during the event.  It is quite well written – “This morning was truly an awakening of the senses, as it was surely the first and best day of all our baseball careers to date.”  You can find it here – A Pitcher’s Perspective
  • Finally, I saw this interesting piece from the Collegebaseball360 Blog.  As the father of a pitcher and a youth baseball coach I’ve long been concerned about pitch counts.  Many of you may have heard about the 25 inning D1 playoff game between Texas and Boston College – Texas closer Austin Wood received a lot of well deserved national attention for his 13 inning effort in the Longhorn’s 25-inning win over Boston College in the Austin Regional. However, Wood was not the same after that outing that saw him throw nearly 140 pitches. In his two combined Regional outings Wood totaled 15.0 IP with 2 hits, 4 BB, 17 strikeouts and no runs allowed. However, in his six appearances after the famed 13-inning outing here are the lefty’s numbers: 11 IP, 16 hits, 10 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, with a 6.54 ERA. Wood made his nation-leading 41st appearance of the season when he toed the rubber for the last time in the final game of the CWS vs. LSU.  CWS – Before & After.  Boyd’s World Website does a good job of calling out schools that abuse pitchers here – D1 Pitch Count Watch

NCAA Sticks It To D1 Baseball’s Northern Teams

NCAA Baseball Logo

Two weeks ago I wrote about how the NCAA Division 1 Legislative Council was considering 2 proposals that could have a bearing on Division 1 college baseball (NCAA Considers D1 Proposals) –

  • 2008-46 – Would add a 14th week to the college baseball season (front end or back end)

  • 2008-48 – Would reduce the number of allowable baseball games from 56 to 52

    It is being reported that the NCAA is going to go forward with adding a 14th week to the season.  The bad news for all Northern Teams?  They’ve gone ahead and bowed down to the Southern schools and are adding the week to the beginning of the season.  NCAA Set To Add Week To Schedule

    This is a huge deal because it forces Northern schools into another week of travel and expense if they want to play a full slate of games against quality competition which allows them to get better consideration for post-season play.  It basically is a total cop out to the big Southern schools who have most of the power in NCAA D1 college baseball and makes it that much harder for Northern schools to compete (athletically and financially). 

    Big Ten Hardball had an excellent commentary on this subject and I urge anyone interested in the topic to read it – Big Ten Hardball – NCAA Adds Week

    We’ve already seen programs in Northern Iowa and UMass call it quits for their D1 baseball programs this year.  Could more follow and make college baseball even more of a regional sport?

  • News From Around College Baseball – 4/2/09

    Fungos and Ball

    There are a number of stories this week in the blogosphere about Division 2 college baseball and upper Midwest baseball happenings that I wanted to highlight –

    • The NCAA publishes a weekly update about D2 baseball which highlights some great individual performances from the previous week or important games between top teams.  One of those players profiled this week was University of Indianapolis pitcher Cory White who struck out a school record 15 batters in a 7 inning game in leading his team to a 3-1 victory over Lewis University (a team that’s played against both Winona State and Upper Iowa this season).  NCAA D2 Notebook
    • Speaking of the NCAA, they are currently running a 3 part series called “A Shoppers Guide to Division 2” which discusses the fiscal impact of Division II athletic membership along with the costs/benefits of college sports at the Division 2 level.  The 2nd installment discusses “ticker envy” and prudent fiscal management while the final piece is about how one school’s attempt to live the D1 philosophy led it back to choose Division II instead.  It’s an interesting read, especially in light of the economic climate that has led to some schools dropping D1 baseball like Vermont and Northern Iowa recently decided to do.  Shoppers Guide to D2 – part 1   Shoppers Guide to D2 – part 2  Shoppers Guide to D2 – part 3
    • Back on March 15th I commented about the record setting win by Southwest Minnesota State in beating Minnesota Duluth 34-1 (Mustangs Beat Bulldogs 34-1).  That was nothing compared to the whooping that D1 school Eastern Kentucky laid on D2 school Kentucky State.  The final score in that contest was 49-1.  Kentucky State actually led 1-0 after the top of the first inning and then gave up 22 runs in the bottom of the inning.  Oh yeah, the game only lasted 5 innings!  Eastern Kentucky Hammers Kentucky State 49-1
    • Finally, I’ll be following Minnesota High School baseball this spring as well.  Minnesota is the primary recruiting grounds for a lot of Northern Sun Conference schools.  In fact, of the 33 high school seniors who signed National Letters of Intent with NSIC teams in the fall early signing period, 24 of them were from Minnesota.  Today was scheduled to be opening day for many teams but a lot of games are already being pushed back.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune had a preview of the Lake Conference, Minnesota’s premier baseball/athletic conference, in yesterday’s paper.  The article doesn’t really cover enough ground as it only covers 3 teams, but it does mention 2 future NSIC pitchers (Wallace & Kilber).  Star Tribune Lake Conference Preview

    College Baseball News of Note

    Night Gathering

    Here are some of the college baseball stories that have caught my eye over recent days that I thought you might like to take a look at –

    • As reported back in late February, the University of Northern Iowa announced that they were dropping college baseball (UNI Drops Baseball).  Now the University is holding out hope that they can fund raise enough donations to keep the program alive.  They are looking to raise $1.2 Million dollars in pledges by April 5th in order to save baseball which has been played at the school for the past 103 years.  You can view their progress or make a donation here – Support UNI Baseball
    • Rivals does a very good job of covering college baseball.  They recently published their Top 100 High School Prospects.  It’s interesting that all but 1 of them is already committed to a school for next year (of course this is before MLB could draft and sign them).  I was struck by how few of the Top 100 came from northern schools.  I counted 1 kid each from IL, IA, MI, KS and IN but the rest of them all come from the south.  It’s no wonder that northern schools struggle to compete as both the weather and talent pool gives the south a decided advantage.  Rivals Top 100 High School Prospects
    • The Minnesota High School baseball season kicks off in 2 short weeks.  A large number of Northern Sun players come out of Minnesota so it’s worth keeping track of the top teams.  The MN Coaches Association has published their pre-season rankings for 2009.  Minnesota Preseason High School Rankings

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