Archive for the 'Northern State Baseball' Category

Northern Sun Conference Games Start Today – Poll Results


The Northern Sun Conference’s 2010 regular season baseball games kick off today as St. Cloud State and Minnesota Crookston take to the Metrodome at 2pm for the first of 208 scheduled NSIC matchups.  There are 4 series scheduled for this weekend.  This will also kick off the new doubleheader format of 1 – 9 inning game followed by a 7 inning game each day.  I had previewed this new format and some of the impact last fall – Change To Doubleheader Format

  • St Cloud State @ Minnesota Crookston – St. Cloud’s Friday/Saturday games against Crookston were smartly planned in the Metrodome where they were guaranteed a playable field.  The Huskies are the clear favorite to win all 4 games but only won 3 of 4 last year.  In the end, that 1 loss to a team who only won 3 NSIC games, cost them a chance to go to the NSIC post season tournament.  Series preview is here – SCSU To Battle Golden Eagles
  • Concordia @ Augustana – The Concordia @ Augustana series has been moved from Sioux Falls to St. Paul and will be played at Concordia’s Barnes Field.  Last year the Vikings kicked off their successful season by winning 3 of 4 against the Golden Bears in the opening weekend.  This year they should be the slight favorites but these games could go either way – Opening Weekend Moved to Barnes Field
  • Wayne State @ Bemidji State – Wayne State will travel to Bemidji State to try and play 4 games in northern Minnesota on March 20th.  When those games were scheduled I would have bet a lot of money that they couldn’t play in Bemidji that early in the season.  This should be an interesting series as Wayne State has struggled in non conference play and the Beavers have a few nice wins and are ranked #9 in the Central Region by NCBWA.  If Wayne doesn’t take at least 3 of 4 their chances of winning a 7th straight NSIC title will take a hit.
  • Minnesota State @ Northern State – Finally, no word on where the Minnesota State vs. Northern State games will be played.  Minnesota State can’t afford to have any of these games cancelled as they should easily sweep the overmatched Wolves.

Preseason Poll Results

This past week I asked Northern Sun Baseball’s readers which team would win the NSIC Regular Season Title.  It was a tight race and in the end 2 teams (Winona State and Wayne State) tied for the lead.  This year certainly looks like it could be closer than years past as I think any of 4 teams could win it –


Thanks to all who voted!

Rain Rain Go Away & Northern State Controversy?


12 games were scheduled that involved Northern Sun teams yesterday.  10 of them were cancelled due to the weather and Northern State wishes the other 2 were as well.  This goes along with the 5 that were cancelled on Thursday. 3 on Wednesday and 3 on Tuesday.  Most of the games lost were in Florida where teams scraped together money to get away from the bad weather.  The Florida forecast is supposed to be much improved today.

Northern State Controversy

Northern State may have hit a new low yesterday after getting swept in a doubleheader by NAIA’s Minot State by a combined score of 29-0.  Minot State had a record of 10-19 last year so they are a weaker team in a lower division of baseball.  The team was outhit 32-6, committed 6 errors and their pitchers hit 6 batters over the 2 games.

So what’s the controversy?

So I’m reading the press release and looking at the box scores – Minot State Grabs 2 From Wolves  Do you notice anything from the Minot State box scores?



The players listed who kicked Northern State’s butts all play for Minnesota State, not Minot State.   Northern State is playing in Arizona while Minnesota State is supposed to be playing in Florida.  So what happened?

  • Minnesota State’s games were cancelled the last 2 days – did they get on a plane and go to Arizona where they pretended to be Minot State Beavers?
  • Did the Northern State Sports Information Director have a massive screw up?
  • Did the games even really take place?

Minot State’s entire school website is down so I can’t even check what they have to say about it – maybe that’s part of the evil plan? 

I may have to ping the Minnesota State SID for a comment.

Northern Sun Baseball – Fall Signings Announced


The NCAA allows college baseball teams to sign players to a National Letter of Intent at 2 times during the year.  The primary time is during the late spring/summer but there is also a fall signing period which this year ran from November 11 – 18.  This is for baseball players in their senior year of high school who will begin college play for the 2010-11 school year.

The following Northern Sun Conference teams announced the signing of athletes –

  • Winona State – Announced the signing of 4 players (Tyler Smith, Tyler Zemla, Ryan Style & Michael Wasilik) including 2 players from Oak Creek, WI – Winona State Signs 4
  • Northern State – Signed a player from California (Sheldon Ekstrand) to come play in Aberdeen – Wolves Ink Ekstrand
  • Bemidji State – Had never before signed players during the early signing period during head coach Tim Bellow’s 5 years as the manager but announced that they signed 2 players this year (Zach Braun & Aaron Young) – Beavers Sign 2
  • Wayne State – Signed the first 2 players of new coach Brian Disch’s tenure and went to Minnesota and Wisconsin to find them (Ben Schaben & Brandon Lalk) – WSC Baseball Inks 2
  • St. Cloud State – Continued their pattern of strong recruiting by signing 7 players during the early signing period (Garrett Anderson, Chris Kubitz, Jordan Milbrath, Max Ditty, Matt Vold, Michael Jurgella & Eric Loxtercamp).  They’ve definitely impressed me as being among the most active recruiters in the Conference – Huskies Sign 7 to NLI’s

While it’s certainly possible that other college baseball teams in the Northern Sun Conference have signed players during the early signing period, they haven’t issued press releases at this time. 

Northern State – 2010 Baseball Schedule

northern state

Northern State University has posted their baseball schedule for the upcoming 2010 baseball season – Northern State 2010 Baseball Schedule

The Wolves will open their season in late February with 6 games at the Metrodome against fellow Northern Sun schools, Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston, the 2 schools closest to them in the 2009 conference standings.  One thing that stands out is that their non-conference games are against teams that match their geography and level of competition.  By playing games against the likes of Jamestown, Dickinson State, Valley City State & Dakota State they don’t have to travel as much and have a better chance to win.  The team does have a spring trip scheduled to Phoenix in early March.

During conference play the team misses out on Bemidji State, Minnesota Crookston, Winona State & Upper Iowa.  For a team that won only 1 conference game last year, it hurts to miss out on playing Crookston.

The team did also announce the names of 9 new recruits to the team – Wolves Announce 09-10 Recruits.  They better hope some of those 5 pitchers can help right away as Northern State’s conference ERA of almost 14 was painful.


Winona State – 2010 Baseball Schedule

Winona State

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

The Warriors open their season on February 19th in Warrensburg, MO in the University of Central Missouri’s Tourney.  The team looks to be playing a really hard pre-season schedule with teams like Central Missouri, Wayne State, Florida Southern and 2 games against defending national champion Lynn University.  Like Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth, the Warriors will be playing their spring break games at the Russ Matt Tourney in Winter Haven, FL. 

While the non-conference is tough, on paper their Northern Sun schedule is quite easy.  Sure, they don’t play Northern State but they also avoid the 3 teams I am predicting as the “early” favorites – Wayne State, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State.  By avoiding those 12 games Winona should have a definite leg up in making the NSIC tourney for the top 6 teams.


Soggy Sunday & The Battle For A Title

Eat Dirt

It was a soggy Sunday throughout the Upper Midwest as the Northern Sun’s Division 2 college baseball teams battle it out to not only for spots in the standings but just to get games played.

  • In Wayne, NE the battle of the titans did get played as the top 2 Northern Sun teams battled to a draw.  Both of the weekends doubleheaders ended up as draws and when all is said and done, Wayne State still holds a 1/2 game lead on Minnesota State because they had 1 fewer game cancelled.  As I chronicled yesterday (MSUM vs. WSC Live) Minnesota State won the first game of their twinbill by a score of 13-10.  The 2nd inning proved disastrous for the Wildcats as they allowed 7 runs on 8 hits.  Wayne lost despite hitting 5 homers.  In game 2 it was the Tom Doran story as the redshirt freshman pitcher went the distance in allowing the Mavericks only 3 hits an a lone, unearned run which led Wayne State to a 9-1 victory.  Wayne State hosts St. Cloud State for a doubleheader on Wednesday while Minnesota State hosts Concordia on Wednesday.  WSC Splits – Maintains Slim Lead
  • St. Cloud State made a good decision to relocate their Sunday doubleheader to the Metrodome as it allowed them to get in the expected sweep against last place Northern State.  The Huskies won 6-3 and 14-3 to solidify their hold on 5th place in the standings.  Game 1 starter, David Deminsky, struck out 5 to tie the all-time SCSU record for strikeouts in a season (81).  Pat DeLaHunt started game 2 and allowed just 2 earned runs in improving his record to 6-1.  SCSU also broke a team record for RBI’s in a season as they were led at the plate by Lauren Green who was 4-6 with 5 of those RBI’s.  Huskies Sweep 2
  • Upper Iowa completed 1 game of a planned doubleheader against the University of Mary, winning 7-1.  The 2nd game was rained out before it could be made official and won’t be made up.  Brian Solemsaas moved to 5-4 on the year with a complete game in the win as he allowed just 5 hits.  The Peacocks will host Augustana on Wednesday in an important matchup as UIU clings to the 6th spot in the NSIC standings.  Upper Iowa Defeats Mary
  • 3 series that were scheduled for this weekend will try to resume today if possible –

In other news of interest, New Mexico Highlands split their 4 game series with NCAA Central Region leader, Mesa State.  That should keep Highlands ranked in the top 4.  On the other hand, Colorado State – Pueblo had a terrible weekend, losing all 4 games to Nebraska – Kearney.  The #4 ranked team in last week’s poll should fall which will help Northern Sun contenders.

Upper Iowa Cancellations Really Hurt

Upper Iowa

One item I missed from Wednesday is actually quite significant in the race for the Top 6 positions in the Northern Sun Conference standings and a chance to play in the NSIC post-season tournament.

Upper Iowa was scheduled to play a doubleheader against Northern State yesterday but it was cancelled due to continued poor field conditions in Aberdeen, SD.  UIU Games at Northern State Cancelled

This is the 15th and 16th games of the season to be cancelled for the Peacocks and threatens to be the most significant.  Upper Iowa (12-10) is clinging to 6th place in the NSIC standings with a 1/2 game lead over Concordia and Augustana.  Northern State (1-15) is the last place team in the conference and those 2 games would have likely ended up as wins for the Peacocks giving them a bigger cushion in the standings.  While UIU’s remaining schedule is still easier than many of the other contenders, it will be interesting to see if those missed games come back to haunt them.

NSIC D2 Baseball Standings – 4/21/09


Another weekend of Northern Sun D2 college baseball games are behind us after 6 games were completed on Monday.  At this point in the season most NSIC teams have 12 games remaining to stake their claim to one of the top 6 spots in order to make the Northern Sun Tournament.  The NSIC Tourney kicks off on May 7th in St. Cloud, MN. 

Wayne State and Minnesota State maintain the top 2 spots.  Both of them have tough midweek games before meeting for a crucial 4 game series this weekend that could very well decide which team wins the regular season Conference Champion.  Teams 5-8 in the standings (Concordia, St. Cloud State, Upper Iowa and Augustana) look to be battling it out for the last 2 spots. 

Yesterday’s games did have some significant impact on the standings –

  • The biggest games were between Augustana and St. Cloud State where the Augies swept the Huskies by scores of 4-2 and 12-6 to get to within 1 1/2 games of the coveted 6th spot.  The vaunted Huskies starters had a tough weekend as the Vikings launched 4 homers on the day, including 2 by JaColby Anderson.  Game 1 starter, Tyler Pierson, moved his record to 4-5 with a solid start.  Augie Baseball Sweeps
  • The University of Mary got a nice win on Monday against Winona State, winning game 1 by a score of 9-4 before dropping the nightcap 4-2.  Mary’s Tyler Liffrig tied the all-time Mary career home run record with his 26th and 27th homers during the day.  Game 1 starter Nate Watson struck out 11 Warrior batters on the way to his first win of the season.  Winona State got a complete game win from Andrew DeSousa in the 2nd contest and was led by Tony Mueller’s 3 hits to get the split.  Liffrig Ties Record in Mary Split
  • Wayne State continued it’s home run fest on Monday against Northern State as they swept the Wolves by scores of 23-15 and 10-1.  The games were played in Redfield, SD on a relatively small field with the wind blowing out.  The team hit 9 homers and had 20 hits in game 1 and added 3 more round trippers in the back end game.  That gave the Wildcats 25 home runs over the 4 game set.  I don’t think they track that in their record book but I’m guessing that would have set a new record by a wide margin.  WSC Extends Streak to 9 Games

Northern State Basketball – Don Meyer ESPN Story

northern state

I was making dinner tonight and had ESPN’s E:60 program on. 

There was a very moving story about Northern State’s head basketball coach, Don Meyer, and the aftermath of his car accident on September 5, 2008.  The accident may have saved his life as doctor’s discovered he had liver cancer while patching him up.  Meyer ended up in the hospital for weeks to repair his broken body – he ended up with a partially amputated leg in the process.

All along it was Meyer’s love of coaching that drove his recovery and his passion to be with his team.  He coached the season from a wheel chair and ended up breaking the record for most wins by any men’s college basketball coach – his record now stands at 910 wins.

You can read the story and watch the story preview here – ESPN Story on Don Meyer

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 Players of the Week – 3/23/09

Players Of The Week

The Northern Sun Conference has named their Player and Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 23rd.  Once again, the Conference has decided to go with 2 players from the same team (Minnesota State).  The Mavericks played one of the weakest opponents in the Conference (Northern State) in this weekends opening of league games.  While both players named had very good performances this week, I think the Conference should stop saying they try not to pick 2 from the same team or that they take strength of opponent into consideration.  Player of the Week Rant Follow Up 

Player of the Week was a no-brainer as Minnesota State’s Danny Miller won the honor.  The sophomore outfielder from Eden Prairie, MN was a perfect 11 for 11 in the first 3 games of the Maverick’s weekend series against Northern State.  The 11 consecutive hits set a new Minnesota State record, beating the old mark of 10 straight set in 1996.  His 11 hits included 2 doubles and a home run to go with 7 RBI’s and a perfect 8 putouts in the field.

Pitcher of the Week was Minnesota State’s Patrick Lenton.  The junior from Maple Grove, MN pitched a complete game shutout in a 9-0 win over the Northern State Wolves.  Lenton’s performance was marked by giving up only 1 hit and 1 walk to go with 8 strikeouts.  He improved his season record to 4-1 as the #1 starter for the Mavericks.

While Lenton’s pure stats were better (a 1 hitter IS really good), I think there were 2 Augustana pitchers, Kenny Lidke (4 hits in 6.1 innings) and Tyler Pierson (2 hits in 6 innings, 9 K’s and no earned runs allowed), who had just as good performances this week when you consider they were pitching against a top team like Concordia.

NSIC Weekly Release No. 7

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

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