The Mavericks baseball team ended their 2017 season with a 3-2 loss to Central Oklahoma Sunday afternoon in Emporia, Kansas during the 2017 National Collegiate Association (NCAA) Division-II Baseball Central Region Tournament.
Ranked seventh, Minnesota State lead 2-0 after three innings. Junior first baseman Dylan Dresel started the game off with a home run to left field in the first while Hunter Harnisch added another homer in the third.
The Bronchos responded with three unanswered runs, starting with a home run in the fifth and a single in in the seventh. The winning run came with runners on the corners. After the runner from first stole second, the Mavericks threw to second while the runner from third advanced home to secure Central Oklahoma’s win.
Nick Belzer took the loss for the Mavericks, going six innings, allowing six hits while striking out six and walking only one.
Minnesota State finished the 2017 season with a 46-11 record and picked up their 10th Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) regular season title. Minnesota State went on to win the NSIC Tournament Championship, their first since 2014. This year also marked the team’s 36th appearance in the NCAA Division-II Baseball Tournament, and their 12th in-a-row.
Despite finishing their season, the post season accolades have started rolling in for various Mavericks. Junior pitcher Dalton Roach has been named one of the 12 finalists for the 2017 Brett Tomko Award among pitchers from schools such as USC-Aiken, West Texas A&M, Columbus State and Florida Southern. The award, which is given to the NCAA Division-II pitcher of the year, is named after former
Florida Southern pitcher Brett Tomko. Tomko pitched a total of 14 seasons in the majors and tallied 100 career wins.
Roach finished the 2017 season with a 1.56 earned run average (ERA) over 86.2 innings on the mound. He allowed 52 hits while striking out 128 batters and walked only 12.
Eric Peterson was named to the NCAA Division-II Baseball Central Regional All-Tournament Team for the first time. The senior third baseman finished with a .396 average and a .520 on-base percentage. He also tallied 62 runs on 78 hits and 34 runs batted in (RBI) in his 197 at bats. Peterson had a career-high eight home runs, three triples and 14 doubles. He finishes as the career leader in runs with 225 for the Mavericks and ranked in the top five in eight additional categories in program history. Peterson finished second in most at-bats with 735, hits with 257, total bases with 382 and third in doubles with 48, tied for third in triples with 10, fourth in games played with 210, stolen bases with 56 and fifth in sacrifice hits with 24.
Dresel finished his junior season leading the RBI category for the Mavericks with 57 and home runs with 13, putouts with 364, and fielded 27 double plays. His 13 home runs and 57 RBI’s put him third in the conference while his 51 runs scored earns him the fourth-place spot.