March 19, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University baseball team (6-10 overall record) looks to extend their three-game winning streak as they play six games this week. The Trojans heads to Winner, S.D. Thursday afternoon for a non-conference doubleheader versus long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (10-8). First pitch is set for 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, DSU travels to Seward, Neb. to play a four-game series with Concordia (Neb.) (10-12). The doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. on each day at the Plum Creek Park.
TUCSON (ARIZ.) INVITATIONAL RECAP: Dakota State went 4-5 record in the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational from March 9 through March 14. The Trojans dropped five games in the first six games in the invitational, but bounced back in the winning column by earning victories in the last three games. DSU defeated Missouri Valley 5-1, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 4-3 and earned a doubleheader sweep over Winnipeg (Canada) in high-scoring affairs (15-11 and 11-8).
TROJANS VS. GPAC: DSU kicks off their seven-game road stretch Thursday versus members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The Trojans travels to Winner, S.D. to take on Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) in a doubleheader. Dakota State heads to Seward, Neb. this weekend for a four-game series versus Concordia (Neb.). On Tuesday, March 25, the Trojans play a nine-inning game at Mount Marty (S.D.) in Yankton, S.D. Dakota State is seeking for their first victory versus the GPAC this season as they dropped a pair of contests in the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational on March 10—11-5 versus Dordt (Iowa) and 9-4 versus Briar Cliff (Iowa).
TROJANS' HITTING RANKS: According to the weather.com website as of Wednesday, Danny Flahie ranks second in the nation in triples per game with an average of 0.3 triples. He is fifth in the nation in total triples with four. Joe Davis ranks 45th in the nation with 0.4 doubles per game for the Trojans. As a team, Dakota State is 21st in the nation in triples per game (0.4). The Trojans hit a total of six triples this season, which is 42nd-best in the nation. In addition, DSU is 29th in the nation in producing a batting average of .310 and 47th with 9.1 hits per game.
STELLAR DSU DEFENSE: Dakota State records an average of 10.5 assists per game this season, ranking them 32nd in the nation. Individually, Ryan Schlesser tops the nation in fielding percentage with 1.000 (no defensive errors). Nathan Wieneke ranks 19th in the nation in assists per game (3.2 assists).
STRONG PITCHING: Two Trojan starting pitchers are ranked in the DakStats-NAIA statistical 'Top 50' in the pitching categories. Zac Smith ranks fifth in the nation in total earned runs allowed with two (in 21 2/3 innings). He is 12th in the nation in earned run average (0.84). Both Smith and Jordan Sovich are 48th in the nation in walks allowed with four. Sovich limited his opponents' to 15 total hits (17 2/3 innings), which is 49th-best in the nation.
QUICK LEADERS: David Halstead leads the Trojans' offense with 17 hits and records a batting average of .472. Danny Flahie accumulates a total of 11 runs batted in (RBIs) this season. He averages 0.7 RBI per game. Andy Lee swipes one base. Zac Smith leads DSU's pitching with an earned run average of 0.84 (2 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings). Jordan Sovich records 11 strikeouts, averaging 5.6 strikeouts.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State won the last meeting with Dakota Wesleyan in extra innings slugfest at the Caldwell Park on April 26, 2013 in Mitchell, S.D. Trailing 9-2 heading in the top seventh inning, the Trojans exploded for seven runs to tie the game at 9-9. The Tigers answered with four runs in the bottom seventh frame to earn a 13-9 lead. DSU scored five times in the top eighth inning to grab their first lead of the game at 14-13. DWU would tie the game at 14-14 with one run scored in the bottom ninth inning, extending the game into extra innings. After both teams could not score in the 10th inning, DSU blasted for four runs in the top 11th inning and sealed the victory by the score of 18-14. DSU had 15 hits and 15 walks in the game compared to DWU 25 hits and 3 walks. Concordia (Neb.) defeated DSU in both teams' last meeting on March 11, 2014 as part of the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational. DSU jumped to a 2-0 lead before the Bulldogs tied the game at 4-all in the bottom third inning. CUNE went on to score four runs in the bottom fifth inning and secured an 8-4 victory over the Trojans.
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 will play a nine-inning non-conference game on Tuesday, March 25 in Yankton, S.D. The Trojans play in-state rival Mount Marty with the first pitch starting at 4 p.m., located at the Riverside Park. DSU returns home to play their first home games on March 29-30 as they kick off their Inaugural North Star Athletic Association conference versus Mayville State (N.D.). The four-game series takes place at the Flynn Field in Madison, S.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director