May 1, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University baseball team (21-26 overall record) kicks off their postseason play Friday evening in the NAIA Unaffiliated North Star Athletic Association (NSAA)/Frontier Baseball Conference Postseason Tournament in Valley City, N.D. The Trojans face the host-team Valley City State (N.D.) (18-27) in the opening round at 7 p.m. All games in the conference postseason tournament will be played at the Charlie Brown Stadium.
TROJANS NO. 4 SEED IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: Dakota State is the No. 4 seed when 2014 NAIA Unaffiliated NSAA/Frontier Baseball Championship opens on Friday, May 2. Jamestown (N.D.) (31-8 overall record) is the top seed in the postseason tournament and will kick off the tournament by facing sixth-seeded Presentation (S.D.) (10-39) at 12 noon on Friday. Mayville State (N.D.) (37-12), No. 2 seed in the tournament, will play No. 5 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) (10-38) in the 3:30 p.m. match-up. The final game on Friday will feature a battle between the Trojans and No. 3 seed Valley City State (N.D.) at 7 p.m. The postseason runs through Monday, May 5 with the championship game. Pairings may need to be adjusted after the outcomes of Game 5 and Game 6 on Saturday. All games are nine (9) with 10-run mercy rule after seven (7) innings. There will be no 10-run rule in the championship game.
AUTOMATIC BID FOR NAIA NATIONALS: The NAIA Unaffiliated NSAA/Frontier tournament will be played according to the NAIA-Baseball Coaches' Association Six-Team Double-Elimination Bracket. The tournament champion receives an automatic berth to the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, which will be played on May 12-15 at nine different campus sites announced by the NAIA. The NAIA will be having a video Selection Show on May 6 on www.naia.org, announcing the pairings and brackets for the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round.
TOURNAMENT LIVE COVERAGE: Valley City State have a tournament website available for fans to view. Click on http://vikings.vcsu.edu/baseball/vp.htm?p=3102&cm=1 for more information on the directions to the Charlie Brown Stadium, tournament bracket, schedule, scores, game recaps, live stats, live radio broadcast and tournament photo gallery. The links will also be available on the DSU Athletics website on www.dsuathletics.com.
PITCHERS' DUELS: After the Trojans pound Presentation (S.D.) on April 26 in Redfield with a pair of double-digits runs for a first-day sweep, both DSU and PC battled through a pair of pitchers' duels on April 27 in Aberdeen, S.D The Saints pulled out a 15-inning 1-0 victory over the Trojans in the first game, where Zac Smith threw 11 scoreless innings. However, Dakota State won the four-game series finale as Jordan Sovich threw a complete game in a 3-1 victory over PC.
DSU FOURTH IN NSAA STANDINGS, THIRD IN NSAA/FRONTIER STANDINGS: Dakota State finished their first year in the North Star Athletic Association conference play with a 6-10 record, placing fourth in the NSAA standings. Jamestown claimed the first-ever NSAA regular-season title with an 11-3 record, followed by Mayville State (N.D.) second with 11-5 record and Valley City State (N.D.) third with a 6-8 record. Presentation (S.D.) was fifth with 4-12 NSAA conference record. The Trojans, however, are third in the NSAA/Frontier conference record with a 10-10 record.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State went 3-3 record to conclude their regular-season play last week. The Trojans lost to the NAIA's nationally-ranked No. 20 Northwestern (Iowa) 10-0 in seven innings on April 21 in Orange City. DSU battled with NCAA Division I South Dakota State, where SDSU earned an 11-1 victory over the Trojans on April 23. Dakota State bounced back in the winning column with a pair of victories in Redfield, S.D. on April 26. DSU defeated Presentation by the scores of 10-6 and 13-4. In the final regular-season games on April 27, the Trojans and Saints battled through a pair of pitchers' duels, with PC winning 1-0 in 15 innings first game and DSU winning the four-game series finale 3-1.
QUICK LEADERS: Joe Davis leads the Trojans' offense attack with 62 hits and produced a batting average of .367. He also leads the team with 33 total runs batted in (RBIs) and averaged 0.7 RBIs per game. Danny Flahie leads the team with five triples. Ian Barker produces four home runs this season for the Trojans. Andy Lee swipes three bases this season. Zac Smith leads the team with 1.59 earned run average in 51 innings (9 earned runs) with a 4-1 pitching record. His ERA ranks 18th best in the nation. Austin Weber accumulates a total of 36 strikeouts (6.4 strikeouts per game) on the pitching mound and leads the team with five wins. Bryant Westra leads the team with six saves, ranking him 30th-best in the nation.
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: The NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round takes place on May 12 through May 15 at nine different campus sites announced by the NAIA. The selection show will be available online on www.naia.org for pairings and brackets, which will be announced on May 6.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director