SAINT CLOUD STATE HUSKIES (37-11)
Few teams were as impressive as SCSU last season. After an opening day loss the Huskies went 21-1 and spent most of the season in the top ten of the rankings. The Huskies started the Central Region with a pair of wins; however SCSU couldn’t get past their nemeses, conference rival Minnesota State, who gave the Huskies both of their losses in the double-elimination tournament. The Huskies will once again challenge MSU for conference and national status, backed by one of the top returning pitching staffs in that nation. The lineup has more than a few holes left by upperclassmen, but if the arms hold steady SCSU won’t need much offense.
Kyle Fischer is one of the most dominating returning pitchers in DII. In his three seasons pitching for St. Cloud Fischer has gone 26-5 with a 2.10 ERA. Last season Fischer was 11-2 with a 1.81 ERA and tossed five complete games. Chris Kubitz also put up strong numbers last season after struggling as a sophomore. Kubitz had a 0.77 ERA in 13 appearances and had 53 strikeouts in 46.2 innings with only 19 walks. Another experienced starter welcomed back to campus is Corey Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald held opposition to a .201 batting average in eight starts. He complied a 6-1 record with a 2.49 ERA after transferring from St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Also back on the mound is Garret Harrrison who was hurt last spring, but was rated a top prospect in the Northwoods League over the summer. Along with a cache of prime starting pitchers, Coach Pat Dolan will also have his ace closer back in the bullpen. Reese Gregory had a 1.37 ERA last season, earned 10 saves and earned recognition as an All American and was a Northwoods League All Star.
The Huskies will have their leading hitter back in the lineup in Garrett Fischer, the brother of ace Garrett. Fischer has hit over .400 the past season seasons, including batting an even .400 last spring. Zach Hoffman impressed in limited action last year, batting .354 in 79 at bats in 2013. Juniors Michael Jurgella and Eric Loxtercamp each hit in the neighborhood of .300 last year and could be the pair of bats that give SCSU an extra edge if they are to dethrone MSU as NSIC and Regional champs. Additional offensive firepower will arrive in Cody Rutledge, a 2012 Mr. Baseball finalist his senior year of high school, freshman Jackson Goplan who was a three-time all conference performer and Alex Naasz, a transfer from Century College where he was a member of the NJCAA DIII National runner ups.