Coming off of a three game series against Minot State this past weekend, the Minnesota State baseball team was ready to play their next double header series against Minnesota-Crookston this past Tuesday, April 13. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate as Crookston experienced rain and snow, postponing the games. Then, Wednesday night, the games were cancelled due to COVID-19 testing protocols within the Crookston program.
The No. 15 Mavericks will next be set to play against the Upper Iowa Peacocks this weekend in a three game series. Minnesota State is 18-4 on the season and sits in second place in the NSIC standings with a 15-3 conference record. The Peacocks, however, have been having a more average season, going 11-11 overall, with a 9-8 conference record, putting them at eighth place in the NSIC.
Outside of individual achievement, the Mavs have put up some great numbers this year. The Mavericks boast one of the better resumes in the NSIC, sitting first in team pitching and third in team batting.
Mavericks’ pitchers combine for the best ERA in the NSIC, while also having the most wins, saves, and second most strikeouts. At the plate the Mavs have the third best batting average and third best total runs in the NSIC.
Upper Iowa comes into this game 11th in team batting and sixth in team pitching, while sitting middle of the pack in the NSIC standings. The Peacocks have only played four games against top five teams coming into this weekend, but they will give the Mavericks a run for their money this Saturday and Sunday, as they managed to hold down Crookston to a 1-0 loss earlier this season.
Inside these great teams are some really amazing players. As far as batting goes, Mankato has the fourth best batter in the NSIC in Joey Werner while Upper Iowa rosters a top 15 batter in Jake Hilmer.
Werner has a .425 batting average to go along with his 28 RBIs and six home runs, and Hilmer, a .364 batting average with 9 RBI’s and leads the Peacocks with 18 runs. Expect both of these superb batters to make a big impact in the three game series.
As far as pitching goes, both teams also have a player or more in the top 10. The Mavericks hold a committee of pitchers in the top 10 of pitching stats in the NSIC, including No. 6 Collin Denk, No. 8 Nick Altermatt, and No. 10 Jon Ludwig.
Duncan Snider for Upper Iowa leads the team and lands 18th in the NSIC in terms of ERA with 3.51. Jarrett Ramer also leads the Peacocks in opposing batting average, allowing just .231, of hits while he’s on the mound.
The Mavericks will look to take over the lead from Minnesota-Crookston in the NSIC standings while they took a momentary break to recover from COVID-19.