North Dakota State Picked to Win Summit League Baseball Title
Release: February 08, 2013
ELMHURST, Ill. - North Dakota State is the unanimous favorite to win its first Summit League baseball championship according to a preseason poll of the league's six head coaches released Friday, Feb. 8.
North Dakota State received all five available first-place votes for 25 points, South Dakota State was second with 17 points, Oakland was third with 16 points, Western Illinois fourth (15), Fort Wayne fifth (9) and Omaha sixth (8).
NDSU set a school record for wins going 40-20 overall and placed third in The Summit League with a 14-10 record last year under head coach, who is beginning his sixth season.
North Dakota State finished second at last year's Summit League tournament behind Oral Roberts, which has moved to the Southland Conference. NDSU is seeking its first NCAA tournament appearance since the 1969 College Division Midwest Regional.
Junior center fielderis one of only three starting position players back from last year's team. A preseason All-America third team pick by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Colwell hit .381 with a school-record 93 hits and nine triples, 35 RBIs, a .438 on-base percentage, 12 stolen bases and 62 runs scored in 60 games.
NDSU returns two weekend starting pitchers in right-hander Simon Anderson and closer . Straka was 7-4 with a 2.61 ERA and set school records with 92 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings with three shutouts in 15 starts last year as opening day starter.
NDSU is scheduled to open the season Feb. 15-17 with a three-game series at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The home opener is March 26 against Concordia Moorhead and the 30-game Summit League schedule begins April 5-7 with a four-game series at South Dakota State.
The top four teams in the regular-season standings will advance to the Summit League tournament May 23-25 at the Oakland University baseball field in Rochester, Mich., with the winner of the double-elimination bracket earning the league's automatic berth in the NCAA playoffs.
|2013 Summit League Baseball Preseason Poll|
|Team (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. North Dakota State (5)
|2. South Dakota State
|3. Oakland (1)
|4. Western Illinois
|5. Fort Wayne