Eric Peterson has been a Mavericks fan as long as he can remember, so the decision to play for the Minnesota State baseball team was an easy one.
“I grew up being an MSU hockey fan because my dad played here,” Peterson said. “When I visited, it felt like home.”
His experience in baseball goes way back to days of youth.
“I’ve been hitting a baseball since I was two, and started playing tee-ball at age five. My family is into sports and especially because my grandpa loves baseball,” he said about his lengthy playing career.
The 5’11” infielder started off his senior season strong, scoring two runs on two hits in his four at bats against the Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagles Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Peterson started the game with a single in the first inning. He would then go on to hit a single down the right-field line, steal second and be brought home by Josh Wenzel in the second before getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
An Eagan, Minnesota native, Peterson started all 54 games in his junior season and led the team with 62 runs, tied for second for the all-time record in a single season. He ended his 2016 season fourth on the Minnesota State list of all-time career runs with 163. Peterson also went on a 12-game hitting streak and reached base in 22 games straight starting off the season. He led the team with 13 steals and highest on base percentage with .466. He had the second-highest batting average on the Mavericks with a .351 clip.
Peterson finished his 2015 season with a .340 batting average, appearing in 40 games and starting in 38. He scored 46 runs, second most on the team, on 50 hits. He also led the runs scored per game category with 1.18.
In 2014, Peterson finished with the third-most runs scored with 54, lead in stolen bases with 19 and steal attempts with 22. He finished his first season with a .310 batting average, a .450 slugging percentage and an impressive .968 fielding percentage. He had a season-high four hits and four runs batted in (RBI) against Southwest Baptists on Feb 17. He also had a 17-game hitting streak and a 25-game on base streak. The Mavericks who have appeared in 33 NCAA Division II National Tournaments and eight NCAA Division II World Series made their last appearance in 2014, Peterson’s freshman year.
“Playing in the Division II College World Series would have to be my favorite baseball moment,” said Peterson.
He finished the season as the NSIC Freshman of the Year.
Peterson, who was a two-time All-State and All-Conference selection at Eagan High School will graduate this year with a degree in business marketing.
“Its up in the air right now. I’d like to stay in the game of baseball in some sort of way,” he said about his plans after Minnesota State.
Peterson hopes to finish his senior year with “the best time possible and with my teammates and ultimately win a national championship.”