2001 MIAC BASEBALL PREVIEW

MIAC Baseball
The MIAC Baseball conference season gets underway April 4. Defending MIAC Champions St. Olaf looks to compete for the top spot again this year, along with currently No. 1 ranking St. Thomas. Last season debued the first ever MIAC baseball playoffs, held in Northfield, Minn., with the top four finishing teams in conference play competing. St. Thomas won the playoffs and received the MIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Tommies ended up finishing 2nd in the NCAA Tournament. The 2001 MIAC playoffs will again be held in Northfield on May 11-13.




Augsburg College
Head Coach
Mark Strandemo (Augsburg '77; 6th season, 53-143 overall)
2000 Record6-29 (2-18 MIAC / 10th-tie)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Mike Schwalen (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./Richfield HS) 
Rich Storholm (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Park HS)
Pat Marsh (Jr., Crystal, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong HS) 
Season Preview:
This year's Augsburg College baseball team is full of potential.

The potential to score a lot of runs is there, behind a starting lineup that is one of the strongest in head coach Mark Strandemo's six seasons at Augsburg.

But the potential to give up a lot of runs is there as well, as the Auggies return just a handful of pitchers with significant experience and need to improve a defense that surrendered 97 errors and gave up 99 unearned runs last season.

Strandemo's goal is to improve upon last year's disappointing 6-29 finish and 2-18 mark in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. And if the Auggie coaching staff can find a way to balance the potential to score runs against the potential to give up the same, improvement will be the order of the day for the Auggies, who have not had a winning record in baseball since 1992.

"Our returning nucleus is as strong as we've had here," Strandemo said. "I love our offensive potential. Whether we can throw strikes and field the ball will determine how we finish this year. We have the potential to score 10 runs at times, we just have to make sure we don't give them up."

Plenty of experience returning to the batting order, combined with some promising newcomers, should lead to an improvement at the plate for the Auggies. Last year, the team hit .283 as a team, with 75 extra-base hits, but scored just 153 runs while giving up 318 runs. A team slugging percentage of .395 and on-base percentage of .350 needs to improve in order to manufacture more runs.

The Auggies will be led by two returning All-MIAC players, second-baseman Mike Schwalen (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./Richfield HS) and leftfielder Rich Storholm (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Park HS).

Schwalen has been a reliable force in the infield throughout his career, contributing a .381 batting average with team highs of 25 runs and 43 hits.

"He will anchor our offense and defense this year," Strandemo said. "This is his year to shine. He will be a force to contend with in our conference."

Storholm had the best year of his career in 2000, leading the team with a .447 batting average, 18 extra-base hits (three homers) and 33 RBI. He had an astonishing .753 slugging percentage and .490 on-base percentage.


Bethel College
Head Coach
Ken Neuhaus (13th season)
2000 Record27-15-1 (14-6 MIAC / 3rd)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Dan Richards, Sr., 1B,Bloomington, MN (four-year starter, .346 in 2000)
Jon Nuss, Sr.,SS, Bloomington, MN (.388 in 2000, MIAC All-Tournament, Team MVP)
Tyler Gregory, Sr.,RF,Bloomington, MN (.336 in 2000, four-year starter)
Jon Gaylord, Jr., LF, Apple Valley, MN (.312 in 2000, 10 for 10 in stolen bases in 2000)
BJ Rogers, Sr., Catcher, Worthington, MN (.275 in 2000, 3-year starter)
Josh Agrimson, Sr. Pitcher, Woodbury, MN (5-2 in 2000)
Andy Manthei, Sr. Pitcher, Minnetonka, MN (2-4 in 2000)
Jason Lenz, So. Pitcher, Eden Prairie, MN (7-2 in 2000)
Ryan Holland, So. Pitcher, Coon Rapids, MN (5-1 in 2000)
Brett Schendel, So., 3B, Maple Grove, MN (.410 in 2000 as the Designated Hitter/Bethel Rookie of the Year)
Season Preview:
Bethel College returns 19 veterans from their MIAC playoff team of 2000. Of the Royals 13 top players, eight are seniors and will be expected to lead the Royals again.

Bethel features a quartet of seniors from Bloomington Jefferson alums who will lead the Royals. Senior first basemen Dan Richards hit .346 last season and hit five homeruns in five games to power the Royals to the postseason. Senior shortstop Jon Nuss was Bethel's MVP in 2000 and a member of the MIAC All-Tournament team. He batted .388 in 2000 with a team-high nine homeruns. Rightfielder Tyler Gregory is a four-year starter for the Royals. He hit .336 last season. Leftfielder Jon Towey returns to left field after serving as the fourth outfielder in 2000. In 1999, Towey hit .307 when he started in the outfield.

Four pitchers return who combined for 208 innings and went 19-9 in 2000. Seniors Josh Agrimson (5-2 and Andy Manthei (2-4) are joined by sophomores Jason Lenz (7-2) and Ryan Holland (5-1). Six pitchers are competing for the number 5 and 6 spots on the the ten-man varsity staff.



Carleton College
Head Coach
Bill Nelson (eighth season)
2000 Record4-31 (2-18 MIAC / 10th-tie)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Josh Schroeder, Sr., OF, All-MIAC, .381 BA, 8 2B, 3 3B, 18 SB
Tony LePage, So., P/1B, 2-8, 5.58 ERA, 59 IP, 31 SO, 5 CG in 10 starts
Chris Pierce, Sr., P, 1-7, 10.89 ERA, 54 IP, 25 SO, 5 CG in 10 starts
Season Preview:
Head coach Bill Nelson is also optimistic about the talent Carleton has this season, despite the graduation of several seniors who played significant roles on the team. Carleton, plagued by pitching shortages in past seasons, enters the 2001 season with more pitchers than they have had in several years. Leading the charge on the mound will be Tony LePage (So./Duluth, Minn.) and Chris Pierce (Sr./Chesterfield, Mo.). LePage had a team-best 5.58 ERA last season over 59 innings pitched, while Pierce had a 10.89 ERA over 54 innings pitched. "LePage will be our number one pitcher and workhorse. By his senior year, he will be one of the better pitchers in the conference. I would like to see Tony and Chris win five games apiece in the conference this year," Nelson said. Rob Holden (Jr./Crystal, Minn.) will shoulder the burden at catcher, where he split time last season. Returning to lead the Knights offensively is all-MIAC centerfielder Josh Schroeder (Sr./Florence, Mont.), who led the team last year with a .381 Batting average and 18 stolen bases "He's as good a ballplayer as anyone at Carleton since I've been here," Nelson said.


Concordia College
Head Coach
Bucky Burgau (23rd season)
2000 Record16-17 (10-10 MIAC / 8th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
- Justin Berg (P, Jr., Moorhead MN) - Led team in 2000 in ERA (2.57),Relief Appearances, and Saves 
- Isaac Hjermstad (C, Sr.,Park Rapids, MN) - Threw out 5 of 16 runners attempting to steal last year. 
- Matt Nustad (IF, Sr., Detroit Lakes MN) - Second on team in 2000 in BA (.383), HR's , and RBI's 
- Doug Muzik (P, Sr., Detroit Lakes, MN) - Led team in 2000 in Wins (4) and Opponent's BA (.265) 
- Chad Felstul (IF, Jr., Morris, MN)- Led team in 2000 in At-Bats (112); Third on team in BA (.375)
Season Preview:
The 2001 Concordia baseball team will have a familiar look about it, with one major exception. Last year the Cobbers won four out of their last six games, including an impressive split with national runner-up St. Thomas, and missed the inaugural MIAC Tournament by only two games. 

The good news for head coach Bucky Burgau is that the entire pitching staff, and four of the top five hitters are back for the 2001 campaign. The bad news is that the team's leading offensive threat and team leader in every offensive category was lost to graduation. Clayton Horgen (Fergus Falls, MN) was a two-time All-Region and All-MIAC performer who led the team in hits, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, and was an anchor for the defense at his first base position. 

Burgau will enter his 23rd year as the Cobbers' manager with a deep pitching staff that is completely intact from last year. This stability should help the team improve on their 10-10 record in the league last year and their overall record of 16-17. The 10-10 mark was the 18th time in Burgau's first 21 seasons that the Cobbers have finished at or above the .500 plateau in league play. In that time the Cobbers have only finished below sixth place in the league one time. 

Doug Muzik (Sr., Detroit Lakes, MN) and Derek Dormanen (So., Menahga, MN) will be the keys to the starting rotation this season. They were the top starters from a year ago and will benefit from a year of experience. Muzik led the team in wins and he held opponents to a .265 average last season. Dormanen was the team's strikout leader last year, striking out 29 in just 37 innings of work. The pitching staff will rely on Justin Berg (Jr., Moorhead, MN) to solidify the bullpen. Berg was the team's stopper last year,
appearing in a team-high 17 games and saving four games. 

The offense will feature a trio of players that had solid seasons last year. Matt Nustad (Sr., Detroit Lakes, MN), Chad Felstul (Jr., Morris, MN) and Jesse Rostad (Sr., Barnesville, MN) finished second through fourth in batting average last year, and all will be back for the 2001 season. Nustad, the Cobbers thirdbasemen batted .383 from the third spot in the batting order and was in the top three in all offensive categories. He will be called on to supply the power for this year's team as he finished second in HR's and RBI's last year. Felstul, the team's designated hitter, batted .375 last year and led the team in at-bats from the fifth spot in the order. He will be switched to first base, replacing Horgen in the field. Rostad will assume the designated hitter position and will benefit from a constant spot in the offensive lineup. Last season he shared duties at second base and was still able to finish in the top five on the team in hits, with only a limited number of plate appearances. 

Other key players offensively will be Raleigh Schmidt (Jr., Tracy, MN) who led the team in triples and was third in homeruns. He will also be counted on to add speed to the lineup. Schmidt finished second on the team in stolen bases a year ago and was not thrown out all season long. A.J. Bunkowske (So., Vergas, MN) will be shifted to a permanent spot in the outfield and will be looking to continue his late-season hot streak that propelled him to finish second on the team in slugging percentage and third in on-base percentage.


Gustavus Adolphus College
Head Coach
Mike Carroll (5th season)
2000 Record15-22 (9-11 MIAC / 7th-tie)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Brad Mazer, JR, Catcher, All-Region, batted .460 with 39 RBI and 10 HR, .977 fielding percentage and only 5 errors
Erick Hoberg, JR, First Base, .992 fielding percentage and only 1 error, .319 in 91 at-bats, 114 put-outs
Mike Fritz, SO, Pitcher, 3-5 with 4.11 ERA and 33 KOs
Season Preview:
After finishing in seventh place (9-11) in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the 2000 season, this year's Gustavus Adolphus College baseball team is looking to improve on its 15-22 overall record and climb into the MIAC Playoffs. Head Coach Mike Carroll returns for his fifth season at Gustavus, bringing a 40-40 conference record to the table. Knowing that young players will be taking the spots of graduated seniors Josh Brix, Colin Sehnert, and Blake Malloy, Carroll's optimism depends heavily on the solid leadership and positive work ethic of returning players, especially captains Brad Mazer, Evan Molde, and Adam Beers.

Coach Carroll is excited about this team's chances to earn the three or four spot in the MIAC standings behind traditional powers St. Thomas and St. Olaf. He added, "This group of guys has worked harder than any other group I've had from the fall through the winter. Brad, Evan, and Adam have done a fabulous job working with guys to improve chemistry." He knows that the race is wide open, adding, "Any team can step up and do well."

For a complete preview, go to: www.gac.edu/oncampus/stuservices/Athletics/bb/bb.html


Hamline University
Head Coach
Tom Rooker
2000 Record10-22 (6-14 MIAC / 9th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Troy Urdahl (SR / Litchfield)
Doug Amsden (JR / N St. Paul)
Nick Hansen (JR / Eden Valley-Watkins)
Jason Grussendorf (SO / St. Paul Central)
Brian Julson (JR / Princeton)
Jack Rowan (SR / St. Bernards)
Season Preview:
The pin-striped Pipers enter the 2001 season well positioned to take on the challenges that MIAC Baseball presents each spring. Drawing on a quote from Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli, the 2001 season theme is “The ends justify the means.” The Pipers have emphasized the focus of pre-season preparation in the summer, fall, and winter to position the group to perform at a consistently high level during the “sprint-like” season due to the typical Minnesota spring weather. In addition to the strengthened pre-season approach, the Pipers return 14 letter winners, 6 starting position players, and 6 pitchers from the 2000 roster. The preparations, combined with the playing abilities of the returners, and the contributions from another outstanding recruiting class, are generating an intense and contagious enthusiasm in the Piper Baseball program. 


Macalester College
Head Coach
Matt Parrington (2nd season)
2000 Record19-19 (12-8 MIAC / 4th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Keenan Sue (Sr., SS / All-MIAC, All-Region, .437 BA, .714 SLG,18 SBs)
Jesse Calm (Jr., DH/1B / All-MIAC, 11 HR, 47 RBI, .720 SLG)
Andy Odegaard (Jr., 3B / .342, 35 R, 21 RBI)
Matt Soltvedt (Sr., C / .336, 33 R, 23 RBI)
Damon Dahlheimer (Jr., OF/2B / .340)
Season Preview:
Macalester has shown great headway over each of the past six or seven years and is looking forward keeping that progress going in 2001. The Scots went 12-8 in conference play a year ago to get into the MIAC playoffs (where they took third) and have the talent to move up again.

All-region and all-conference shortstop Keenan Sue (Sr., Honolulu, HI) hit .437 with a .714 slugging percentage and 18 stolen bases last year, and returns to lead the way for the Scots. Sue hit .437 as a freshman, .434 as a sophomore and .437 last year. In 100 games at Macalester, Sue has 139 hits, 101 runs and 88 RBI while slugging at a .687 clip. DH Jesse Calm (Jr., Lake Oswego, OR) also made the All-MIAC team and returns after hitting 11 homers and driving in 47 runs on a .720 slugging percentage. Macalester also welcomes back three regulars who hit over .336 last season: third baseman Andy Odegaard (Jr., New Brighton, MN / St. Anthony Village), outfielder Damon Dahlheimer (Jr., Brooklyn Center, MN) and infielder/catcher Matt Soltvedt (Sr., Golden Valley, MN / Robbinsdale Armstrong). Odegaard scored 35 runs and Soltvedt scored 33 last year. Mac is also looking forward to a big seasons from outfielders Scott Bell (So., Selah, WA) and Ty O'Connell (Jr., Helena, MT / Capital).


Saint John's University
Head CoachJerry Haugen (24th season, 447-357 career record)
2000 Record19-17 (11-9 MIAC / 5th)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Dusty Rector, Junior, P/IF, 5-2 record and 5.13 ERA in 2000
Brian Johnson, Senior, P, 4-3 record, 2 saves and 6.15 ERA in 2000
Jamie Louwagie, Junior, 3B, .347 average, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 9 doubles in 2000
Todd Jahnke, Sophomore, SS/C, .340 average in 2000
Damon Laliberte, Junior, C/1B/OF, .369 average, 3 HR, 16 RBI in 2000
Season Preview:
The SJU baseball team will try to finish in the top four of the MIAC standings in 2001 and qualify for the MIAC playoff tournament in early May. SJU finished the 2000 season with a 19-17 overall record and an 11-9 record in the MIAC. The Johnnies finished in fifth place in the final MIAC standings. SJU has had 13 consecutive winning seasons under head coach Jerry Haugen. Haugen has 447 career wins entering the 2001 season and is currently in the top 25 nationally for wins amongst active Division III baseball coaches. The Johnnies will need to replace All-MIAC and All-Region selection Brent Schloe, who graduated. SJU will look to junior designated hitter Jamie Louwagie, junior first baseman Damon Laliberte, as well as sophomore shortstop Todd Jahnke for leadership at the plate. On the mound, SJU will look to junior Dusty Rector to be the team's number one pitcher and senior Brian Johnson as the closer. Other players that will have impact on the starting line-up include senior catcher Jeff Swenson, sophomore second baseman Matt Pilon, freshman third baseman John Hoffer, senior outfielder Blair Folkens and sophomore outfielder Charlie Carr. Also adding support on the mound will be freshman Cole Deibele and freshman Matt Johnson.


Saint Mary's University
Head CoachNick Whaley (5th season)
2000 Record19-15 (9-11 MIAC / 7th-tie) 
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Scott Morrison (Sr., C, St. Paul, Minn., .429 BA, 33 runs, 48 hits, 37 RBIs, 10 doubles, 3 HRs, .634 slugging %)
David McMahon (Jr., 3B, Coon Rapids, Minn., .387 BA, 26 runs, 43 hits, 9 doubles, 2 HRs)
Greg Setterlund (Sr., OF, St. Paul, Minn., .333 BA, 26 runs, 39 hits, 17 RBIs)
Joe Duda (Sr., OF, Rochester, Minn., .330 BA, 29 runs, 37 hits, 8 HRs)
Eric Williamson (So., P, St. Charles, Minn., 4-2, 1.71 ERA, 41.0 IP, 26 Ks)
Season Preview:
The Cardinals raced out to an impressive 17-7 record in their first 24 games -- with all seven losses being by one run in 2000.

Over the season's final 10 games, however, the Cardinals' ran out of steam, losing eight of their last 10, to come plodding across the finish line with a 19-15 overall record, and a disappointing 9-11 finish in the MIAC.

SMU Coach Nick Whaley and the rest of the Cardinals are determined to start the 2001 season in much the same fashion as the 2000 campaign -- only this time, that fast start is going to be equalled by an even faster finish.

Led by six outstanding seniors, the Cardinals are poised to make a run at the top spot in the MIAC.

With the return of their top five offensive weapons, scoring runs certainly won¹t be a problem for this year's SMU squad. Leading the offensive charge will be Scott Morrison, an All-MIAC selection a year ago, who led the team in batting average (.429), runs (33), hits (48), RBIs (37), slugging percentage (.634) and total bases (71). Junior David McMahon wasn't far behind with his .387 batting average and .559 slugging percentage, while seniors Greg Setterlund and Joe Duda also averaged above .300, while Duda chipped in a team-leading eight home runs. The return of senior Jamie Nowaczewski, an All-MIAC pick in 1999 but missed most of last season with a broken hand, will also bolster the Cardinals' offense.

And while the SMU bats are busy putting up the big offensive numbers, the Cardinal pitching staff -- led by Cory Kanz (1.70 ERA) and Eric Williamson (1.71 ERA, 26 Ks) -- will be looking to repeat last year's 2.99 team ERA and outstanding 2/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The return of Andy Ebert, Nate Weinandt, Chuck Wright, Mia Daggett, Ian Bents and Joe Duda, along with newcomers Nick Steig and Aric Kittleson give Whaley plenty of flamethrowers to douse any potential opposing team fires.


St. Olaf College
Head Coach
Matt MacDonald (7th Season)
2000 Record36-7 (18-2 MIAC / 1st)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Brian Sprout Jr. SS MIAC Player-of-Year; First-team All-American
Kevin Quame Jr. 3b All-Conference 2000
Dan LaManna Jr. c All-Conference Catcher 2000
Steve Ryan Jr. cf All-Conference 2000
Nick Beissel Sr. 1b 11 Homeruns 2000
Eric Goodmanson Jr. p All-Conference 1999
Season Preview:
The St. Olaf Baseball team has their sights set high for the 2001 season. The Oles finished the 2000 campaign with a school record 36 wins, a MIAC title and an appearance in the Midwest Regional championship game. An experienced player returns at every position and a group of five juniors will anchor the pitching staff.

First-team All-American and two-time MIAC Player of the Year, shortstop Brian Sprout (Jr., Lake City, MN), headlines the returning position players. Kevin Quame (Jr., Benson, MN), Dan LaManna (Jr., Inver Grove Heights, MN) and Steve Ryan (Jr., South St. Paul, MN) were All-MIAC in 2000. Nick Beissel (Sr., Lakeville, MN) led the team with 11 homeruns.

Eric Goodmanson (Jr., Albert Lea, MN), Brent Larson (Jr., Minneapolis, MN), Reid Rose (Jr., Long Lake, MN), Pete Hanson (Jr., Red Wing, MN) and Scott Stadsklev (Jr., Minnetonka, MN) have gained valuable experience on the mound in the past two seasons and look to lead the Oles in 2001. Goodmanson was an All-MIAC performer in 1999 and Stadsklev is back after missing the 2000 season with a shoulder injury.


University of St. Thomas

Head CoachDennis Denning (starting seventh season, 216-59)
2000 Record36-14 (17-3 MIAC / 2nd / MIAC Playoff Champion)
Key Returners: (Name, Yr, Pos, Highlight)
Brad Bonine, JR, CF, All-MIAC, .384, 56 hits, 42 runs, 22 SB, 16 walks
Bryan Edstrom, JR, LHP, 6-1, one save, 3.34 ERA, 226 IP, 54 Ks, 25 walks
Jake Mauer, SR, 2B, 2000 All-American, 2X All-MIAC, .438, 50 runs, 71 hits, 24 walks, 34 RBI
Nate Sundberg, SR, 1B, All-MIAC, .345, 51 hits, 36 runs, 57 RBI, 11 HR, 11 2B
Tony Wolverton, SR, OF, .395, 32 hits, 18 runs, 12 SB
Season Preview:
Senior All-American second baseman Jake Mauer headlines 19 varsity returners for the 2001 St. Thomas baseball team, which was ranked No. 2 nationally in the NCAA Division III preseason poll.

In his first six seasons, head coach Dennis Denning has built one of the nation's best Division III programs. The Toms have advanced to the NCAA playoffs all six seasons, earning national runner-up finishes in both 1999 and 2000. They've also won the MIAC regular-season or playoff championship each of the last five seasons. Denning's 216-59 record in that six-year span gives St. Thomas the fifth-best winning percentage nationally among the 350-plus Division III teams.

The Toms graduated seven seniors from a 36-14 team that won the MIAC tournament and went 8-0 in NCAA playoff games before losing 13-3 and 6-2 to Montclair State in the double-elimination NCAA championship game. The graduates included All-MIAC pitchers Mike Honsa and Bryan Toov, who gave the Tommies many quality innings in the last four seasons.

Leading the Tommie pitchers will be lefthanders Bryan Edstrom and Brian Whinney (St. John's transfer), and righthanders Jon Marzolf, Adam Hunkins, Ben Blazovich, Jon Schulz and Tom Kelly. Seven freshmen pitchers will push for varsity action.

Joining Mauer in the infield will be returners Matt Buzzell (SS), Tom Carroll (3B), Nate Sundberg (DH/1B), Kyle Olson (C) and Mark Fenstad (1B). Top outfielders include Brad Bonine, Luke Sather, Ryan Benson, Scott Christiansen and Tony Wolverton. 


2000 Links - StandingsAwardsResults, Final Stats, Players of the WeekMIAC PlayoffsWorld Series

 




 
 2000 Final Standings
   MIAC  Overall
St. Olaf - # * 18-2 37-7
St. Thomas - * 17-3 36-12
Bethel - * 14-6 27-15-1
Macalester - * 12-8 19-19
St. John's 11-9 19-17
Concordia 10-10 16-17
Gustavus 9-11 15-23
St. Mary's 9-11 19-15
Hamline 6-14 10-22
Augsburg 2-18 6-29
Carleton 2-18 4-31
 # = MIAC Champions / * = MIAC Playoff team



2000 MIAC Baseball Tournament Final Results

May 5

Game 1 - St. Olaf 6 vs Macalester 5
Game 2 - St.Thomas 13 vs Bethel 7
Game 3 - St. Olaf 1 vs St. Thomas 4
Game 4 - Macalester 13 vs Bethel 11
May 6
Game 5 - Macalester 1 vs St. Olaf 7
Game 6 - St. Thomas 8 vs St.Olaf 13 
May 7
Game 7 - St. Thomas 2 vs. St. Olaf 1

MIAC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT Results Link