BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- Bemidji State University baseball’s senior catcher Isaiah Grancorvitz and junior pitcher Jackson Back were named the program’s players to watch as the 2020 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll was released Thursday.
Bemidji State was voted to finish 15th in the NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll with a total of 18 votes. Augustana University was selected to finish first with a195 total points and 13 of 15 first-place votes. Minnesota State University, Mankato earned 184 total points and the final two first-place votes to finish second in the poll.
The Beavers return 13 position players and eight pitchers as letter-winners from the 2019 season. Last year’s team finished with the sixth fewest strikeouts at the plate and ranked 11th in fielding percentage.
Grancorvitz, a native of Hudson, Wis., led BSU with 64 total bases, 41 hits, 27 runs scored, 16 walks, eight doubles, five home runs and a .427 slugging percentage. He started all 45 games played in during his junior season and hit .273 from the plate with 16 RBI and a .360 on-base percentage. Grancorvitz was second on the team with six stolen bases and recorded a .989 fielding percentage. He totaled nine multi-hit games during the season.
Back, a native of Beaver Creek, Ohio, made nine appearances with seven starts on the mound for the Beavers during his sophomore campaign. He totaled 33.1 innings with 23 strikeouts and an opposing batting average of .364. Back also made 20 starts in the field, hitting .225 with 16 hits at the plate.
Augustana first baseman Jordan Barth was named the NSIC Preseason Player of the Year while teammate and right-hander Max Steffens was selected as the NSIC Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
BSU beings the 2020 schedule on Feb. 21 with a three-game series at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis against Rockhurst University. The Beavers and Hawks will play a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 followed by a 12 p.m. first pitch Saturday, Feb. 22.
Bemidji State begins the NSIC schedule March 14-15 with a four-game series at Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn. The Beavers and Mavericks will play three NSIC contests before a seven-inning, non-conference game to close out the series Sunday, March 15. The top eight teams in the final NSIC standings will qualify for the double-elimination conference tournament May 6-9 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
2020 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll - First place votes in ( )
- Augustana (13) 195
- Minnesota State (2) 184
- Cloud State 164
- Wayne State 153
- Minot State 152
- Winona State 118
- Northern State 112
- Minnesota Crookston 101
- Concordia-St. Paul 98
- University of Mary 79
- Minnesota Duluth 77
- Southwest Minn. State48
- Upper Iowa 45
- Sioux Falls 31
- Bemidji State 18
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).