Archive for the 'Northern State Baseball' Category

Northern Sun Conference Games Start Today – Poll Results

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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 –

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Thanks to all who voted!

Rain Rain Go Away & Northern State Controversy?

Rainout

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?

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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

Eric

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.

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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.

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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.


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