April 15, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University baseball team (17-20 overall record, 2-6 North Star Athletic Association conference record) continues their action with five games scheduled this week. The Trojans step aside their NSAA conference action with a nine-inning game at their long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) (18-18) Wednesday evening. First pitch from the Caldwell Park in Mitchell, S.D. is set for 5 p.m. Dakota State returns back to NSAA conference play on Friday and Saturday as they play a four-game series with NSAA's conference leader Jamestown (N.D.) (23-6, 8-2 NSAA). The four-game series will be played at Erv Huether Field in Brookings, S.D. on the campus of South Dakota State University. The doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. on Friday and 12 p.m. on Saturday.
TROJANS VS. GPAC: Dakota State is 5-7 record against members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), but the Trojans had won the last three of four games versus the GPAC teams. The Trojans split with in-state rival Mount Marty (S.D.) on April 9 and swept Briar Cliff (Iowa) in a doubleheader on April 1 in Sioux City, Iowa. Wednesday's game will mark the last game that the Trojans will face a team from the GPAC conference.
FLAHIE TRIPLE RANKS: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Tuesday, Danny Flahie ranks ninth in the nation in total triples with five. He is also 13th in the nation in triples per game (0.1). Flahie already owns the DSU school record for most triples in a single season with five. In addition, he tied the DSU school record for most career triples with six (Chaz Palmer).
MAKING SAVES: Bryant Westra ranks 18th in the nation in total saves in pitching relief. He earned six saves this season, including two consecutive 6-4 games with a save in victory versus Dickinson State (N.D.) in Minot, N.D. and a win at Mount Marty (S.D.) on April 9. As a team, Dakota State had racked up a total of seven saves (Jordan Sovich recorded a save on March 23 at Concordia, Neb.).
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Dakota State fell one spot to No. 4 in the latest North Star/Frontier baseball weekly rankings, which was released on Monday afternoon. Jamestown (N.D.), receiving votes in the latest NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, continued to hold the top spot in the ranking with an overall record of 21-6. Mayville State (N.D.) is second with a 28-9 overall record, followed by Valley City State (N.D.) at No. 3 spot (15-22 overall record). The weekly rankings are used to determined the rankings for the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 national poll.
TROJANS OFFENSE ATTACK: Three different Trojan Baseball players had recorded at least 10 multiple hits games this season. Joe Davis, who had a season-high 10-game hitting streak in 2014, had at least two hits 13 times this season, followed by Danny Flahie with 12. David Halstead recorded two more hits in 11 games. Ian Barker leads Dakota State with four home runs in 12 games played.
LET'S PLAY DEFENSE: Nathan Wieneke racked up a total of 112 assists this season for the Trojans' defense. His 112 assists ranks 39th in the nation. Wieneke is 11th in the nation in assists per game with an average of 3.2 assists. David Halstead is 27th in the nation in putouts per game (7.8) and 28th in chances per game (8.4). As a team, Dakota State ranks 27th in the nation in assists per game (10.5 assists per game).
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State avoided a four-game series with Valley City State (N.D.) in the NSAA four-game series in Valley City, N.D. last weekend. Two games in the four-game series went into extra innings with the Trojans winning the last game of the four-game series by the score of 4-3 in 11 innings. Dakota Wesleyan swept a GPAC conference doubleheader versus Hastings (Neb.) on April 14. Jamestown moved into the sole possession of first place in the NSAA after sweeping a doubleheader with Mayville State (N.D.) Tuesday (today).
INCHING CLOSER TO POSTSEASON: The North Star Athletic Association/Frontier Baseball Conference tournament takes place three weeks later. The postseason conference tournament will be held at the Charlie Brown Stadium, hosted by Valley City State (N.D.) in Valley City, N.D. The first-round action gets underway on Friday, May 2 and runs through Monday, May 5. The winner of the NSAA/Frontier Baseball Conference Tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round, which takes place at nine different campus sites selected by the NAIA on May 12-15.
QUICK LEADERS: Joe Davis leads the Trojans' offense attack with 51 hits and produced a batting average of .386. He also leads the team with 26 total runs batted in (RBIs) and averaged 0.7 RBIs per game. Andy Lee swipes two bases this season. Jordan Sovich leads the team with 2.82 earned run average in 38 1/3 innings (12 earned runs). Seth Rockafellow records an ERA of 2.00 with a 3-2 pitching record in 36 innings of work (8 earned runs). Zac Smith leads the team with five victories on the pitching mound. Austin Weber accumulates a total of 33 strikeouts (6.5 strikeouts per game).
LAST MEETING: Dakota Wesleyan swept Dakota State in both teams' last meeting on March 20 in Winner, S.D. The Trojans were unable to hold on to their lead as the Tigers rallied back for 9-7 and 5-2 victories. DSU and Jamestown split a doubleheader in the last meeting on April 2, 2013 in Lennox, S.D. The Trojans cruised to a 9-3 victory in the first game after opening up with a 9-0 lead in the first four innings, but fell short in the second game by the score of 5-3.
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 returns back to Erv Huether Field Wednesday, April 23 for a nine-inning non conference game at NCAA Division I South Dakota State. First pitch is slated to start at 3 p.m. in Brookings, S.D. On April 26-27, the Trojans play the final NSAA four-game conference series of the season against Presentation (S.D.).
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director