THIS WEEK: Dakota State (8-21 overall record) returns back to action Monday as they play a baseball doubleheader at nationally-ranked Bellevue (Neb.) (33-6-1). The doubleheader kicks off at 3 p.m. and will be played at the Westgate Field in Omaha, Neb.
TROJANS DROP SEASON HOME OPENER: After playing the first 28 games on road/neutral sites, Dakota State played their first home game of the season at Flynn Field on April 8 versus Morningside (Iowa). The Trojans were struck out 13 times as the Mustangs prevailed by the score of 9-2.
BATTLE OF LAST YEAR'S NAIA BASEBALL NATIONAL QUALIFIERS: Both Dakota State and Bellevue qualified for the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round last season. The Trojans qualified for the national tournament by earning a runner-up in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference postseason tournament in San Marcos, Calif. DSU was eliminated in the Hutchinson (Kan.) bracket of the national tournament, losing to Tabor (Kan.) and Judson (Ill.). Bellevue was the 11th at-large bid to qualify for the national tournament. The Bruins played in the Paducah (Ky.) bracket of the national tournament opening round. Bellevue lost to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the first round, but bounced back with a victory over Grand View (Iowa.). Peru State (Neb.) eliminated BU from postseason play in the national tournament's opening round in Paducah.
LAST TIME OUT: DSU dropped a 9-2 a nine-inning home contest to Morningside (Iowa), a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), on April 8 in Trojans' first home game of the season at Flynn Field. Bellevue, No. 10 in the latest NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, extended their winning streak to seven games as they swept a home four-game series with Central Christian (Kan.) on April 12 and 13 in Omaha. The Bruins outscored Central Christian 24-3 in the four-game series.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State and Bellevue played in a four-game series on April 6 and April 7, 2012 in Omaha, Neb. as part of IHOP Invitational at Westgate Field. The Trojans and Bruins split on the first day of the doubleheader, where BU won the first game 5-1 and the Trojans survived the second game by the score of 5-4. Bellevue won the last two games of the four-game series by the scores of 16-7 and 10-1.
DSU RANKS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Sunday, Dakota State ranks 28th in the nation in home runs per game with an average of 0.5. Anyelo Roman is 14th in the nation in home runs per game (0.2) and 15th in runs batted in per game (1.1). He is 37th in total home runs with six home runs. Rays Roman is 22nd in the nation in stolen bases per game (0.6). Austin Weber records nine earned runs allowed, which is 25th-best in the nation. He is 37th in the nation in total hits allowed with 30 hits.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: In the first weekly A.I.I.-Frontier ranking, Dakota State is ranked No. 6 in the standings. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) is currently on the top of the standings with an overall record of 29-9, followed by Mayville State (24-2-1) at No. 2. Jamestown (N.D.) is at No. 3 with an 18-9 overall record. Dickinson State (N.D.) (18-11) is fourth and Valley City State (N.D.) (10-17) is fifth in the standings. The standings is used to determine the seeding for the upcoming unaffiliated A.I.I./Frontier conference tournament, hosted by Jamestown (N.D.) on May 1-4 in Jamestown, N.D. All teams, except Lewis-Clark State (host bid for the Avista-NAIA World Series) will be competing in the conference tournament.
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Kyle Holland leads the Trojans' offensive attack with a batting average of .333. He records 31 hits this season. Anyelo Roman accumulates a total of 31 RBIs. Rays Roman leads the team with 18 stolen bases. Austin Weber records an earned runs average of 2.76. Kevin Madera averages 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings (27 total strikeouts).
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State baseball and athletics all season long at www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics.
FOLLOW DSU BASEBALL ON GAMECHANGER: 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-2013/dsu-trojans-baseball-5106b59fbce231ef05000001 for more information. Bellevue will be carrying a live stats/play-by-play on http://livestats.prestosports.com/bellevue/bsb/?e=lxwkzxeq3ppcnhca.
UP NEXT: Dakota State is scheduled to play a doubleheader against a pair of Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) teams this week. The Trojans head to Sioux City, Iowa for a match-up with Briar Cliff at 2 p.m. On Thursday, DSU visits their in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. in Mitchell, S.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director