Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Northern Sun baseball tournament coming to town

Minnesota State is the top seed for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference baseball tournament, which will be played Wednesday through Saturday at Franklin Rogers Park.

The Mavericks, who have won a program-record 27 straight games, have won this tournament the last two seasons and would be the favorite to win again, though all three of their conference losses came to second-seeded St. Cloud State on April 1-2.

Minnesota State has the top offense in the Northern Sun, batting .350 in league games, and the top pitching, with a 2.29 ERA in Northern Sun games, which is almost a run better than any other team.

The Mavericks have the deepest rotation of Danny Miller, Blake Schwartz and Luke Putz, who are a combined 24-3 this season, which means pitching shouldn't be an issue this weekend.

Jeremy Sudbeck, Patrick Dockendorf, Aaron Berner and Steven Helget all rank in the top 10 in the conference for batting average, and Matt Kuchenbecker led the conference with 46 RBIs.

There are some other players to watch this weekend. St. Cloud State outfielder Jordan Smith might be the best player in the league, batting .477 in conference games, and teammate Scott Lieser just threw a no-hitter last week.

Augustana's Charlie Dubanoski batted .457 in conference game, and teammate Nate Baumann led the Northern Sun with seven homers.

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