Beavers tabbed seventh in NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Beavers tabbed seventh in NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – After narrowly missing the post season and finishing eighth in 2012 with a 16-20 league record, the Bemidji State University baseball team was picked to finish seventh in the 2013 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll, in an announcement from the league office today.

The Beavers posted a 23-27 overall record last spring to tie for the third most wins in program history. Coupled with recent success, BSU is returning 10 key position players and the majority of its pitching staff to earn 112 points and the seventh spot in the poll – its highest since 2008. Among those returners are senior Logan Kalis (RHP/1B/OF, Little Falls, Minn.), who was named an all-region designated hitter in 2012 and junior catcher Zach Braun (Lakeville, Minn.), a 2012 All-America selection. Both student-athletes were 2012 All-NSIC First Team picks (two of just 11 returning first team members) and were named Bemidji State Players to Watch this season.

A year removed from participating in the NCAA Division II World Series, Minnesota State University, Mankato was pegged to finish first with 13 of the 15 first place votes and 195 total points. St. Cloud State University picked up a first place vote and 177 points for second and Winona State University earned the final first place nod with 163 total points to sit third. Augustana College (158 points) and Wayne State College (152 points) rounded out the top five, while University of Minnesota, Duluth was slotted in the spot ahead of BSU with 116 points.

The preseason poll is determined by a vote of the NSIC coaches. Each head coach ranks the 14 other teams from 14 to 1, with the top team receiving 14 points.

With the additions of Minot State University and University of Sioux Falls this season, the NSIC Tournament will expand from a six, to an eight-team format. The tournament is scheduled for May 8-11 in St. Cloud, Minn.

Practice officially begins Jan. 13, giving the Beavers a month before they open the season Feb. 15 against Northern State University at H.H.H. Metrodome in Minneapolis. BSU starts NSIC play March 23-24 in a four-game series versus Winona State in Winona, Minn.

BSU’s 2012 Players to Watch

#22 Logan Kalis (RHP/1B/ OF, 6-4, 210, Sr., R/R, Little Falls, Minn.)

Kalis earned 2012 Daktronics All-Central Region First Team, ABCA All-Central Region Second Team, NCBWA All-Central Region Honorable Mention and All-NSIC First Team designated hitter honors to cap 2012... Head coach Tim Bellew inserted Kalis into the batting line-up as the designated hitter, in the outfield and at first base... The junior batted .323 in 2012 and led the team in home runs (10), RBIs (43), runs scored (38), total bases (93) and triples (3)... His home run total finished tied for third in the NSIC and 39th in the nation at the conclusion of the regular season... His three triples ranked tied for fifth and the 43 RBIs tied for eighth in the league... He posted a .578 slugging percentage that tied for first on the team and added 52 hits to rank third with the fourth most at-bats (161)... He finished the season with the most multi-RBI games on the team with 12 and posted the second most multi-hit games with 17... Kalis drew 12 walks, posted a .380 on-base percentage and was successful in all three stolen base attempts.

Kalis’ arm got stronger as the year went on… The right-hander won his final two starts to finish 4-6 with a 6.34 ERA.... He started 10 times, threw three complete games, appeared in 13 contests and posted one save... In 59.2 innings pitched he allowed 56 runs (42 earned) on 78 hits with 44 strikeouts and 26 walks... He faced 245 batters and allowed a .318 opposing batting average.

In the field he recorded 88 putouts and 16 assists with five errors to post a .954 fielding percentage... He started at designated hitter more than any other Beaver with 22 games, while finding a starting spot in left field nine times, first in eight games and right field three times.

#36 Zach Braun (C/DH, 6-0, 210, Jr., R/R, Lakeville, Minn.)

A 2012 NCBWA Division II All-America Second Team, Daktronics NCAA Division II Baseball All-America Second Team, Daktronics All-Central Region First Team, Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Central Region First Team, NCBWA All-Central Region First Team and All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference First Team catcher, Braun took the Beavers’ batting title in just his second season in the green and white.... Braun is the first student-athlete under head coach Tim Bellew to earn All-America honors in his seven seasons at BSU... His .391 batting average placed him fifth in the NSIC... His .578 slugging percentage tied with junior Logan Kalis (RHP/1B/OF, Little Falls, Minn.) for the team lead and ranked 13th in the league, while his .477 on-base percentage was fifth in the conference... In 128 at-bats he recorded 50 hits, 32 RBIs, 28 runs scored, nine doubles, five home runs and 74 total bases... His 1.35 hits per game ranked sixth in the NSIC... Braun recorded 12 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games, including two five-plus RBI contests and a five hit game... He drew 16 walks and was 3-for-4 on stolen base attempts on the season... Had a six-game hitting streak (Feb. 23-March 8)... He was named NSIC Player of the Week May 1.

In 24 starts he recorded 143 putouts behind the dish with six assists and six errors for a .961 fielding percentage... He caught four runners stealing.

2013 NSIC Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll

RK Team Points
1 Minnesota State (13) 195
2 St. Cloud State (1) 177
3 Winona State (1) 163
4 Augustana  158
5 Wayne State  152
6 Minnesota Duluth 116
7 Bemidji State   112
8 Concordia-St. Paul 108
9 Southwest Minnesota State  95
10 Upper Iowa  91
11 Northern State  63
12 Sioux Falls 59
13 U-Mary 38
14 Minot State  29
15 Minnesota, Crookston 19
  First place votes in ( )

For more information on the Bemidji State baseball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

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