March 25, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University baseball team (8-12 overall record, 0-0 North Star Athletic Association conference record) will visit their in-state rival Mount Marty (S.D.) (13-6) in a non-conference nine-inning game on Wednesday evening. First pitch from the Riverside Park is set for 5 p.m. in Yankton, S.D. On Saturday and Sunday, Dakota State kicks off their first-ever North Star Athletic Association conference baseball games versus Mayville State (N.D.) (16-7, 0-0 NSAA). The four-game series had been moved to Westerman Park in Lennox, S.D. Game times will be determined on a later date this week.
TROJANS ON THE ROLL: Dakota State had won five games in the last seven games, including a recent doubleheader sweep over Concordia (Neb.) on March 23. During the stretch, the Trojans defeated Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) on March 13 and swept Winnipeg (Canada) in the doubleheader on March 14 as part of the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational. After falling short to long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan in Winner, S.D. on March 20, the Trojans registered two victories over Concordia (Neb.) to raise their overall record to 8-12 this season.
FIRST-EVER NSAA BASEBALL CONFERENCE GAMES: The Trojans will be play their first North Star Athletic Association baseball conference games this weekend. DSU plays Mayville State (N.D.) in a four-game series in Lennox, S.D. The members of the NSAA conference (Dakota State, Jamestown, Mayville State, Presentation and Valley City State), along with Dickinson State (N.D.) from the Frontier Conference, will play a total of 20 conference games starting this weekend through April 27. The conference postseason tournament takes place in Valley City, N.D. from May 2 through May 5.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Jamestown (N.D.) is the top team in the first edition of the weekly conference rankings, released on Monday. The Jimmies hold a 13-4 overall record. Mayville State (N.D.) is sits at No. 2 with a 16-7 overall record. Valley City State (N.D.) is third with a 8-15 record, followed by Dakota State (S.D.) with an overall record of 8-12. Dickinson State (N.D.) is fifth (4-18 overall record) and Presentation (S.D.) ranks sixth (4-20 overall record). The weekly rankings are used to determine the rankings for the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, which is released every Tuesday afternoons.
EXTRA BASES HITS: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Tuesday, Dakota State ranks 27th in the nation in triples per game with an average of 0.4 triples. The Trojans are 35th in the nation in doubles per game (1.8 doubles) and 45th in total triples with seven this season. Danny Flahie blasted a total of four triples this season, which is eighth-best in the nation. He is also eighth in triples per game (0.2). DSU records a batting average of .302, ranking the Trojans 48th-best in the nation. David Halstead records a batting average of .426—37th best in the nation.
STELLAR DEFENSE: Dakota State averages 10.6 assists per game, which ranks them at No. 29 in the nation for most assists per game. Nathan Wieneke is 9th in the nation in averaging 3.3 assists per game for the Trojans. David Halstead ranks 35th in the nation in chances per game (8.4) and 37th in putouts per game (7.7). In pitching, Zac Smith is 16th in the nation in total earned runs allowed with four. He is 32nd in the nation in earned run average with 1.37.
QUICK LEADERS: David Halstead accumulates a total of 20 hits this season, producing a batting average of .426 to lead Trojans' offense attack. Danny Flahie leads the team in runs batted in (RBIs) with 14 (0.7 RBIs per game). Andy Lee swipes one base this season. Zac Smith leads the Trojans' pitching with an ERA of 1.37 (four earned run average). Jordan Sovich records 13 strikeouts to lead the team.
LAST MEETING: The Trojans had won the last six meetings with Mount Marty (S.D.), including a doubleheader sweep last season in Crofton, Neb. on April 3, 2013. DSU defeated the Lancers 9-1 in the first game and scored five runs in the top ninth inning to earn an 11-6 extra innings victory. During that six meetings stretch, Dakota State outscored the Lancers 49-13 in runs. Mayville State and Dakota State met a total of six times last season, with all six games won by the Comets. The last time they met was in the 2013 Unaffiliated Conference Tournament in Jamestown, N.D. where MSU held on to defeat DSU by the score of 8-7 on May 1. They played five games in Lennox, S.D. last season a pair of games decided by one run and another pair of games decided by two runs. The last time Dakota State had defeated Mayville State was on April 1, 2012 with a 9-7 victory at the Flynn Field in Madison, S.D.
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 plays a pair of non-conference games next week before returning back to conference action. The Trojans play a doubleheader with Briar Cliff (Iowa) on April 1. First game is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. at the Bishop Mueller Field in Sioux City, Iowa. On Wednesday, April 2, DSU is scheduled to play their first home game of the season at Flynn Field, hosting Mount Marty (S.D.). First pitch in a nine-inning game will be announced on a later date. On April 5-6, the Trojans travel to Dickinson, N.D. to play a four-game conference series versus Dickinson State. The four-game series will take place at the Astoria Field with a 2 p.m. (Central Time)/1 p.m. (Mountain Time) starting time on April 5 and 1 p.m. (CT)/12 p.m. (MT) start on April 6.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director