Archive for the 'Metrodome' Category



Augustana – 2010 Baseball Schedule

augustana

Augustana has posted their schedule for the upcoming 2010 baseball season.  Augustana 2010 Schedule

The Vikings open their season at the Metrodome on February 3rd and again on February 7th against an unnamed opponent.  I guess that means they have the place rented and are looking for someone to come play with them.  They have 3 spring trips planned – Colorado on February 13-14, Missouri on February 27-28 and the Russ Matt Invitational in Winter Haven, FL March 11-17.  That means all 4 teams that I have seen schedules for are heading to the Russ Matt (UMD is heading there but hasn’t posted it online). 

Within the Northern Sun Conference the Augies will avoid playing Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota Crookston & Mary which gives them one of the tougher schedules on paper.  One highly favorable thing is that they won’t have to do a ton of traveling during the Conference season.  It’s highly likely that Bemidji will end up playing in Sioux Falls (Bemidji in March?).

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Southwest Minnesota St. – 2010 Baseball Schedule

SW MN State 

Southwest Minnesota State has published their 2010 baseball schedule for the upcoming school year.  Mustang 2010 Schedule

They open with 4 games at the Metrodome against the University of Minnesota Duluth on February 4th & 5th.  Hopefully for Duluth’s sake they won’t suffer a 34-1 loss to the Mustangs like they did early in the spring last year. 

In 2009 the Mustangs didn’t play their first games until mid-March on spring break so these 4 early games will give us a little better idea of where they stand.  They do have more than a month off afterward before traveling to Winter Haven, FL for the Russ Matt Invitational.

Each Northern Sun school plays 8 conference opponents 4 times and doesn’t play 4 of the conference schools.  This year, SMSU avoids Wayne State, Concordia, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth.  These are the same 4 teams they avoided in 2009 so the conference uses the same in-conference scheduling for 2 years.

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Bemidji State – Lone Bright Spot Yesterday

Bemidji State Beavers

It’s been a couple days since I recapped the games on the field for Northern Sun baseball teams.  Unfortunately, most of the teams have been delivering mediocre results –

  • The only wins by a Northern Sun team yesterday came in a pair of non-conference games between 2 conference teams.  In a rather surprising late night pair of games at the Metrodome, Bemidji State (7-7) came away with a sweep against Minnesota State (2-4) by scores of 5-4 and 4-2.  The Mavericks were picked to finish 2nd in the conference so a sweep at the hands of the Beavers was not expected.
  • Minnesota Crookston (0-6) also played a twin bill at the Metrodome yesterday.  They played Wisconsin-Stout, a Division 3 team that finished 12-25 last season.  Unfortunately, the competition was still too difficult and Stout won 2-0 and 8-1.  That 2nd game featured 6 Golden Eagle errors. Stout Sweeps Golden Eagles
  • Winona State (2-6) continued their spring break trip in Florida and after having beat #1 Lynn on Saturday their success has gone down hill. The Warriors have now lost 4 straight contests including yesterday’s 13-8 loss to John Carroll University.  Carroll put up 6 runs in the first inning and 3 more in each the 2nd and 3rd to win rather easily.  Winona’s Tony Mueller did continue his very strong start to the season as the freshman outfielder had 4 more hits.  Mueller has now hit safely in 12 of 18 at-bats on the road trip and is hitting .633 on the season (19 for 30). Big Inning Strikes Warriors Again
  • The University of Mary (3-9) continued their spring trip in Phoenix yesterday.  After splitting a pair of doubleheaders the Marauders have now lost 2 straight games.  Tuesday saw a 4-3 loss in 11 innings to Grand Canyon and yesterday delivered a 9-3 loss to Wartburg.
  • On Tuesday, Concordia University (7-2) split a doubleheader against Grand View (2-6).  The Golden Bears’ Jake Schmidt (3-0) continues to look like he deserved billing as NSIC preseason Pitcher of the Year in winning the first game 7-1 but Concordia lost the nightcap 5-3. Golden Bears Split

There are a number of games today including:

  • Winona State completes their spring trip with games against Muskingum (4-1) and Heidelberg (4-0) – a couple of Division 3 baseball teams based in Ohio.
  • Concordia University plays a doubleheader at the Metrodome against Mayville State who is playing their first games of the year.
  • In the most relevant games today, conference foes Augustana (5-4) and Minnesota Duluth (3-4) will square off at the Metrodome tonight starting at 5pm.  The Augies have been burning up the base paths as they are 17 of 18 in stolen bases through 9 games.  In 43 games last season they had a total of 23 stolen bases so it looks like new head coach Tim Huber likes to put pressure on his opponents.

St. Cloud State takes 3 of 4 From Bemidji State

stcloudstate_logo   Bemidji State Beavers

Bemidji and St. Cloud concluded their 4 game set this morning at the Metrodome to finish off a busy 18 hour stretch. 

The Beavers started off game 1 of the series with a come from behind 4-3 victory.  They had trailed 3-0 but scored in the 4th, 6th and 7th innings to take the closely contested game.  Bemidji’s starter, Brent Vollbrecht kept the team in it for the first 5 innings.  Randy Amos pitched the 6th to pick up the win (2-0) and Ryan Bohannan picked up his 3rd save of the season.

In games 2 thru 4 it was all Huskies as they won all 3 games by 3+ runs with scores of 9-6, 19-6 and 4-1.  St. Cloud’s pair of games today featured excellent starting pitching, something that has been a common occurrence this early season.  In the 19-6 victory, starter Tim Scott went 5 innings giving up only 2 hits and 1 run to improve his record to 3-0 on the season.  This lowered his ERA to a stellar 1.59 and opposing batters are hitting a measly .172 against him.

Logan Birr pitched the series finale for St. Cloud State and pitched a complete game, 6 hit affair that yielded only 1 earned run.  The win for Birr improved his record to 2-0 and is the first complete game tossed for the Huskies this season.

At the plate, Bemidji State first baseman, Josh Juntunen collected 6 hits for the series which included hitting safely in all 4 games.  St. Cloud State was led by 6 hits from third baseman, Sam Radbil, and 5 hits apiece from Nate Johnson (CF), Nate Hammes (C) and Beau Musgjerd (DH). Musgjerd’s hits included a pair of home runs in game 2.  St. Cloud State Recap

Concordia Sweeps St. Johns at Metrodome

Concordia

Concordia University improved to 7-1 on the season as they swept a pair of games from Division 3 foe, St. John’s University of Collegeville, MN. 

The Golden Bears jumped out to an early 5-0 lead which included a 2 run home run by catcher, Chris Herbert.  Concordia’s ace pitcher, Jake Schmidt, was cruising along through 5 innings, giving up only 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 11 strikeouts.  In the 6th inning the Johnnies scored 5 runs on a couple new pitchers and some sloppy play which led to 3 unearned tallies giving St. John’s a 7-6 lead.  Concordia scored 1 in the bottom of the 6th and won on a dramatic walk off home run but Bryan Lippincott (SS) to lead off the bottom of the inning.  This gave the Golden Bears an 8-7 victory.

In game 2, Lippincott hit another solo homer but the star for the game was freshman pitcher, Ben Lemke.  After giving up 5 more unearned runs in the first 3 innings on 5 errors, the Golden Bears’ starting pitcher, Blake DeVries was injured.  Concordia brought in Lemke who went the final 4 1/3 innings and gave up no hits & no runs while striking out 4 Johnnies.  This earned him his first career victory.  The final score of 15-7 was in doubt until the end though as the game ran right up to the Metrodome time limit and if it had gone another 7 minutes the game would have been canceled. 

On the day, Chris Herbert was 6-8 with a HR and 7 RBI’s while Jake Schmidt was 6-9 with a double, 2 triples and 5 runs scored.  There’s no word yet on the extent of DeVries’s injury. Lippincott Powers Sweep

Northern Sun – Winter Games

Snowy Field

One thing that every Northern Sun Conference baseball team has to deal with is how to play baseball games when the college baseball season starts on February 1st and your home field might not be available until late March or early April (if then).  This blog has written earlier about how many teams are using the Metrodome in Minneapolis in order to get in games – Northern Sun Teams Fill Metrodome

While that is one option, the primary way that teams deal with the weather is to head south.  This poses its own set of challenges as there’s no guarantee of playable weather in the closest locations as we saw this past weekend for Upper Iowa – Upper Iowa Games Colorado Trip Canceled

The other issue is that these trips cost a lot of money.  A large number of these trips are planned to places like Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas so that teams can take busses instead of flying.  That means 10+ hour bus rides but it does save some money for these non-revenue sports that cost their schools a lot of money to maintain.  In addition to bus trips, many of the schools do like to schedule a spring trip to a warm destination like Florida & Arizona.  This option almost guarantees a large number of games but also forces head coaches to seek out funding for the trips.  In many cases the players are asked to participate in on-campus activities, like working at off-season sporting events to raise money, or the programs hold special fund raisers – Crookston Spaghetti Dinner

The upside is that it allows these northern schools to schedule 50+ games during the season and spread out games across a more reasonable schedule.  Here is a chart showing where each of the teams in the Northern Sun Conference will be traveling to this winter/spring –

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As you can see, all but 4 of these teams will be taking what most would consider a “Spring Trip” to either Florida, Phoenix or Georgia.  Three of the teams are going to Fort Myers, FL to play in the Gene Cusick Collegiate Classic – Gene Cusick Classic Info.  Because there really aren’t that many other programs traveling during that time period, what ends up happening is that the teams end up playing each other in non-conference games.  For example, Minnesota Duluth and Southwest Minnesota State have 4 games against each other in Fort Myers.

With the current economic climate in this country one wonders if college baseball coaches will soon be making decisions about having to cut back on some of these types of trips or institute even more fund raising efforts in order to keep these types of schedules alive in the future.

Edit – After posting this article this morning I came across this timely piece in the LA Times that discusses how the economic downturn has teams in Division 1 college baseball considering changes to how they schedule in the future – Economic Downturn Could Lead to Tightening Belts

St. Cloud State Splits With Missouri

stcloudstate_logo

St. Cloud State’s baseball team went through some big ups and downs this weekend as they traveled to Joplin, MO to play 4 games against Missouri Southern.  In the end, they came away with a split of the series which left them at 7-3 on the season.  The games must have left the team feeling as if they were bipolar (extreme mood shifts).  St. Cloud Recap

  • Game 1 – In Friday’s game, the Huskies take a 13-4 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning but give up 9 in the 7th inning to tie it and a home run in the 8th inning to lose it.
  • Game 2 – The game is a total opposite of the day before as St. Cloud wins 4-1 in a pitchers duel.  Starter Tim Scott pitches 6 strong innings and gives up only 1 run on 1 hit (and 5 walks).  Nate Johnson and Nate Hammes lead on the offensive side to even the series.
  • Game 3 – The back end of Saturday’s double header had all the frustrations of Friday’s game.  The Huskies were down 5-0 by the end of the 3rd inning which included 2 unearned runs.  They then have the big inning like Missouri had on Friday and scored 7 runs in the top of the 6th inning to take the lead.  Their joy was short lived though as the Lions came back with 3 in the bottom of the 7th inning to win it 8-7.
  • Game 4 – Sunday’s final game of the series was another pitching gem.  St. Cloud got another solid effort from its starter, Pat DeLaHunt, who went 5 1/3 and only gave up 1 run.  Then, unlike games 1 & 3, the Huskies relief pitchers (Bryant Koval & Nick Anderson) were able to shut the door.  The 6-1 win was paced by 5 different players who had 2 hits for the game.

With 10 games in the books now there are a few things we can draw out by looking at St. Cloud’s stats:

  • On the offensive side, St. Cloud is hitting .314 as a team and are being led by Sam Radbil (3B) who is hitting .419 so far.  The Junior from Milwaukee, WI is on a 5 game hitting streak and has multi-hit games in 5 of the teams past 7 contests.  He leads the team in runs scored, hits and RBI’s and is the odds on favorite to be named Player of the Week.
  • In a weird statistical quirk, the team has 5 guys that are hitting 1.000 on the season (all 1 for 1).
  • The Huskies leadoff batter in an inning is reaching base at a .589 clip which is outstanding.
  • The starting pitchers have been outstanding.  As a group the 4 starters are 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA and only 31 hits allowed in 40.1 innings pitched.

St. Cloud State doesn’t play again until Wednesday February 25th when they will play the first game in a 4 game, non-conference series against Bemidji State at the Metrodome.

Minnesota Duluth & Concordia – Tale of 2 Games

Minnesota Duluth   Concordia

As I wrote in my game preview article this morning, Concordia was about to play their toughest opponent of the season this morning in a double header against Minnesota Duluth.  The 2 teams kicked off play at 9am in the controlled atmosphere of the Metrodome.  The teams came away with a split as Concordia (5-1) dominated the first game, winning 8-4 before Minnesota Duluth (2-1) came back to win the 2nd game even bigger by a score of 9-1.

In game 1, the Golden Bears sent Jake Schmidt to the mound in his 2nd start.  Schmidt was just named Northern Sun Conference Pitcher of the Week for his performance against Northern State in Concordia’s opener.  This start definitely didn’t go as easily as it did last week as Schmidt gave up 8 hits in 6 innings and recorded only 5 strikeouts instead of the 13 he garnered last week.  That said, when he left the game after 6 innings his team held a commanding 8-2 lead and he notched his 2nd win of this early season.  If the Bulldogs could have sent center fielder, Will Dahlgren and shortstop, Tyler Erickson, to the plate each at bat it might have been a different game.  The pair combined for 7 of Duluth’s 10 hits in a perfect day at the plate.  Concordia was paced by catcher, Chris Herbert, who hit home runs in each of his first 2 at bats and finished with 5 RBI’s and 3 hits to lead his team.  It sounded like Golden Bear pitcher, Kirk Ingram, tied the team career record for appearances with his 51st trip to the mound.

In game 2, Concordia took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning but it was all Bulldogs after that.  Starting Minnesota Duluth pitcher, Bryan Denisen, was outstanding as he gave up only 2 hits in 5 innings pitched to get the win.  Josh Taran came in for the final 6 outs and only gave up 1 hit.  The Bulldogs offense was equally effective as they pounded out 15 hits.  They were led once again by Will Dahlgren (3-4) and Tyler Erickson (2-3) but it was senior David Olson who was 4-4 to lead the offense in their 9-1 rout.  One of the most important points in the game might not show up in the boxscore.  With Duluth up 4-1, NSIC preseason player of the year, Brenden Furrow came to the plate for Concordia to lead off the top of the 4th inning.  He and Denisen had a 12 pitch marathon battle that went FBKBFFFFBFF before Furrow grounded out.  If he’d have reached base instead it might have just made a difference.

Concordia is off until Wednesday February 25th when they face Division 3 foe St. John’s at the Metrodome.  Minnesota Duluth’s next games are in Joplin, MO when they travel to play 4 games against Missouri Southern on February 21st and 22nd.

Update – here are the write ups from each school:  Minnesota Duluth Recap  Concordia Recap

Concordia vs. Duluth Today – Follow It Online

Concordia  Minnesota Duluth

We are entering the slowest week of the Northern Sun baseball schedule as Concordia University plays Minnesota Duluth today in the only mid-week games on the schedule.  The teams will face off in a double header starting at 9am which will be played at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.  Cost of admission is $5.

The game will feature a clash of undefeated teams as Concordia comes into the game at 4-0 and Minnesota Duluth at 1-0.  Concordia has looked really good so far and is living up to their billing as a preseason conference favorite.  It is interesting that their opponents have gotten progressively higher up the Northern Sun preseason rankings.  Their first opponent, Northern State University, was projected to finish 12th in the Conference and the Golden Bears beat them 4-0 and 19-0.  The second opponent, University of Mary, was projected to finish 10th and Concordia won 4-0 and 8-3.  Today’s opponent, Minnesota Duluth, is projected to finish 8th in the conference and beat University of Mary themselves in a close game on Saturday UMD vs. Mary Recap

One would expect that Concordia will send their preseason Northern Sun Pitcher of the Year, Jake Schmidt to the mound for his 2nd start of the season.  In the season opener he was outstanding in pitching a complete game shutout, giving up only 2 hits and matching his career high with 13 strikeouts.  Schmidt has also been one of the leaders at the plate with a .417 average which is 3rd only to Jon Stockton’s .667 average and Chase Brown’s .571.

Concordia is also providing 2 ways for fans to follow the game today via the Internet.  You can listen live Concordia Radio Broadcast, you can follow the game with their live stats option Concordia Live Stats or do both!

St. Cloud Playing 4 against Wisconsin Parkside

stcloudstate_logo

St. Cloud state swept a doubleheader from Wisconsin-Parkside yesterday at the Metrodome and completes the season series today with another pair of games.  In the first game, David Deminsky got the start and win pitching 5 solid innings, allowing only 3 hits.  Nate Johnson led the offense with a grand slam in the 4th inning to provide a 5-1 cushion.  In the nightcap, Parkside made it a little closer but still lost 2-1.  Pat DeLaHunt and Tim Radmacher combined to allow only 6 hits and San Radbil led the offense.  St. Cloud moves to 3-1 on the season while Parkside’s record is 0-6.  This is a team that was 7-36 last year so it would almost be a disappointment if the Huskies end up losing any of these games.  The recap for yesterday’s games can be found here – St. Cloud Wrap-up

As noted in an earlier blog posting, Minnesota Duluth beat the University of Mary 7-6 in 8 innings.  That game took too long so when their time at the Metrodome ran out they were only in the 4th inning and had to declare the game as canceled.

Finally, Baseball America has their Division 2 College Baseball Preview posted.  They’ve projected the top 5 teams in all of Division 2 this way:

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They have a bunch of other information in their preview including players to watch, top prospects for the 2009 major league draft and other Division 2 news of note.  Their projections can be found here – Baseball America Divsion II Preview

Unfortunately, no Northern Sun Conference players or teams were mentioned in their write-up.

Live From The Dome – Bulldogs 7, Marauders 6

Minnesota Duluth  U of Mary

I just got back from the Metrodome to see my first live college game of the season where the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs beat the University of Mary Marauders by the score of 7-6 in 8 innings.  Senior Co-Captain, Cole Hytjan started for the Bulldogs and was very shaky during his start.  I wasn’t keeping score, but he had 4 hit batsmen in the first 3 innings along with a few walks.  In fact, he got away with leaving 5 Mary players during the first 2 innings but it finally caught up with him in the top of the 3rd inning with Marauders 3rd baseman, Nate Watson, connected on a pitch down the middle and hit a no doubt grand slam.  Duluth had been up 1-0 but found themselves in a 5-1 hole by the middle of the 4th.

It looked like the game was over in the bottom of the 7th as U-Mary brought in their closer, Blaze Culliton.  The Bulldogs got men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out when the next batter hit a come backer to the pitcher.  Culliton rushed what should have been a double play and threw it behind the shortstop so that everyone was safe.  The Bulldogs scored one on the play and got a sacrifice fly to send it into extra innings.  In the bottom of the 8th, Culliton gave up a walk and then the next batter hit it past the drawn in 3rd baseman who was expecting a bunt.  Freshman, Anders Engberg, was called in to pinch hit with no one out but couldn’t get the bunts down so had to swing away with 2 strikes.  He hit a chopper that the 3rd baseman had to go to his left on.  He hesitated his throw to 2nd and then finally decided to go there anyway but the throw was in the dirt (or grass as it may be as the Metrodome has no dirt around the bases).  The ball bounded into right field and the winning run trotted across the plate.

The teams were slated to play a 2nd game – they may have a hard time getting 7 innings completed as St. Cloud State has their own double header at 5pm.

Thursday-Friday Recap & Saturday Preview

Old Baseballs

Since my last update a number of additional games have taken place at the Metrodome with results that would surprise no one.

  • Minnesota Crookston came very close to beating Dakota State in their season opener on Thursday but ended up losing 3-2.  They then lost the 2nd game 5-2.  On Friday they played Bemidji State and got beaten handily by scores of 10-1 and 11-5.  Crookston – Dakota State Recap  Crookston – Bemidji State Recap
  • Bemidji State also got into the swing of games with 2 games each on Thursday and Friday at the dome.  On Thursday they played 2 games against the Northern State Wolves where they lost the opening game 9-8 but came back to win the nightcap 7-2.  With their Friday sweep of Crookston, the Beavers are off to a 3-1 start to the season.  Bemidji State Recap
  • The University of Mary started their season on Friday with a double header against Concordia – St. Paul.  In the first game the Marauders fared the same as Northern State did when facing the Golden Bears as Concordia didn’t allow a run and won the game 4-0.  Mary was able to finally dent Concordia’s pitching staff in the 2nd game but still lost 8-3.  U of Mary Recap
  • Minnesota Duluth will kick off their season today against the University of Mary with a doubleheader at the dome.  They have a very nice preview of their season and series here – Duluth Preview   This is the first time that these 2 teams have ever met.  In other Duluth news, the Bulldogs have replaced Dakota State on Concordia’s schedule and the 2 teams will now play a pair of games this Tuesday at 9am in the Metrodome.  $5 to see 2 games seems like a pretty good piece of value – Concordia Announces Schedule Change

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