Archive for the 'Minnesota Crookston Baseball' Category



Northern Sun Weekend College Baseball Preview

Weekend Preview

The second weekend of NSIC contests kicks off this D2 college baseball season with 5 series scheduled.  There were originally planned to have a sixth series but the University of Mary is dealing with flooding in Bismarck, ND and postponed their series with St. Cloud State.

Here are your weekend match-ups:

Upper Iowa Minnesota State

Upper Iowa @ Minnesota State – in Mankato, MN – Sat/Sun

2008 Series Results – Minnesota State beat Upper Iowa 3 games to 1

All-time Results – Minnesota State holds a 10-4 advantage

Preview – Minnesota State Set to Battle Upper Iowa

Prediction – Minnesota State 3-1

 

Winona StateCrookston Golden Eagles

 Winona State @ Minnesota Crookston – in Winona, MN – Sat/Sun

(games were moved from Crookston to Winona)

2008 Series Results – Winona State beat Crookston 4-0 outscoring them 65-7

Preview – Golden Eagles Preview Article

Winona Daily News- Freshman Mueller Off To Fast Start

Prediction – Winona State 4-0

 

Wayne State1 Minnesota Duluth

Wayne State @ Minnesota Duluth – in Wayne, NE – Sat/Sun

(games moved from Duluth to Wayne)

2008 Series Results – Didn’t play each other

All-time Results – Wayne State leads 11-7 (last meeting 2004)

Preview – Wayne State Baseball Media Release

Prediction – Wayne State 3-1

 

Bemidji State Beaversaugustana

Bemidji State @ Augustana – in Sioux Falls, SD – Sat/Sun

2008 Series Results – Bemidji State won series 2-0

Preview – Augies Open NSIC Play Against Bemidji State

Prediction – Series Split 2-2

 

northern stateSW MN State

Southwest Minnesota State @ Northern State – in Marshall, MN – Sun/Mon

(games moved from Aberdeen to Marshall)

2008 Series Results – Teams split 2-2

All-time Results – SMSU leads 76-29

Preview – none

Prediction – Southwest Minnesota State 4-0

Northern Sun College Baseball Midweek – 3/26/09

image

The Northern Sun Conference’s college baseball teams are facing renewed issues with weather.  The Division 2 teams have had numerous games cancelled and moved this week as we’ve gone from April like weather to early March temperatures in a week.

There is a full slate of Conference games scheduled for this weekend and while there isn’t precipitation in the forecast it’s going to be pretty darn cold out there playing games –

image

(Minneapolis Forecast)

In games this week we’ve had the following results:

  • Augustana has had to cancel 2 different contests this week, first on Monday against Jamestown and again yesterday against Minnesota Crookston
  • Southwest Minnesota State cancelled yesterday’s planned doubleheader against Dakota Wesleyan
  • Wayne State delayed their pair of games from Tuesday to Wednesday but did get to play yesterday.  In their first matchup, the Wildcats played against Washburn in Topeka, KS and came away with a 10-8 victory.  They were paced by the long ball as Joe Wendte had a grand slam and Justin Hemauer had a 3 run homer.  Sam Rathbun got the win in relief by pitching 4 innings of 2 hit, no run baseball after coach John Manganaro was forced to go to his bullpen early.  The win was Wayne State’s 9th in a row.  Wildcats Win 9th Straight
  • That win streak was in jeopardy in the 2nd game of the day as Wayne State played the #3 team in the country, Emporia State (a team with an 22-4 all-time record against Wayne).  Although Wayne State seemed to get a lot of runners on base, they weren’t able to score until a solo home run by Seth Chadwick in the ninth inning and lost 7-1.  For the game, the Wildcats stranded 14 runners and continued their poor fielding.  In the 2 games played yesterday, Wayne State committed 5 errors which leaves them near the very bottom of the Conference in fielding.  #3 Emporia Hands Wayne State Setback
  • Upper Iowa played a doubleheader against Lewis University and lost both games in close contests.  The Peacocks led the first game 9-7 entering the 7th inning but managed a 14-13 loss.  They played extra innings in game 2 before losing 5-2 in 8 innings.  The good news, Upper Iowa had 22 hits and 6 homers on the day (paced by 5 hits/1 homer from Tom Longoni).  The bad news, they had 7 errors which led to 8 unearned runs.  As a point of comparison, just 11 days ago this same Lewis team played 3 games against Winona State, a team that some might consider similar to Upper Iowa.  In those 3 games Lewis scored only 3 runs while they scored 19 in the 2 games against the Peacocks.  Flyers Sweep Peacocks
  • Concordia’s planned non-Conference doubleheader against Minnesota Duluth was moved to today and continues to be scheduled to be played at Minnetonka (MN) High School CU-UMD Games Moved To Thursday

Northern Sun Weekend Recap – 3/22/09

Baseball As Art

This weekend featured the start of Conference contests for 8 Northern Sun teams and there were some surprising results.

  • After losing the opening game of a 4 game series, Augustana came back and won the next 3 against Concordia behind some amazing pitching performances.  The Augies were outgunned 8-5 in that first game but came back with wins of 13-1, 2-1 and 2-1.  The Vikings pitchers in games 2-4 went a combined 22 innings giving up only 10 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 19 Concordia batters.  This series may be a blow to the regular season Conference title hopes of Concordia who was one of the top 3 teams in the preseason coaches poll and rated #28 in the country by the Northern Sun D2 College Baseball Poll.  The losses now put them 3 games back in the standings to the other 2 favorites. Concordia is the lone Conference team idle next weekend.   Augies Down Concordia in Doubleheader
  • One of those teams Concordia is now looking up at is preseason Conference favorite Wayne State.  The Wildcats swept all 4 games of their weekend series against Bemidji State to start the Conference season at 4-0.  The last game in the series was the closest as the Beavers came back to even the game at 3 in the sixth inning.  That would be short lived as the Wildcats Justin Hemauer delivered a 2 out bases loaded single to score 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th which ended up being the final 2 runs scored in a 5-3 win.  Wayne State is scheduled to travel to play Minnesota Duluth next weekend while the Beavers head to Sioux Falls to play the surprise team in Augustana.  WSC Completes Sweep of Bemidji
  • Minnesota State was the other preseason top 3 team and they also swept all 4 games against their weekend opponent, Northern State.  Just like in the Wayne State series, the Mavericks closest contest was their last game of the weekend.  In that 4th game the Wolves took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning before Minnesota State rallied and got a dramatic walk-off 3 run home run from senior Geno Glynn to seal the sweep.  The series was marked by a record breaking performance from Maverick sophomore Danny Miller of Eden Prairie, MN.  Miller was 11 for 11 in the first 3 games of the series which broke the Mavericks consecutive hits streak record of 10 which was set in 1996.  Next weekend, Minnesota State hosts Upper Iowa and Northern State hosts Southwest Minnesota State.  Mavericks Take Series From Northern State
  • In the final weekend series, as we wrote about yesterday, St. Cloud State surprisingly split it’s opening doubleheader against Minnesota Crookston on Friday (Crookston Stuns SCSU).  The Huskies did come back on Saturday and sweep the Golden Eagles by lopsided scores of 11-4 and 14-2.  Sam Radbil continues to be the offensive catalyst for St. Cloud and the Huskies got very good starting pitching from both Tim Scott and Pat DeLaHunt.  St. Cloud State is playing in Bismarck next weekend against the University of Mary while Crookston hosts Winona State.  Huskies Sweep Golden Eagles
  • In non-Conference games this weekend, Upper Iowa traveled to St. Joseph, MO for a 4 game series against Missouri Western.  Unfortunately, the Peacocks were swept which dropped their record to 5-7 on the season.  Griffon Baseball Completes 4 Game Sweep
  • Finally, on Saturday we saw Southwest Minnesota State conclude its spring trip with a 5-1 win over St. Michael’s (VT).  The win gave the Mustangs a 10-1 record for the opening spring trip – their best result in school history.  Mustangs Conclude Spring Trip

Golden Eagles Stun Huskies in Conference Opener

Crookston Golden Eagles stcloudstate_logo

Yesterday in this blog I wrote my first Series Preview outlining the weekend games between Minnesota Crookston and St. Cloud State – SCSU vs. UMC Series Preview  In that piece I outlined the huge advantage in statistics that were owned by the Huskies and predicted a 4 game sweep over the Golden Eagles.

There’s a reason they play the games as even the best teams lose over the course of a long season – in a single baseball game, anything can happen.

In game 1 of their series, St. Cloud State opened up a commanding 6-0 lead after 3 innings but had to hold on in the 7th inning as the Golden Eagles scored 4 runs in the final frame to make it interesting.  The Huskies held on to win 7-5 but not before starter David Deminsky (4-0) gave up a lead off home run in the 7th and then let 2 more on base.  St. Cloud’s closer, Tim Radmacher, then promptly gave up a 3 run homer before shutting down the threat.  The final score may have lifted the spirits of the Crookston team who was expected to lose convincingly all weekend.  Game 1 Boxscore

In game 2, there were 4 lead changes in a back and forth battle that was tied 3-3 at the end of 7 innings and tied again at 5-5 after 11.  In the 12th inning the Golden Eagles capitalized on a walk to Paul Krebs and a double by catcher Tyler Reiner to push across the winning run and win 6-5 in 12.  Krebs (2-2) not only scored the winning run, he pitched the final 1.1 innings to get the win.  Game 2 Boxscore

The main differences in why Crookston competed so well –

  • The pitching staff, who came into the game with a Team ERA of 7.44, finished the day with a 4.73 ERA
  • That said, the biggest difference was at the plate.  The Golden Eagles entered the series having hit 3 home runs in their previous 14 games.  They must have eaten their Wheaties because they hit 3 home runs in each game yesterday!

These same 2 teams will play another doubleheader today to finish their weekend series.  No matter what happens I’ll rate this series as a win for Crookston.

Crookston Release – Baseball Team Stuns SCSU

St. Cloud Release – Huskies Split NSIC Opener

Series Preview: St. Cloud State vs. MN Crookston

stcloudstate_logo    Crookston Golden Eagles

The Northern Sun’s baseball teams begin Conference play today.  Two of the weekend’s series have been moved from Saturday/Sunday doubleheaders to Friday/Saturday contests in order to try and avoid poor weather forecast for Sunday.  This series was moved from its scheduled location in St. Cloud to Freeman, SD to find a dry field.  Changes For Weekend Series

We’ll see if I can keep up with each series but for each weekend set of games I’ll begin with a common “tale of the tape” comparison to give some feel for the teams’ overall success in 2009:

image

As is painfully obvious in this view, the Huskies are the vastly superior team in almost every category. 

I also plan to look a little deeper at the stats to talk about how each team might approach the series –

Minnesota Crookston Approach

  • Run early and often – About the only area I found that is a little chink in the armor for St. Cloud is that their catcher, Nate Hammes, has been below average to date on throwing out base stealers.  So far he’s thrown out 3 in 18 attempts for an .833 clip.  Crookston doesn’t look like they’ve run much but I’d try to exploit this a little
  • Also, in the game Pat DeLaHunt is pitching for St. Cloud – throw in as many right handed hitters as possible.  Right handers are hitting .361 against him while lefites are hitting only .100.  The other St. Cloud starting pitchers don’t have any obvious right/left bias.

St. Cloud State Approach

  • Stay with your starters – This one is totally obvious too but St. Cloud’s starters have been dominating this season.  Logan Birr (4-0, 2.45 ERA), Pat DeLaHunt (4-0, 3.51), Tim Scott (5-0, 3.91) and David Deminsky (3-0, 4.13) have a combined 16 wins while 4 of the 5 losses have been pinned on relievers.  That said, this is the type of series that you might be able to spread the innings around a little bit.
  • Have fun but stay focused – the Huskies really can’t afford to drop one of these games

Prediction – St. Cloud State Sweep

Quick Sunday Northern Sun Update – 3/15/09

Stadium Sky

It’s a beautiful day here in the upper Midwest.  Here’s an abbreviated update of what happened yesterday for Northern Sun baseball teams which went 8-1 in games against non-Conference opponents –

  • St. Cloud State was swept by my Minnesota Gophers – oh wait, that was hockey.  On the diamond, the Huskies (18-5) got 2 homers and 8 RBI’s from Lauren Green on the day to power them to a sweep of SUNY – New Paltz (a D3 team playing its first 2 games of the year).  St. Cloud won by scores of 19-3 and 9-4.  Green Powers Huskies
  • Northern State (4-8) finished off their spring trip in Arizona with a 9-5 win over Mayville State. Wolves Close Trip With Win
  • Southwest Minnesota State (2-0) opened their season with a sweep of the University of Charleston with 6-2 and 21-1 romps.  SMSU Opens Season With Sweep
  • Upper Iowa (4-3) completed a 4 game sweep of Pittsburg State this weekend to get their record above .500.  They won 2 one run games by scores of 5-4 and 6-5.  Peacocks Complete 4 Game Sweep
  • Winona State (5-7) split a pair of games against Lewis University, winning the first game 8-0 before dropping a nail biter, 3-2 in extra innings.  Lewis scored a run in the bottom of the ninth on a 2 out single.  In game 1, Warriors starting pitcher Ross Hellenbrand threw a complete game, 4 hit shutout to move to 4-0 on the season.  Warriors Split With Lewis
  • Concordia (14-3) won 3! games against University of Mary (3-14) on the day.  They finished the last 2 innings of a game that had been suspended on February 6th and won 9-4, then they went on to sweep the planned doubleheader by scores of 20-5 and 15-3.  CU Adds 3 Wins Against Marauders
  • Finally, Minnesota Duluth (8-4) swept a pair of games from Minnesota Crookston (0-10) in Florida.  The game scores of 7-4 and 6-3 were actually closer than one might have expected given the beating Duluth had given them the day before.  Still Perfect in Florida

Saturday Update in Northern Sun Conference

Spring Moment

It’s the final weekend of non-conference play for most teams in the Northern Sun Conference so there are a lot of games going on to report on from yesterday –

  • Minnesota Duluth (6-4) kicked off their spring trip with a pair of games against teams with the same nickname – the Golden Eagles.  One thing is for certain, if you want to improve your record and your stats, play teams named Golden Eagles.  The Bulldogs beat Minnesota Crookston (0-8) in the early game by a score of 24-3 and later in the afternoon beat the University of Charleston (6-11) by a score of 15-8.  UMD’s offense was 32 for 58 in the 2 games combined for a .552 average.  On the day, senior co-captain David Olson was 8 for 9 with a 4-4 line in game 1 and 4-5 in game 2.  Senior Bryan Denisen and Freshman Troy Hoeppner each had 5 hits in game 1.  Hoeppner, playing in his first game for Duluth, is the 3rd member of Rosemount’s (MN) state tournament team last year to be off to a strong start in Northern Sun play.  Freshman pitcher Ben Lemke has already earned Pitcher of the Week honors for Concordia and freshman pitcher Blake Schwartz has had some early success with Minnesota State.  Another freshman pitcher, Kyle Dahl of Minnetonka, picked up his first college victory in the game against Crookston.  UMD Opens Florida Play With Hot Hitting
  • After taking Wayne State (7-5) to task a little bit for a slower than expected start, the Wildcats have responded by winning their last 3 games.  They did so in dramatic fashion yesterday against Concord University – a team ranked #6 in the Atlantic Region NCBWA Regional Poll.  They came back from an 8-3 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning, scoring 6 runs to get the victory.  The Wildcats used a 3 run homer by Joe Wendte to get to 8-7 and then relied on some self destruction by Concord’s pitching surrendered a hit, a wild pitch, 3 straight walks and a game ending sacrifice fly by Josh Yost to bring home Alex Koch with the winning run.  Wildcats Score 6 in 9th to Rally
  • Northern State (3-8) continued play in Arizona and had a very encouraging doubleheader split against Malone University (9-4).  They lost the first game 11-8 but came back to win the back end 9-8.  I say this was encouraging because Malone is a team that has a decent record and had lost to St. Cloud State twice earlier in the week by close scores.  If St. Cloud struggled to beat Malone and Northern split 2 close games it might show that Northern can compete with the Huskies, a team that has impressed in their non-conference play.  Senior Tom Keiser led the team offensively in the win going 3-3 at the plate including a double, an RBI, 2 runs scored, a stolen base and a HBP.  Wolves Earn Split in Phoenix
  • Upper Iowa University (2-3) finally got to play again!  The Peacocks have been the bad weather birds so far this year having game after game cancelled due to weather.  The only games they did get to play were against ranked opponents who pummeled them.  So it must have been a great day for Upper Iowa’s team to finally get on the field again and to get a sweep against Pittsburg State (6-12) in Pittsburg, KS.  The team won 6-3 and 4-2 with the story of the day being the great starting pitching performances from Peacock pitchers.  In game 1, Brian Solemsaas evened his record at 1-1 with a complete game performance in which he gave up only 8 hits and 2 earned runs.  The team got 14 hits and was led by Kreston Albright and Tom Longoni who each had 3 of them for the game.  In game 2, the team managed only 7 hits (by 7 different players) but that was plenty as starter Danny Bales was outstanding.  The senior from Cedar Rapids, IA pitched another complete game giving up only 3 hits and 0 earned runs to go along with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts.  Peacocks Sweep Gorillas
  • While Upper Iowa was finally playing again, Southwest Minnesota State (1-0) was playing for the very first time this season as they kicked off their season this morning in Fort Myers, FL.  The Mustangs won an early Saturday game against the University of Charleston (6-12) by a score of 6-2 and will continue a 2nd game later in the day.  Starting pitcher Jared Pick got the win by going 5.2 innings and senior outfielder Derek West had a great game at the plate, leading the team with 3 hits including 2 triples and a homer.  SMSU Opens Season With Victory 

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.

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 –

image

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

Northern Sun Coach Survey – Chris Vito

Golden Eagles

This is my 2nd entry in my series of questionnaire responses I received from coaches in the Northern Sun Conference. 

Entering his first year as head coach of the University of Minnesota – Crookston Golden Eagles is Chris Vito.  Coach Vito previously served as an assistant coach at Mesabi Range Community & Technical school – Chris Vito Bio

Coaching at Crookston is certainly a challenging endeavor.  In 2006 the team finished 0-29.  In 2007 they finished 0-39 with a team ERA over 17 and a team batting average of .161.  In 2008 there was some signs of improvement as they were 3-36 with a team ERA at 11 and batting average of .245.  One of Vito’s biggest challenges is going to be getting enough quality players to compete with the larger, better established, better funded programs.  His 2009 squad is made up of almost 50% new players to the program and is off to a 0-4 start to the season.

1. In what area(s) are you looking for your team to make the biggest improvement over 2008?

I look for us to make our biggest improvement in the area of being competitive…I think that we are more talented and athletic than we were a year ago…hopefully, this will result in us being in every game…in our first four games, I have already seen improvements in the areas of pitching and defense.

2. What newcomers to your team look like they will make the biggest impact?

Newcomers that will make an impact include Teddy Gutman (Jr, IF, Burlington, Iowa – Transfer from Southwestern Community College), Devin Croal (Fr, IF, Coon Rapids, Minn.), Casey Woodside (Fr, C, Albert Lea, Minn.), Steve Schroer (Fr, RHP, Coon Rapids, Minn.), P.J. Zwach (Fr, 3B/C, St. Paul, Minn.), Andrew Gunderson (Fr, RHP, Oakdale, Minn.), Kyle Kovnesky (Fr, LHP, Coleman, Wis.) and Paul Myers (Fr, RHP, Arden Hills, Minn.). We have five other freshmen that I feel will be solid contributors in the future. They are Mitch Daly (Fr, 1B, Donnelly, Minn.), Erik Nockleby (Fr, IF/OF, Roseville, Minn.), Mitch Thompson (Fr, IF/OF, Amery, Wis.), Chase Boen (Fr, OF, Karlstad, Minn.) and Ben Lazzari (Fr, RHP, Shakopee, Minn.).

3. What’s your philosophy regarding recruiting out of high school vs. college transfers?

My philosophy with recruiting is that I like to bring in mainly freshman as opposed to junior college transfers. That said though, I still look at junior college transfers to fill an immediate need as well as to provide leadership to a young team.

4. What Northern Sun team do you consider to be your schools biggest rival?

I do not know if we have developed a strong rivalry with anyone as of yet…if I had to say anyone, it would probably be Bemidji State…they are right down the road from us…they are a very solid and well coached program that we enjoy playing.

5. Who has been the biggest influence on your coaching philosophy and/or career?

I have taken my philosophy from many different coaches…whether it was high school or college coaches, I learn from everyone I come in contact with…Bob Kochevar, the long time head coach at Eveleth-Gilbert High School (MN) was and still is a major guiding influence for me…he not only taught me the ins and outs of the game…but more importantly how to treat the kids and how to run a program with class and integrity.

The Northern Sun Baseball Blog would like to thank Chris Vito for taking time out of his schedule to answer these questions.

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

Northern Sun Heating Up

Augie Logo Concordianorthern stateBemidji State Beavers Golden Eagles

The number of teams playing games is heating up in the Northern Sun Conference as 3 teams saw action on Wednesday and 3 will see action on Thursday. 

Augustana’s nine finished their 6 game Arkansas roadtrip with a 5-4 loss against Harding University.  The loss leaves the Augies at 3-3 on the season.  They had decent success at the plate but mixed results on the mound.  Of course, 6 games in 4 days will stretch your pitching staff and they did use 6 different starting pitchers 14 total pitchers in the games so it will help them get a feel for who is going to be successful later in the season.  The recap can be found here – Augies Recap

In the season opening double header for Concordia – St. Paul and Northern State it was a mismatch of haves and have nots.  The Golden Bears feature a senior laden team that is expected to compete for the league title and looked the part as they crushed the Wolves 4-0 and 19-0.  Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Jake Schmidt, pitched a complete game in the first game and tied his career high with 13 strikeouts.  In the second game, starting pitcher Blake DeVries also had a dominating outing in shutting the door for 6 innings and getting the win.  Jon Stockton and Bryan Lippincott had 3 hits each on the day to pace a Golden Bears attack which ended with a .414 batting average on the day.  Recap and boxscore can be found here – Golden Bear – Wolves Recap

Northern State will try to fare better against Bemidji State today as they play another double header at the Metrodome.  The Beavers own a 55-42 all time advantage on the Wolves and have won 5 of their last 7 meetings.  The games start at 6pm and can be listened to online here – Listen To The Beavers

Finally, Minnesota Crookston will open their season against Dakota State University in another double header at the Metrodome.  It sure is going to be a negative impact on Northern Sun baseball teams if they tear that place down.  The Golden Eagles are coming off a season where they won only 3 times in 42 tries and over half the players on the team didn’t play for them last year.  Of course, based on their previous results the infusion of new team members may be a positive.  Their season and game preview is here – Golden Eagle Preview


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