SMSU BASEBALL: Mustangs open NSIC play today
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University baseball team opens Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play on Friday starting a three-game series versus Concordia-St. Paul in Joplin, Mo.
The series was originally scheduled for St. Paul, but was moved due to poor field conditions. The teams will play at Joe Becker Stadium with a doubleheader on Friday starting at 12 p.m., while Saturday’s game will start at 11 a.m.
New this season, all weekend NSIC series will be three-game sets, with a doubleheader the first day consisting of one 7-inning game and one 9-inning game. The final game of the series will be a 9-inning game. All weekday doubleheaders will feature one 7-inning and one 9-inning game.
SMSU, picked 12th in the NSIC preseason poll, is 1-4 overall after completing a week-long trip to Tucson, Ariz. SMSU’s final two games of the trip were canceled due to rain. SMSU and CSP played twice last week with the Golden Bears winning 3-1 on March 7 and 4-0 on March 8.
Tanner Strommen is leading the team with a .500 batting average through five games with a team-high eight hits. Derek Smith has played three games and is hitting .364 with two doubles and three RBIs, while Nathan Kuhn is batting .350 with two doubles, one triple and three RBIs. Jayden Fleck has belted the team’s only two home runs and has a team-high four RBIs.
SMSU is batting .267 with 11 extra-base hits through five games and has struck out 51 times.
The SMSU pitching staff has compiled a 6.21 ERA in 42 innings with 42 strikeouts and 18 walks.
CSP, which is 8-3 overall, was selected to finish fifth in the NSIC Preseason poll.
CSP leads the all-time series versus SMSU, 33-25, and has won 12 of the last 15 meetings since the 2016 season. SMSU however won both conference meetings last season, winning 4-3 and 5-2 in Wakefield, Neb.
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