Archive for the 'Division 1 College Baseball' Category

Northern Sun Players of the Week & Some Links

The Northern Sun Conference made their week 1 announcements regarding players of the week – NSIC News Release – They are:

NSIC Players of the Week
Photo#7 Deryk Marks
IF/C, 5-10, 180, R/R, Jr.,
Cottage Grove, Minn.
Iowa Central CC
Augustana College

Deryk Marks had an impressive debut for Augustana. As the Vikings split on doubleheader at the Metrodome against Rockhurst, Marks went 5-for-6 (.833) with 3 doubles, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. For the weekend, he had a 1.333 slugging percentage. After going 1-for-2 in the Vikings 13-2 win, Marks went 4-for-4 in the nightcap with three of his hits being doubles.

NSIC Pitcher of the Week
Photo#8 Ryan Sander
RHP, 6-2, 195, Jr.,
St. James, Minn.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran HS
Bemidji State

Ryan Sander hurled six-innings of shutout ball against Minnesota, Crookston to open the 2010 season, Feb. 5 at the H.H.H Metrodome, giving-up just three hits in a 7-0 victory. He had a no-hitter going through four innings, retiring 12-of-13 batters. The lone baseman reached on a fielding error. He gave-up just one hit in each of the final three innings, all of which were singles. Sander fanned five batters, while giving-out two free passes.

Other News of Interest

I found the following articles about D2 baseball over the past week that may be of interest –

  • College Baseball Today focuses almost exclusively on D1 baseball but took in a D2 game while waiting for the D1 season to start.  Some commentary about Western Oregon and UC – San Diego who are Top 20 teams – College Baseball Today
  • The College Baseball Blog also took in a game between 2 Top 20 teams, Lubbock Christian and Angelo State – Teams Split DH
  • PING Baseball has a number of player blogs including this one by Northern Sun’s Cody Wilcoxson of Concordia St. Paul who discusses the teams split at the Metrodome this past week – Thursday at the Dome
  • Outside the Northern Sun there’s also D2 baseball being played.  On the national scene the Sunshine State Conference has last years champion (Lynn) and this years #1 team (Tampa) and you can follow a number of really strong teams here – Sunshine State Conference Baseball Page
  • Finally, D1 baseball is just around the corner and my favorite D1 site is Rivals/Yahoo Baseball where they have released their preseason rankings – Texas Tops Rankings
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Northern Sun & College Baseball Updates – Thanksgiving Edition

Okay, Thanksgiving was really yesterday but I was busy eating turkey.  Now with a day off it’s time to update a few items of interest for the Northern Sun Conference and college baseball as a whole.

A lot of the recent news in college baseball revolves around recruiting news as teams are announcing the signing of players during the NCAA’s early signing period.  Last week I posted 5 press releases from Northern Sun teams that had announced signings – Northern Sun Fall 2009 Signings

  • A couple days after that blog entry I was sent the press release from Minnesota State.  MN State Announces seven 2010-11 Signings  The school has been right up there with St. Cloud State as having some of the largest and most high profile recruiting success lately.  Zach Bohar, Ronnie Donley, Dalton Grove, Jason Hoppe, TJ Larson, Tyler Ockuly and Parker Sullivan will be suiting up for the Mavericks during the 2011 season.
  • College Baseball Insider also has done some tracking of overall Division 2 College Baseball fall signings and although they are woefully behind the announcements it’s interesting to see what other schools are adding to their rosters – Division 2 Early Signings
  • Baseball America continues to be a premier site for baseball as a whole and while the majority of their college baseball content is premium Aaron Fitt had a recent column answering Division 1 college baseball recruiting questions – College Recruiting Chat
  • In addition to following Upper Midwest D2 baseball I’ve long been a fan of the University of Minnesota (my alma mater) and their baseball team.  Kendall Rogers from Rivals just published a positive outlook about the team, although I’m a bit more skeptical after the Gophers lost 3 of their top hitters and 2 of their top pitchers.  Five Keys for Minnesota Baseball
  • Finally, I like to check the NCAA site and while this has nothing to do with college baseball, per se, I see that the Northern Sun Conference has been awarded $10,000 to potentially add new members to the Conference.  This has the potential to be something to keep track of in future years.  D2 Committee Approves Membership Grants

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?

  • NCAA Considers Cuts To D1 College Baseball Season

    NCAA Baseball Logo

    Yesterday, I wrote about how the NCAA is considering changes to Division 2 college baseball that would reduce the maximum number of games played from 56 to 50 (D2 College Baseball Game Reductions).  With that in mind I thought it would be worthwhile to investigate whether the same thing was being proposed for Division 1 college baseball.

    Sure enough, the NCAA Division 1 Legislative Council is planning on meeting on April 20, 2009 where the following proposals are being considered (Legislative Council To Vote on Proposals):

    • 2008-46 – Would add a 14th week to the college baseball season
    • 2008-48 – Would reduce the number of allowable baseball games from 56 to 52

    Recently, the NCAA made some broad changes to D1 college baseball such as transfer rules, scholarship rule changes and the uniform start date.  The uniform start date had the effect of leveling the playing field for north and south schools but compacted the schedules which means schools and their student athletes are having to travel more to get in a full slate of games in the time allotted.  These 2 proposals take different tactics to solve that perceived issue.  Either make the season longer or reduce the number of games.

    Proposal 2008-46 – Add a 14th Week to season

    • This proposal tries to address the compressed schedule by making the season longer.  The problem with that is it either adds another week at the beginning of the season which hurts the northern schools or pushes back the season even more into summer which impacts the College World Series and has students playing even longer into the season when school is probably over.
    • The NCAA received comments on this proposal – 15 schools supported the proposal and 6 opposed it.  If you look at the individual comments though it is almost universal that southern schools want the extra week at the beginning and northern schools at the end.  The comments are on page 24 of the Agenda Supplement – NCAA April Agenda Supplement Part 3

    Proposal 2008-48 – Reduce allowable D1 college baseball games from 56 to 52

    • This proposal aims to reduce the impact of a compacted schedule by reducing the number of games played.
    • The NCAA received comments on this proposal – 19 supported it, 31 opposed it and 2 abstained.  It’s a pretty interesting read to see the comments of each individual school.  The comments are on pages 25-29 of the Agenda Supplement – NCAA April Agenda Supplement Part 3

    Action on these items will be finalized by the D1 Board of Directors at a meeting on April 30th so we’ll know the results soon.

    The Challenge of Baseball in the Lake Conference

    Fighting the Sun

    In Minnesota, the premier athletic conference in all of high school sports is by far and away the Lake Conference.  Pick any high school sport and it’s likely that a Lake Conference team has won the state championship within the past 3 years.

    That has been the case in baseball as well with teams from Apple Valley, Lakeville and Eden Prairie winning it all within the past 5 years.  Last year the Conference sent 3 teams to the state championship.  2008 saw a bumper crop of talent come from the Lake as almost every team produced college bound baseball players.  Chaska turned out the state’s player of the year, Brad Hand, who skipped college to go straight to the Florida Marlins system after being drafted by Major League Baseball in the 2nd round.

    While some consider the talent to be down this year, here’s an example of the challenge faced by being a Lake team using my hometown Rosemount nine –

    Game 1 – Eastview – starting pitcher Nick Dolsky, a D1 recruit going to Arizona.  4 pro scouts were in the stands.

    Game 2 – Eagan – starting pitcher Charlie Weinberg, a D1 recruit going to Illinois-Chicago

    Game 3 – Burnsville – starting pitcher Grant Larson, a D2 recruit going to Augustana who was relieved by Jack Lassonde, a D2 recruit going to Minnesota Duluth

    Game 5 – Chaska – starting pitcher Shawn Riesgraf, a D1/D2 recruit

    Game 6 – Eden Prairie – almost certain to face Tim Bado, their #1 pitcher

    Speaking of Chaska’s Shawn Riesgraf, it was interesting to see his recruitment unfold as St. Cloud State’s pitching coach (Pete Pratt), Minnesota State’s head coach (Matt Majers) and D1 recruiters from NDSU and UND were in attendance.  Riesgraf got a 4-1 complete game win, giving up 6 hits and no earned runs.  He threw around 83 on the UND/NDSU guns.  I’m guessing there’s a decent chance he ends up in the Northern Sun next year as at least 1 of the D1 recruiters didn’t seem that interested.

    My thanks to coach Pratt and Majers who took a little time to chat – it was good to meet the people in person I’m writing about.

    UNI Baseball Officially Folds Amid Controversy

    The University of Northern Iowa’s Division 1 college baseball team will officially end it’s 103 year run as a school supported team at the end of 2009.

    The school had made this announcement back in February (UNI Drops Baseball) but a grass roots group emerged, Support UNI Baseball, which was given an opportunity to save the sport if they could raise $1.2M in a little over a month from private donations.  Last week it was announced that the campaign failed to reach its goal and fund raising ended.

    This result came amid a number of heated and controversial meetings between the group (which included UNI’s baseball head coach) on one side and the school President and Athletic Director on the other side.  The Support UNI Baseball group had received commitments for $250,000 and was asking that the school contribute $100,000.  The group then committed to keep fund raising the same amount each year until it reached the fully sustaining amount needed.

    The grassroots group came away disappointed by the process and wrote a scathing summary of their failure here – Committee Criticizes UNI Decision to Drop Baseball

    It’s an interesting read and goes into the behind the scenes efforts and negotiations that took place in order to try and save the team.


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