Baseball preview: Mavs look to control their own destiny

The team looks to continue to take the control of the NSIC versus Wayne State

Brady Olson
Staff Writer

The MSU baseball team is looking to continue its hot streak this weekend when Wayne State comes to town for a three-game series against the Mavericks.

The Mavs come into this series with a nine-game win streak, dating back to a win over Minnesota-Duluth on Tuesday, April 2. Since then, sweeps of the University of Mary, Northern State, and Upper Iowa have bolstered their resume, advancing their record to 27-8 overall and 18-5 in NSIC play. Currently third in the NSIC standings, they trail only Augustana and St. Cloud State.

On the other side, Wayne State is also having a quality season. At 19-6 in conference play, they are tied with the Mavericks in the standings, and come off a sweep of No. 6 Ashland. However, MSU has had Wayne State’s number in this series, holding a 27-7 record all-time against the Warriors.

One of the key players the Mavericks will be using is senior outfielder Jordan Hart. Hart, the reigning NSIC Player of the Week, became the school’s all-time leader in RBIs in last weekend’s series against Upper Iowa. Along with the RBI record, Hart had already broken the school’s home run record. With 15 home runs and 56 RBIs already this year, Hart also boasts an absurd slugging percentage of .825.

Another key piece of this weekend’s success will have to come from the pitching staff. This year’s pitching staff is loaded with talent, led by sophomore Cam Kline. Kline currently boasts a 1.97 ERA and a 7-0 record, while hurling a team-high 74 strikeouts. 

It will be interesting to see if junior pitcher Jon Ludwig will get a chance to extend his scoreless innings streak. Ludwig has only pitched 19 innings in only four appearances, but has allowed no one to cross home plate in that time.

With less than a month to go before the NCAA regionals, both teams have been trying to make a run for the tournament after missing it last season. 

Wayne State started the season 8-0 before suffering some setbacks along the way, while Minnesota State started just 9-5 before taking off in late March. 

And while no official regional rankings have come out yet for 2019, computer rankings are looking bullish on MSU’s chances to reach the tournament, projecting the Mavs to be a top-30 team nationwide. 

The series will feature two games on Friday, with times set at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., while the game on Saturday is set to take place at noon. All games will take place at Bowyer Field.

Header photo courtesy of Maverick Athletics.

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