BURNSVILLE, Minn. — The Bemidji State University baseball team was pegged 10th in the 2012 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, announced by the league office Wednesday. The Beavers received 50 points in the poll after the 2011 squad finished with an 18-29 overall and 12-21 NSIC record to rank ninth in the final conference standings. Bemidji State’s players to watch were senior outfielder Juan Molero (Maracaibo, Venezuela) and junior right-hander Logan Kalis (Little Falls, Minn.).
Minnesota State University, Mankato - last season’s regular season champion - narrowly edged St. Cloud State University - NSIC tournament champion - for the top spot in the poll. MSU received four first place votes and 133 total points, while SCSU totaled the most first place votes (6) to rack up 132 points. National runner-up Winona State University received the final three first place votes and totaled 130 points. Wayne State College and Augustana College rounded out the top five with 105 and 104 points, respectfully.
Thirty-six votes separated six through 10 in the poll. University of Minnesota Duluth was slotted sixth (86 points), followed by Concordia University, St. Paul (80), Upper Iowa University (63 points), Southwest Minnesota State University (53 points) and BSU. Northern State University (39 points), University of Mary (27 points) and University of Minnesota, Crookston (12 points) finished 11 through 13. The Beavers went a combined 11-8 against the sixth through 13 placed teams in the poll last season.
Golden Bear senior infielder/outfielder Bryan Lippincott was named the NSIC Preseason Player of the Year, while Warrior senior righty Kodey Simon was named NSIC Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Head coach Tim Bellew is in his seventh season at BSU with a 86-203-1 record as the Beaver skipper. Last season the 18 wins marked the most under Bellew and since the 2002 team went 19-11 overall and 12-2 in the NSIC. BSU opens the 2012 campaign with Minnesota State Feb. 22 at the H.H.H. Metrodome in Minneapolis. The doubleheader (two seven inning games) is slated to begin at 2 p.m.
Bemidji State Player to Watch - #5 Juan Molero (OF, 6-1, 190, R/R, Sr., Maracaibo, Venezuela / Culver Stockton College)
Junior (2011): Appeared in 31 games, starting 21 of them for the Beavers after transferring from Culver-Stockton College in Idaho...hit a team-high .322 with two home runs and 14 RBIs...had eight multiple hit games and three multiple RBI games...made his Beaver debut against Northwestern (Iowa) March 8 where he went 1-for-4...had a seven-game hit streak that lasted from March 8 to March 19 during the season, which was tied for longest on the team.
Bemidji State Pitcher to Watch - #22 Logan Kalis (1B/RHP, 6-3, 200, R/R, Jr., Little Falls, Minn. / Little Falls HS)
Sophomore (2011): Appeared in 31 games as a position player, six as a pitcher for the Beavers...finished the season with a .297 batting average with one home run and 15 RBIs...had seven multiple-hit games and five multiple-RBI games during the 2011 season...had a five-game hit streak that lasted from April 20 to April 23...as a pitcher, compiled a 3-1 record with 22 strikeouts against 14 walks in 27.1 innings pitched...owned an ERA of 4.94...pitched a season-high 7.0 innings against Southwest Minnesota State May 3, as he struck out four batters, walked five, and gave up three earned runs.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).
2012 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches' Poll
|1||Minnesota State (4)||133|
|2||St. Cloud State (6)||132|
|3||Winona State (3)||130|
|12||University of Mary||27|
First place votes in ( )