Archive for the 'Northern Sun Baseball Standings' Category

Latest Central Region Rankings Released

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The NCAA released their latest Regional Rankings today – NCAA D2 Regional Rankings 5/5/10

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Minnesota State and Winona State look safe for receiving bids to the NCAA Division 2 Regional Tournament, especially now that they’ve each won a game in the NSIC Tournament.  St. Cloud State still needs to sweat it out if the don’t do well in the tournament and/or there are teams ranked lower than #6 that earn automatic bids.  Minnesota Duluth and Southwest Minnesota State probably need to win the Tournament to make it.  Wayne State for sure needs to win the Tournament to make it.

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Minnesota State Wins Conference Title – Final 6 Set

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Winona State split with Concordia today while Minnesota State swept St. Cloud State which means the Mavericks win the Northern Sun Conference regular season title.  Congratulations are in order but judging by comments made by many on this board in the comments over the past few days, many other programs may not be quick to offer their well wishes.

Minnesota Duluth, Southwest Minnesota State and Wayne State all swept their doubleheaders today which leaves Augustana on the outside looking in for the NSIC Postseason tourney which will begin on Wednesday in St. Cloud.

More info on the NSIC Tourney will come next week.  It may be especially interesting to see what transpires between the Mavs & Huskies going forward.

Last Chance For Vikings

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No – not the Minnesota Vikings.

The Augustana Vikings are still in 7th place and hoping for a miracle.  They almost got it yesterday in an unexpected place.  The common perception (by me) was that their best chance to make the 6 team Northern Sun Tournament would be for Minnesota Duluth to lose a game (and win the tiebreaker) or to lose 2 games and take 6th place outright.  With just 2 games to go in the season today there are actually multiple options for them –

  1. Duluth could still lose today but that looks less likely after a dominating day against Upper Iowa yesterday.  The Bulldog bats put up 38 runs and 37 hits in their doubleheader.  That said, it just takes 1 hot Peacock pitcher.
  2. Southwest Minnesota State could lose another game to Mary who has been competitive all year.  SMSU and Augustana split their 4 game series and I haven’t looked at the tiebreaker options for those 2.
  3. Finally, the unthinkable almost happened yesterday as Wayne State almost lost a game against winless Crookston.  Just 1 loss by Wayne will put them out of the playoffs in all likelihood by virtue of the game they didn’t play against Concordia.

Speaking of Concordia, they got swept by Winona State which now gives the Warriors a share of first place.  As I predicted, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State split their games.  A sweep by either today guarantees a share of the conference title.

The King is Dead

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We are down to 6 games remaining in the Northern Sun regular season and the race for first place is essentially down to 3 teams.  6 time King of the Northern Sun regular season title, Wayne State, will not win it in 2010 after losing 5 of their last 6 games.  Instead, this season’s champion will more than likely be decided between Winona State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State.

Battle For First

All 3 teams do have tough roads ahead as Winona State plays 2 against 4th place SMSU and then finishes with 4 games against a surging Concordia.  That said, they do have to be the favorites. 

That’s because St. Cloud State plays 2 on Wednesday against Wayne State while Minnesota State plays 2 against Concordia and these 2 teams finish the season with a 4 game series against each other.  That 4 game set has “split” written all over it.

Battle For Top 6

Besides these tough games at the top of the schedule a lot of the teams competing for the 4-6 spots have somewhat easy finishing weekends (on paper).  Concordia’s path is difficult and the 1 game they didn’t play probably is costly, therefore it’s probably Augustana who has the best opportunity to leap into the NSIC Post Season Tourney.  Minnesota Duluth holds the final spot right now and finishes with Upper Iowa.  Last season they had a chance to sweep the Peacocks for 6th place and may have to sweep them this year to hold onto their spot as it’s unlikely that the Vikings will lose a game against Northern State.

Other News

The top 3 teams in the Northern Sun currently hold spots 2-4 in the NCAA’s Central Region Rankings which means they would all make the NCAA Regional Tourney even if their are upset winners in the NSIC and RMAC Tourney’s.  Of course, that could change, especially since Mesa State is making a very strong late surge in the RMAC.  NCAA Regional Rankings

In the Monday April 26th rankings, College Baseball News has St. Cloud State ranked #29 and Winona State in a tie for #30 – College Baseball News Poll

And Down The Stretch They Come

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Last year at this time it was already down to just a 2 team race between Wayne State and Minnesota State to determine the Northern Sun Conference regular season champion.  One year later there looks like a lot more parity at the top as 5 teams are within 2 games of the title with 12 games remaining in the season.

Weekend Recap

In the weekends top matchup, St. Cloud State and Augustana split their 4 game series.  Augustana has now lost 9 of their last 12 NSIC games after an 8-0 start and is in danger of missing the post season tourney.  In all fairness, they are coming off of a brutal schedule of Winona State, Wayne State and St. Cloud State.  The Huskies probably control their own fate but they have their own scheduling nightmare in the coming weeks.  Augie Baseball Splits Again

Winona State holds onto the top spot in the Northern Sun by taking 3 of 4 against Mary.  In their one win, Mary’s Ryan Schnell pitched a 9 inning complete game to get the win giving up just 2 earned runs in a 6-3 victory.  Warriors Win 3 of 4

Northern State won just their 2nd game of the season in the weekends most surprising victory as they split on Sunday with Wayne State to keep the Wildcats out of a share of first place.  After the pounding they took in 2009 it must have been satisfying to at least win some measure of payback.  You have to wonder whether this unexpected loss will play a role in Wayne’s ability to win their 7th straight NSIC title.  Wayne State Splits With Northern

Minnesota Duluth had its 2nd straight 4 win weekend to move into the outright 6th spot in the standings and a possible place in the NSIC Tourney.  Freshman pitcher, Eric Hummel, moved to 4-0 on the season in the opening game.  Bulldogs Complete 2nd Sweep

Southwest Minnesota State swept all 4 of their games against Upper Iowa to extend their undefeated streak to 11 games.  After a 4-5 start they are in the thick of the NSIC race, although having the conference’s easiest schedule hasn’t hurt.  Andrew Kinney became the school’s all-time home run leader during the weekend along the way.  Mustangs Complete Sweep of UIU

Finally, Concordia has made a late surge winning 8 of their last 9 games and is in the hunt for a Playoff spot.  Pitcher Nick Anderson got both a save and a win in Sunday’s sweep of Minnesota Crookston.  Concordia Gets Sweep

Remaining Games

Most teams have 12 games remaining so in trying to project who will be the NSIC champion (and who makes the playoffs) has a lot to do with who each team plays from here on out.  Here are the teams remaining series –

Winona State – SMSU, UMD, CSP

Wayne State – SCSU, MSU, UMC

Minnesota State – CSP, Wayne, SCSU

SCSU – Wayne, NSU, MSU

SMSU – Winona, Aug, Mary

UMD – UMC, Winona, UIU

Augustana – UIU, SMSU, NSU

Concordia – MSU, BSU, Winona

Wayne State’s chances to win their 7th straight crown will be decided in the next 8 games.  They have 2 tough series in a row and those 8 difficult games are in an 8 day stretch with the last 6 of them on the road.

Free For All

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I apologize to my readers as business is going quite well right now and I’m finding little time (and motivation) to devote to blogging about baseball right now (especially since I’m way more interested in the Twins).

It was an interesting weekend – the Augustana vs. Wayne State pair of games tomorrow should be big, especially for the Vikings.  Winona State at Upper Iowa and Duluth at Minnesota State are not gimmies for the higher ranked teams either.

The Free For All?  In addition to the teams on the field, it’s up to the readers to have it out with each other and keep the thread going this week.

Now – back to selling houses where I finished up a deal for a buyer yesterday and am negotiation on an offer for a seller I represent today. 🙂

A 5 Horse Race Shaping Up in Northern Sun & NCAA D2 Presidents Hate Sports

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While it seems like the Northern Sun Regular Season just got started we are actually approaching the halfway mark (each team is scheduled for 32 games).  At this point of the season it looks like a 5 team race for the top spot and quite possibly a 5 team race for the 6th and final spot in the Northern Sun Postseason Tourney. 

Top 5 Race

St. Cloud State and Winona State sit atop the standings with only 1 loss each.  While the Huskies technically lead you need to factor in their weaker schedule so far.  Minnesota State has looked like they might be the best team but split a doubleheader against Minnesota Duluth on Wednesday to drop a game behind those 2 in the loss column.  Wayne State swept their midweek set against Augustana to keep themselves in the title hunt and drop the Vikings into 4th.  Had Augustana reversed the result it might have eliminated the Wildcats from the Conference title.  Keep in mind that they won it last year with just 4 losses.

News of Note

  • Minnesota State may be in 3rd place but they are ranked in all 3 national polls coming in at #24 in the Coaches College Baseball News poll, #23 in the Writers NCBWA poll and #25 in the PING Baseball poll (which gives very little credit to NSIC teams).  Mavericks in polls
  • St. Cloud State isn’t ranked in 2 of the polls but does beat out Minnesota State in the NSCBWA poll coming in at #13 for the 2nd week in a row.  Huskies Ranked #13
  • In what may be the most important news for NSIC teams – it’s looking more and more possible that the Northern Sun Conference could possibly get 4 of the 6 spots in the NCAA Central Region Tourney.  Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams are struggling.  Only New Mexico Highlands, Mesa State and Metro State have above .500 records in the RMAC and Metro has a 15-14 overall record.  Nebraska Kearney has a decent 20-14 overall record but is only 9-10 in RMAC games.  RMAC Week 10 Release  Northern Sun teams hold 4 of the top 5 spots in the most recent NCBWA Central Region poll – NCBWA Regional Polls

NCAA At It Again

Finally, the NCAA is doing it’s very best to neuter Division II sports even more.  They recently implemented their new “Life in Balance” project which cut down the number of athletic contests in many sports, including baseball.  Starting next year Division 2 baseball goes from 56 maximum games to 50.  On March 31st they announced phase 2 of their effort –

presidents and chancellors promised to extend the balance-driven review to other aspects of the playing and practice season

These holier than thou, overpaid overseers of D2 institutions have decided that sports should play just a minor part of a students college experience – all the while they are raking in millions in tuition from athletes at their schools while giving out paltry amounts of scholarships.  Their proposals are mainly around reducing time athletes spend on sports in the offseason – “

they would consider changes that reduce athletics time commitments during the nonchampionship segment. 

Proposals include –

  • maintain the 45-day period in which to conduct 24 days of practice or competition but preclude any athletically related activities from being conducted during the remaining 21 days – So no weight training except during the 24 days
  • amend the start date of the nonchampionship segment for spring and winter sports, which currently is September 7 or the first day of classes…later date could be adopted to give these student-athletes more time to acclimate to campus life before beginning their sport-related activities. – That’s really helpful to Northern Schools in trying to get in fall workouts and scrimmages now isn’t it.

For more details on these proposals you can read the press release here – NCAA Life In Balance Phase 2 Proposals


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