February 13, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University baseball team (0-0 overall record) kicks off their 2014 season with a three-game series on Sunday and Monday in Oklahoma. The Trojans visit Oklahoma Panhandle State (0-7) at Aggie Baseball Field in Goodwell, Okla. The doubleheader kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. The third game of the three-game series will be held on Monday morning at 11 a.m.
2013 SEASON REVIEW: The Trojans finished their 2013 season with a 11-30 overall record and 1-6 Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference record. Dakota State opened the postseason play with a 14-13 12-inning thriller in the NAIA Baseball Unaffiliated Conference Tournament in Jamestown, N.D. on May 1. The Trojans fell short to the top-seeded Mayville State (N.D.) in the winner's bracket by the score of 8-7. DSU ended their 2013 season with a 13-9 loss to Valley City State in the loser's bracket of the conference tournament. Dakota State landed four players on the A.I.I./Frontier Baseball All-Conference Team. Rays Roman, Ryan Bourcier, Anyelo Roman and Kyle Holland were named to the All-Conference First Team.
2014 SCHEDULE OVERVIEW: Dakota State will play a total of 11 straight games on the road to kick off their 2014 season before heading to Arizona in March. The Trojans will compete in the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational from March 10-14. Games in Arizona include Kansas Wesleyan, Dordt (Iowa), Briar Cliff (Iowa), Missouri Valley, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and University of Winnipeg (Canada). DSU is scheduled to play their first home game at Flynn Field on March 20 versus long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.). The Trojans start their inaugural North Star Athletic Association season with a four-game series versus Mayville State (N.D.) at the Flynn Field in Madison, S.D. on March 29-30. The NSAA/Frontier Baseball Postseason Conference Tournament, which features six-team double-elimination unaffiliated conference tournament format, takes place at the Charlie Brown Stadium in Valley City, N.D. on May 2-5. The winner of the conference tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round on May 12-15.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: DSU have 35 athletes on their 2014 baseball roster this year. The Trojans have seven seniors listed on the roster this season—Mike Chartier, Danny Flahie, Seth Rockafellow, Seth Spears, Drew Sweeter, Andy Lee and Austin Weber. Dakota State also have 14 juniors, 8 sophomores and 6 freshmen on their roster. The Trojans are guided by fourth-year head coach Scott Hortness and assisted by Eric Hortness, his fourth straight season as an assistant coach and 10th overall at Dakota State University.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE STATE: Oklahoma Panhandle State is an NCAA Division II school located in Goodwell, Okla. The Aggies are a member of the Heartland Conference. Oklahoma Panhandle State opened their 2014 season as they dropped a three-game series at Northwestern Oklahoma State on Feb. 1-2 in Alva, Okla. The Aggies also dropped a four-game series to the University of Nebraska-Kearney in Albuquerque, N.M. on Feb. 9-10 and slipped their overall record to 0-7.
NSAA BASEBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL: Dakota State (S.D.) was picked to finish fourth in the inaugural North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Baseball Coaches' Preseason Poll, announced on Feb. 7. The NSAA preseason baseball poll was voted by the league's head coaches. Jamestown (N.D.) was tabbed to win the league title. The Jimmies had a slim lead over second-place Mayville State (N.D.) 23-22. Valley City State (N.D.) tallied 13 points to finish 3rd in the preseason poll. The Trojans recorded 12 points for No. 4 in the NSAA preseason coaches' poll, followed by Presentation (S.D.) at No. 5 spot with five points.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Mayville State (N.D.) top the Unaffiliated-North Star/Frontier preseason rankings, announced on Nov. 11, 2014. The Comets are currently 8-0 overall record after sweeping four games over Presentation (S.D.) and Valley City State (N.D.) in NSAA's inaugural baseball season in the fall of 2013. Jamestown (N.D.) is ranked second (30-11 overall record last season), followed by Valley City State (N.D.) (4-4 record). Dickinson State (N.D.) (25-19 record last season) is fourth and Dakota State (S.D.) (11-30 last season). Presentation (S.D.) is No. 6 and winless in eight fall baseball games. The weekly rankings are used to determine the rankings to the NAIA Baseball Coaches' 'Top 25' national poll. The first-regular season NAIA Baseball 'Top 25' national poll will be released on March 25.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State baseball and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
FOLLOW DSU BASEBALL LIVE: Fans can follow the Trojan Baseball this season on GameChanger (live stats/score/play-by-play website). You can go to http://www.gamechanger.io/t/spring-2014/dakota-state-university-trojans-52fce615f13a03062113f127 for more information.
UP NEXT: Dakota State continues their action on the road next weekend. The Trojans head to McPherson, Kan. to play a four-game series with Central Christian (Kan.) The series kick off on Saturday, Feb. 21 with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. and continue on Sunday with another doubleheader starting at 12 noon.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director