BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University head baseball coach Tim Bellew announced the addition of seven players to the BSU baseball program for the 2015 season. Mitch Annis (RHP, 6-0, Buffalo, Minn./Buffalo HS), Ryan Hirt (LHP, 6-5, Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji HS) and Collin Rutlege (LHP, 6-1, Bemidji, Minn. HS) each signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball for BSU this spring. In addition, four players inked BSU letters of admission and they are Michael Herd (RHP, 6-5, Watertown, Minn./Watertown Mayer HS), Derrick Dorau (RHP, 6-6, White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake HS), Sam Schiffman (C, 6-2, Waconia, Minn./Waconia HS) and Grant Kannegiesser (C, 6-1, New Ulm, Minn./New Ulm HS).
Herd and Hirt both were Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches’ Association All-State selections as seniors and participated in the Lion’s All-Star Game Series, which is a showcase for the top high school players in the state of Minnesota.
“I believe this class of young men will be an excellent addition to our program,” said Bellew. “Due to having 32 returners from last year’s team we needed to recruit a small class that fit our needs. We feel all of the players have outstanding ability and project as solid Division II baseball players, while still meeting the needs of our program.”
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
With a 21-22 overall record (15-15 NSIC) in 2014, BSU reached the 20-win plateau for the third consecutive season, which stands as the first time in program history. The Beavers will return a wealth of experience from a squad that just missed out on the NSIC Tournament in 2014 as they lost just four players from last season’s team. The returnees will be led by All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Second Team selection Tyler Nelson (INF, RS-So., Hayfield, Minn.), who posted a team-best .366 batting average in 2014.
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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).