BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- In head coach Tim Bellew’s 13th season with Bemidji State University baseball, the program was selected to finish 13th in the 2018 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll. Senior outfielder/third baseman Scott Litchy and senior pitcher Connor McNallan were named the Beavers’ Players to Watch for the upcoming season.
The Beavers totaled 42 points in the poll while Minnesota State University Mankato led all programs with 196 and 14 of 15 first-place votes. Bemidji State is placed between Upper Iowa University in 12th (65 points) and Southwest Minnesota State University in 14th (32 points) in the coaches’ poll. The Beavers return two starting position players and six total pitchers for the 2018 season.
Litchy, a native of Avon, Minn., started all 38 games played in and led the team in batting average (.350), slugging percentage (.642), on-base percentage (.419), RBIs (38), runs scored (29), extra-base hits (20), home runs (9) and sacrifice flies (4). He enters his senior season among BSU’s top 10 all-time in intentional walks (5; 1st), RBI (120; 2nd), total bases (280; 2nd), doubles (35, 3rd), hits (166; 4th), runs scored (99, 5th), stolen bases (24; 6th) and batting average (.347; 7th). Litchy tied single-game career highs last year with six at-bats, three walks, two doubles and two stolen bases.
McNallan, a native of Bemidji, Minn., led the Beavers’ pitching staff with six complete games, which also ranked second in the NSIC. He also led BSU’s staff with an opposing batting average of .267, 47 strikeouts and three saves. McNallan finished 2017 with 10 starts and 65.2 innings pitched with a 3.70 ERA.
BSU begins the 2018 schedule March 1 with a non-conference doubleheader against University of Minnesota Duluth at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Bemidji State opens the NSIC schedule March 17-18 on the back-end of its annual spring trip with a four-game series at University of Sioux Falls. The Beavers and Cougars will play two doubleheaders, beginning at 1 p.m. on both March 17 and 18. The top eight teams in the final NSIC standings will qualify for the double elimination conference tournament May 10-13 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
2018 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll - First place votes in ( )
- Minnesota State (14) - 192 points
- Augustana (1) - 178
- Cloud State - 171
- Wayne State - 156
- Concordia-St. Paul - 146
- Minnesota Duluth - 121
- Northern State - 116
- Minot State - 106
- Minnesota Crookston - 85
- Winona State - 82
- Sioux Falls - 59
- Upper Iowa - 57
- Bemidji State - 54
- Southwest Minn. State - 38
- University of Mary - 14
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).