MIAC Baseball Notebook - April 16, 2019

Cole Christensen received honorable mention Pitcher of the Week recognition from the NCBWA last week.
Cole Christensen received honorable mention Pitcher of the Week recognition from the NCBWA last week.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Winter weather struck the "North Star State" once again, postponing Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) games Thursday through Sunday of last week. However, teams were able to get back onto the diamond on Monday to begin a (hopefully) uninterrupted remainder of the 2019 conference schedule.

POLL TALK
Saint John's received 13 votes in the most recent ABCA Poll, released on April 16.

NATIONAL NOTABLES
Bethel pitcher Connor Malcolm (Woodbury, Minn. | East Ridge) has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 15:1 this season, fourth-best in Division III. Malcolm ranks second in D-III for walks per nine innings with a clip of 0.33 on the year.

Carleton infielder Josh Small (Chappaqua, N.Y. | Horace Greeley) is ranked as the fourth-toughest to strikeout in D-III this season with just one K in 46 at-bats.

Concordia pitcher Cole Christensen (Spicer, Minn. | Willmar) was recognized by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) last week following his two-win, 23-strikeout performance for the Cobbers. The senior right-hander was named the honorable mention Pitcher of the Week.

Macalester catcher Graham Low (Piedmont, Calif.) is second in NCAA Division III with a batting average of .544 this season. His on-base percentage of .617 leads all of college baseball.

Saint John's pitcher Jake Dickmeyer (Woodbury, Minn.) has thrown six complete games in 2019, the most in Division III and tied for second-most in all of college baseball. Dickmeyer's earned run average of 0.73 ranks fifth in D-III, as does his WHIP of 0.76. Saint Mary's James Green (East Bethel, Minn. | St. Francis) is right behind Dickmeyer in sixth with a WHIP of 0.77.

St. Olaf junior pitcher Jesse Retzlaff (Eagan, Minn. | Minnehaha Academy) was selected to D3baseball.com's Team of the Week last Tuesday, becoming the first Ole in eight years to receive the honor. Retzlaff held Augsburg to just one hit in seven innings of work two weeks ago before the game was cut short due to darkness. After yielding a leadoff single, the junior did not allow a hit the rest of the way until the game was halted to win his fourth straight start to begin the season and lower his ERA to 1.48.

St. Olaf third baseman Matthew Muller (Minnetonka, Minn.) walks an average of 1.16 times per game, fourth-most in Division III this season. Muller ranks second in all of college baseball with an on-base percentage of 0.615.

AROUND THE MIAC
Augsburg right-hander Jamie Kaye (Bloomington, Minn. | Jefferson) allowed just one run in 20.0 innings pitched, striking out 18 while walking just three and allowing 11 hits to open the month. Kaye pitched a seven-inning shutout, striking out five while walking one and allowing three hits in Augsburg's 2-0 win at Concordia on April 1. Five days later, Kaye threw an incredible 13 innings, striking out a career-high 13 against two walks and eight hits, throwing 144 pitches - with 111 strikes - in a 1-0 loss to Hamline.

Bethel pitcher Brady Leahy (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) has earned victories in two of his three relief appearances this month, throwing two innings in a win against Hamline on April 3 and tossing three frames in a win at Carleton on April 9. Leahy leads the Royals with a 4-0 record on the year.

Carleton junior Wilson Battle (Salt Lake City, Utah | Skyline Senior) tossed a three-hitter in a 5-0 victory at then-No. 30-ranked Saint John's on April 6. In his first career shutout, Battle struck out four and did not issue a walk. He also contributed with his bat, hitting safely in all five games at a .333 clip with three runs batted in.

Concordia righty Cole Christensen (Spicer, Minn. | Willmar) earned victories in two of three games in April's opening week. He pitched eight shutout innings against Augsburg on April 1 and then came back to throw seven innings and only allow one run in the Cobbers' victory at Macalester on April 6. Christensen fanned 12 batters versus the Auggies and then 11 more against the Scots to bring his season total to 42.

Gustavus sophomore Christian Johnson (Buffalo, Minn.) helped propel the Gusties to a win over Bethel on April 6 with a seven-strikeout performance on the mound. Johnson went 6.1 innings, allowing no runs on just two hits en route to the win. Johnson has fanned 29 batters in his last 17.2 innings.

Hamline senior Nolan Schoonveld (Middleton, Wis.) fired 11 shutout innings in what was eventually a 1-0, 13-inning win over Augsburg two weeks ago. Schoonveld also served as the Pipers' designated hitter and had three hits in the game.

Macalester catcher Graham Low (Piedmont, Calif.) is 11-for-12 in his last four contests, raising his batting average to a MIAC-best .544. In his last two MIAC series, Low has contributed four runs, two doubles, a home run, and four walks for the Scots.

Saint John's left fielder Jack Wingerd (St. Paul, Minn. | Cretin-Derham Hall) began a Johnnies' rally with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth inning against Gustavus last week. The swat made Wingerd the 30th Johnnie in program history to reach 100 career hits.

Saint Mary's pitcher Ryan Wolfe (Wabasha, Minn. | Wabasha-Kellogg) tossed a complete-game, eight-inning shutout against St. Thomas last Tuesday, striking out four and walking just one while allowing six hits in a 4-0 Saint Mary's victory. The complete game was the second of Wolfe's career and his second versus the Tommies, against whom he has thrown 17 straight scoreless innings.

St. Olaf outfielder TJ Rogers (Minnetonka, Minn.) had nine hits, six runs, and two RBI as the Oles picked up victories in three of four conference contests to open the month. Rogers recorded a slash line of .600/.684/.733 over the course of the first week in April. He had three hits in three games, including two doubles and two RBI in a 9-8 victory over Augsburg. Rogers was 3-for-4 at-bat in both games against the Auggies and totaled five stolen bases in two games against Saint Mary's.

St. Thomas shortstop Rock Cates (Madison, Wis. | West) gave the Tommies a 5-4 walk-off win with a bases-loaded RBI ground-out in the bottom of the seventh inning in the second game of a doubleheader against Saint Mary's last week. Cates had a single, home run, and another single with two RBI in his first three trips to the plate in the contest.

LEAGUE LEADERS

2019 MIAC Statistical Leaders
Overall MIAC
Batting Average Graham Low, Macalester .544 Graham Low, Macalester .600
Runs Batted In Dylan Blake, St. Olaf
Sam Pressman, St. Olaf
23 Dylan Blake, St. Olaf 11
On-Base Percentage Graham Low, Macalester .617 Graham Low, Macalester .667
Hits Graham Low, Macalester 37 Graham Low, Macalester 18
Earned Run Average Jake Dickmeyer, Saint John's 0.73 Multiple 0.00
Strikeouts James Green, Saint Mary's 49 Cole Christensen, Concordia 23
Wins Bennett Wiggins, Saint John's
James Green, Saint Mary's
5 James Green, Saint Mary's 3