BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- While mountains of snow continue to loom across the "North Star State," Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) baseball teams have headed south to begin the 2019 season.
Defending MIAC regular season champion Saint John's University (8-1) received 36 votes in the latest D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25 Poll, released on Monday.
SJU pitcher Jake Dickmeyer (Woodbury, Minn.) has a WHIP of 0.33 this season, tied for eighth-lowest in NCAA Division III.
AROUND THE MIAC
Postponements and cancellations have delayed the season debuts for Augsburg and Carleton, while Bethel and Macalester are slated to get back on the diamond for the first time in 2019 this week. The Auggies and Scots will take the field this weekend in Tucson, Ariz., while the defending MIAC Playoff champion Royals are headed to Fort Myers, Fla. to celebrate Opening Day on Thursday. Carleton's season will begin in Tucson next Thursday with a non-conference contest scheduled against Hamline.
Senior shortstop Nate Hoeft led Concordia in batting average and on-base percentage in the team's first eight games in Florida last week. He hit .526 and had an on-base percentage of .625. He was also tied for the team lead with seven runs batted in. Hoeft had a hit in all five of the games in which he had an at-bat and logged three multi-hit games on the week.
Gustavus shortstop Cole Pengilly (Le Sueur, Minn.) got off to a hot start in Tucson, Ariz. this month, leading the Gustie offense with eight hits in his first 13 at-bats. He went 4-for-5 with four RBI in his season debut on March 2 and boasts a .452 batting average through eight games.
Hamline first baseman Nolan Schoonveld (Middleton, Wis.) led the Pipers with five hits and two RBI in four games against Luther College to open the season. Schoonveld batted .313 with a .353 on-base percentage and .438 slugging percentage during the team's season-opening trip to Kansas.
Saint John's outfielder Wyatt Ulrich (Indus, Minn. | International Falls) reached base safely in all nine games, leading SJU in both batting average (.344) and hits (11), and tying for the team lead in runs (8) and RBI (6) from the leadoff spot as the Johnnies went 8-1 over a five-day stretch in Fort Myers, Fla. last week. The junior was particularly effective with runners in scoring position, batting .500 with an on-base percentage of .444 in his 18 plate appearances in scoring situations. He also logged four two-out RBI on the week.
Saint Mary's right-hander James Green (East Bethel, Minn. | St. Francis) went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts during the Cardinals' 10-game spring trip last week. The sophomore right-hander and 2018 MIAC Rookie of the Year threw six shutout innings and allowed just one hit in his first start against Cabrini last Sunday and then tossed six more innings of shutout ball before Neumann tagged him for three runs in the seventh frame of the Cardinals' 9-3 victory on March 1. Green struck out 16 and walked a total of two batters in the two games combined.
St. Olaf's Sam Pressman (West St. Paul, Minn. | Henry Sibley) led the Oles in hits and RBI in a five-game weekend, collecting eight RBI on nine hits last week. The junior outfielder recorded a slash line of .474/.478/.632 in five games. Pressman had at least one hit in each game and logged multiple hits in three games. He also matched a career-high twice with three RBI in two of those contests.
St. Thomas infielder Chandler Schaefbauer (Sioux Falls, S.D. | O'Gorman) went 5-for-10 with five RBI and a trio of stolen bases in his first three games of the season last week in Tucson, Ariz. The junior second baseman and designated hitter is batting .500 with a .750 slugging percentage in 2019.