The Minnesota State Maverick baseball team has eight games left before the start of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) tournament and have posted a 34-7 record overall and 29-3 in the NSIC.
Ranked 12th in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), tied with West Chester, Minnesota State’s starting pitching rotation has also been ranked in the top-ten in the nation. The team has a collective 2.54 earned run average (ERA), first in the NSIC, with an average of 9.48 strikeouts-per-game, second to Mercyhurt’s 2.29 ERA.
Three Maverick pitchers have managed to nab a spot in the top-ten for the NSIC, with junior Dalton Roach leading Minnesota State and sitting fifth in the conference with an impressive 2.22 ERA, and 7-0 record over 56.2 innings. Roach has allowed only 32 hits and an astonishing seven walks while striking out 87. He has also managed to hold opposing batters to a .213 average. Senior Brody Rodning sits seventh in the conference with a 5-2 record and a 2.30 ERA, allowing only 33 hits while retiring 54 over 47 innings of work. Mitchell Bauer, senior, adds a third name to the top-ten in the conference with a 2.31 ERA, 7-0 record and 52 strikeouts. Bauer has held opposing batters to a .233 average while throwing two complete games.
Although the team sits in the sixth spot for hitting in the conference with a team average of .298 and a .382 on-base percentage, they have managed to have a productive record-setting season so far. Eric Peterson set a program record early in the year, tallying a total of 208 hits. Peterson leads the Mavericks in nearly every offensive category with a .384 average in 138 at bats, a .601 slugging percentage and a conference-leading .517 on-base percentage. Peterson has earned 45 of his record-setting runs this year and totaled 53 hits.
Junior outfielder Josh Wenzel also helped set a new program record, smashing an impressive four home runs in the Mavericks’ game against Minot State. Wenzel has posted a .319 average with 31 runs over 46 hits and nine homeruns and 35 runs batted in (RBI).
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position right now to play in meaningful games, as we near the end of the regular season,” assistant coach PJ McIntee said. “Our goal is always to be playing our best baseball at the end of the year. Going forward, we look to continue to take each game one at a time and play Maverick baseball.”
Despite facing adversity throughout the season, the Mavericks have had nothing short of an impressive season. Just a day after losing his mother to cancer, Brody Rodning helped lift the Mavericks to a 1-0 victory over Minnesota-Duluth with seven strikeouts. Before the start of the season, Minnesota State lost sophomore catcher Adam Ellingson to gastroenteritis. This Saturday, the team with recognize both Rodning and Ellingson before the series against the Upper Iowa Peacocks starting at 1:30 p.m.
The Mavericks will also officially dedicate the MSU Baseball field to Dean Bowyer, in addition to honoring the seniors and alumni Maverick baseball players Sunday before their games, which are scheduled for noon and 2 p.m.