Posts Tagged 'Northern Sun Conference Baseball'

Opening Splits for Augustana & St. Cloud State

Augie Logo stcloudstate_logo

The 2009 Division 2 baseball season kicked off yesterday for Northern Sun Conference members Augustana and St. Cloud State and both came away with similar results, although via different routes.

Augustana opened with a doubleheader at Arkansas Tech where they lost the opening game 6-5 but came back strong in the second with a dominating 17-2 win.  In the first game the Augies got back to back home runs from Dan Morrison and Charles Dubanoski but couldn’t come back from the 5-0 deficit they found themselves in after 3 innings.  The team committed 3 errors which led to 3 unearned runs charged against starting pitcher Tyler Pierson.

In the 2nd game the Augies put on a dominating offensive performance which overshadowed their very good pitching.  3 more home runs gave them 5 for the day, which went along with a triple, 2 doubles and 11 overall hits.  Starting pitcher Per Nestigen got the win with 5 solid innings and although he only gave up 1 hit, the 7 walks charged to him are somewhat concerning.  The recap and boxscores can be found here – Arkansas Tech Writeup

Augustana plays a 3rd and final game against the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys today at 3pm.

St. Cloud State played Midland Lutheran at the Metrodome and got their split via a different way.  While Augustana was pounding out 22 runs, the Huskies used excellent pitching and only gave up 4 runs over 2 games.  Unfortunately for them, they only scored 4 runs as well.

In the first game, the Huskies used 5 pitchers to combine for the win which went to starter David Deminsky.  Joey Benke was the offensive leader going 3-3 at the plate along with Joe Kroc who got 2 RBI’s.

In the nightcap the game went to extra innings before Midland was able to push across a run in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 2 out bases loaded walk by losing pitcher Josh Boyer.  St. Cloud could only manage 4 hits in the game which undid another solid pitching outing.  The Huskies used 10 pitchers during the 2 games and struck out 15 batters.  The recap can be found here – St. Cloud Recap

St. Cloud State is off until next weekend when they will play a pair of doubleheaders against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside at the Metrodome.

2009 Season Starts Today

leather-and-laceBy rule the 2009 Division 2 baseball season officially kicks off on February 1st and 2 Northern Sun Conference teams will kick off their seasons.

The first game of the year is played by St. Cloud State who begins against an NAIA school, Midland Lutheran, out of Fremont, Nebraska.  They will play a doubleheader starting at 11am at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. 

The Midland Warriors finished 23-21 last year and are a part of the Great Plains Athletic Conference where they were picked by coaches to finish 4th in the 13 team league.  The NAIA lets their teams kick off a day early so the Warriors actually played a doubleheader at the Metrodome yesterday against Grand View College and came away with a split, winning the opener 6-2 but dropping the 2nd game 11-5 in 8 innings.  You can find a details on Midland here – Midland Lutheran Baseball

The other team in action today is Augustana College which travels to Arkansas to play a series of games over the next few days.  They kick off action against Arkansas Tech, a fellow Division 2 team based in Russelville, Arkansas.  The Wonder Boys finished 2008 with a 22-23 record and a 5th place finish in the Gulf South Conference’s West Division.  The team is predicted to finish in 5th place again this year in a preseason coaches poll.  One needs to understand that Arkansas Tech plays in an extremely tough Division as the 3 top teams in the West Division are all ranked among the top 12 teams in the country in the 2009 preseason poll.  Those teams are Southern Arkansas (6th), Ouachita Baptist (9th) and Delta State (12th).  Augustana’s doubleheader against the Wonder Boys starts at 1pm and is followed by a single game tomorrow at 3pm.  Arkansas Tech baseball can be found here – Arkansas Tech

Returning All-Conference Players

When looking to decide which teams are going to excel in 2009 it is probably helpful to look and see which teams have the most high-caliber returning players from 2008.

When you look at the list of players that received post season recognition in 2008 it looks like Concordia has the most 1st team players and is tied for the most total honorees.  All 4 are seniors this year.

Preseason favorite, Wayne State, has 4 as well but only 2 – 1st teamers.  Finally, Winona State is also tied for the most total returning all-conference players with 4. 

This makes me think that my earlier prediction of a Mankato State conference win may have been premature.


  1st Team 2nd Team Total
Augustana     1       1
Bemidji State         0
Concordia     3     1     4
MSU-Mankato     2       2
Northern State         0
SW MN State       2     2
St Cloud State         0
U Mary       1     1
UM Crookston       1     1
UM Duluth         0
Upper Iowa       3     3
Wayne State     2     2     4
Winona State     1     3     4
Totals     9     13     22

Northern Sun Roster Analysis

As the Northern Sun Baseball season is poised to take off it’s an interesting exercise to take a look at the current rosters listed for each team (U-Mary doesn’t have theirs listed yet).

Roster sizes vary from the mid-20’s (Crookston/Concordia) to the mid-40’s.  A few interesting observations –

  • Almost every team has more freshman than anything else.  A number of these kids are walk-on’s and red shirts but it’s quite likely that a lot of them wash out of the system after the first year.  After that there is a remarkable sameness in the number of Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.
  • The number of pitchers per team varies from 11-20.  Typically, about 40-50% of the roster is made up of pitchers.
  • Bemidji, Concordia, Upper Iowa and Wayne St. have the largest proportion of seniors.  Concordia is known for having the 2 pre-season players of the year who are both seniors.  Based on the size of their roster and the number of seniors it is quite possible that they will see a large decline in success for 2010.
  • Crookston has had very limited success in recent years and the fact that they have such a small roster and such a large number of them are freshman doesn’t give any confidence that this will change in 2009.
  Total FR SO JR SR P %F %So %Jr %Sr %P
Aug 34 10 14 3 7 15 29.4% 41.2% 8.8% 20.6% 44.1%
BSU 35 10 10 3 12 19 28.6% 28.6% 8.6% 34.3% 54.3%
Concordia 26 8 5 4 9 11 30.8% 19.2% 15.4% 34.6% 42.3%
MSUM 41 17 8 7 9 21 41.5% 19.5% 17.1% 22.0% 51.2%
North St 44 18 8 11 7 16 40.9% 18.2% 25.0% 15.9% 36.4%
SWMS 47 20 8 10 9 20 42.6% 17.0% 21.3% 19.1% 42.6%
SCSU 46 15 9 13 9 18 32.6% 19.6% 28.3% 19.6% 39.1%
UM Crook 25 12 4 6 3 14 48.0% 16.0% 24.0% 12.0% 56.0%
UMD 33 14 8 7 4 19 42.4% 24.2% 21.2% 12.1% 57.6%
Up IA 42 11 9 9 13 19 26.2% 21.4% 21.4% 31.0% 45.2%
Wayne 32 8 4 11 9 16 25.0% 12.5% 34.4% 28.1% 50.0%
Winona 37 15 7 9 6 16 40.5% 18.9% 24.3% 16.2% 43.2%
Totals 442 158 94 93 97 204 35.7% 21.3% 21.0% 21.9% 46.2%
Avg’s 36.8 13.2 7.8 7.8 8.1 17.0          

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