Archive for the 'Southwest MN State Baseball' Category

Minnesota State Wins Northern Sun Tournament

Minnesota State

For the 2nd straight year, Minnesota State has won the Northern Sun Conference post season Tournament.  This win gives the Mavericks both the regular season and post season trophies along with an automatic bid into the NCAA Division 2 Central Region Tournament. 

The team beat Southwest Minnesota State by a score of 6-5 to earn the title and will await the announcement of the 6 teams to make the Central Region Tournament tonight.  It’s expected that Winona State and St. Cloud State will also make the NCAA Tourney as representatives from the NSIC.  The selection show can be watched live at 9pm Central here – NCAA Selection Show.  The biggest suspense may be where the Central Region games will be located.  The NCAA has a nice Division 2 baseball recap posted here – NCAA Division 2 – Final Countdown

Minnesota State’s Zach Rowles (Junior – Shortstop) was named Tournament MVP. 

All-Tournament Team
1B – Andrew Kinney, SMSU
2B – Matt Kuchenbecker, MSU
3B – Orry Enebretsen, UMD
SS – Zach Rowles, MSU
OF – Derick Swenson, SMSU
OF – Joey Benke, SCSU
OF – Aaron Berner, MSU
C – Brian Burman, UMD
P – Bret Mitchell, MSU
P – Jared Pick, SMSU
DH – Pat Dockendorf, MSU

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3 For 1

SW MN State Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State

There are 3 teams left battling for the top spot in the Northern Sun Tournament.  Southwest Minnesota State will play Minnesota Duluth at 11am today with the winner facing off against top seeded Minnesota State for the Tourney Title and an NCAA automatic bid.

We got to this point as Minnesota State won a pair of games yesterday, eliminating Winona State 20-4 and giving Duluth their first loss by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings.  Meanwhile, Southwest Minnesota State knocked St. Cloud State out of the tournament with a 5-3 win. 

In a strange twist, the St. Cloud State Huskies will now be best served by rooting for the Mavericks to win the Tourney giving them the clearest path to an at-large bid to the NCAA Tourney.

Minnesota Duluth Only Undefeated Team Left

Minnesota Duluth

The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs surprised many this year by finishing 4th in the regular season standings.  They’ve continued to surprise in the post season as they beat the #3 seed, St. Cloud State, on Thursday and beat the #2 seed, Winona State, today by a score of 8-5.  Bulldogs Advance in Tourney  If they win 2 more games they will qualify for the NCAA Tourney.

On the day that Minnesota State’s Blake Schwartz was named NSIC Pitcher of the Year, St. Cloud State was able to pound him for 8 runs and stay alive in the Tourney by winning 9-4.  Huskies Beat Mavericks 9-4

Tomorrow will kick off with 2 elimination games as the top 2 seeds, Minnesota State and Winona State square off at Noon with the loser eliminated.  That game is followed by another elimination game featuring St. Cloud State and Southwest Minnesota State.  The winner of Friday’s first game will try to stay alive by beating Minnesota Duluth at 7pm.   NSIC Tourney Site

Latest Central Region Rankings Released

NCAA Baseball Logo

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.

NSIC Post Season Baseball Tournament – 2010 Edition

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The 2010 Northern Sun Conference baseball tournament starts today in St. Cloud, MN at Joe Faber Field. The 6 teams will play a double elimination format tournament which is scheduled to be played Wednesday thru Saturday, with the winner getting an automatic bid into the NCAA Division 2 Baseball Central Region Tournament.  In 2009, Minnesota State came in as the 2nd seed, lost their first game and then won 5 straight to win the Tournament Title.

2010 Participants

My thanks to Minnesota State for doing a nice little recap of the teams participating which you can see below.  You can find more details on each team at their link.

#1-Seeded Minnesota State The Mavericks baseball squad (36-12 overall, 25-7 NSIC) won the NSIC regular season title.  Sophomore pitcher, Blake Schwartz, was just named Player of the Week and leads the team with a 10-1 record.  The Mavericks are coached by Matt Magers  Minnesota State Preview

#2-Seeded Winona State: The Warriors finished the regular-season 35-12 overall and 24-8 in NSIC action. Warrior sophomore Tony Mueller leads WSU at the plate with a .438 clip and a team-low 4.83 ERA. The Warriors are coached by Kyle Poock.  (no preview listed)

#3-Seeded St. Cloud State:
The Huskies finished the regular-season 36-13 overall and 23-9 in the NSIC. St. Cloud freshman Jordan Smith leads the Huskies in nearly all offensive categories, while David Deminsky owns a team-low 2.95 ERA. The Huskies are coached by Pat Dolan.  St. Cloud State Preview

#4-Seeded Minnesota Duluth:
The Bulldogs finished the regular-season 34-18 overall and 22-10 in NSIC action. Minnesota Duluth junior Tyler Erickson leads UMD at the plate, owner of a .439 batting average. Junior Josh Foreman leads the team in wins with six. The Bulldogs are coached by Bob Rients.  Minnesota Duluth Preview

#5-Seeded Southwest Minnesota State:
The Mustangs finished the regular-season 26-16 overall and 22-10 in the NSIC. SWMS junior Cody Curry leads the Mustangs at the plate with a .460 clip, while senior Adam Schrader has been successful on the mound, going 5-3 with a team-low 2.97 ERA. The Mustangs are coached by Paul Blanchard.  SWMS Preview

#6-Seeded Wayne State: The Wildcats finished the regular-season 26-21 overall and 21-10 in the NSIC. Wayne State senior Joe Wendte leads WSC in nearly all offensive categories, while sophomore Austen Wisroth owns a 5-3 record and a team-low 3.00 ERA. The Wildcats are coached by Brian Disch.  Wayne State Preview

Tournament Website

The NSIC Tournament has its own website where fans can follow along with updated Live Stats and an In Tournament Blog.  The Blog is done by St. Cloud State who is hosting the Tourney.  They’ve been doing it all year and it’s quite well done and allows fans to interact with the bloggers at the game.

Tourney Website and Blog

Live Stats

NCAA D2 Baseball News

Also starting on Wednesday is the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s baseball tournament.  Northern Sun fans may want to keep one eye on the results from Kearney, NE.   RMAC 2010 Baseball Tournament

As of last week, teams from the Northern Sun Conference held down spots 2,3 & 5 in the NCAA Central Region Rankings.  It’s important to keep 3 of the top 5 spots in case there is an upset in the RMAC or NSIC Tournaments.  The winners of the RMAC and NSIC Tournaments each get an automatic bid into the NCAA D2 Central Region Tournament and then the next 4 highest ranked teams are invited.  If a team like Wayne State, SMSU or Duluth wins the NSIC title they will knock out team #6 (and something similar can happen in the RMAC).  The NCAA will release updated rankings today where I expect Minnesota State will jump ahead of St. Cloud and Winona State but the key is whether the NSIC teams stay ahead of Mesa State.  NCAA D2 Regional Rankings

Finally, the NCAA has updated their D2 Notebook which describes how Southern Arkansas has fallen out of the #1 position in the polls.  More importantly, Catawba won the Southern Atlantic Baseball Tourney and is the first team to gain an automatic qualifier into the D2 Regional Tournaments.  NCAA D2 Notebook

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


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