9. ST. CLOUD STATE HUSKIES (48-14)
Final 2012 Ranking: 9
St. Cloud State reached the NCAA Central Region Championship game, but lost 5-4 to rival Minnesota State to conclude their season a single win short of the DII CWS. The Huskies’ season was far from a failure as the teams surpassed the school record for wins in a season and their level of play kept them in or near the top ten in the rankings for the majority of last season – at one time winning twenty games in a row. With an experienced team loaded with seventeen juniors and seniors, Coach Pat Dolan’s club will be ready for another championship run in 2013 provided they can stay healthy – a problem for SCSU late last season.
The Huskies have four of five top bats back in the lineup, let by returning All American OF Phil Imholte and former Cleveland Indian draft pick OF Brian Hansen. Imholte was second on the team in batting at .371, stole 31 bases and had a robust .516 on base percentage thanks to an NCAA DII leading 36 HBPs. Hansen had 10 homeruns and 21 doubles as he led SCSU with a .591 slugging percentage. The Huskies also have leading hitter OF Garrett Fischer back who paced the team with a .407 batting average and Sean Borman who led the team with 11 homeruns with a .317 average. Dolan also anticipates a big season from former Minnesota AA Player of the year Eric Loxtercamp, who missed a good chunk of the season due to injury.
The Huskies pitching staff is also set for another deep run into the postseason with several key pitchers back on campus for 2013. Scott Lieser tied for the team lead with ten wins and had won another eight over the summer in the Northwoods League. Also back on the mound will be Shawn Riesgraf who paced the team with a 2.12 ERA and had a 9-1 record as well as Kyle Fischer who was second on the team with a 2.23 and earned eight wins himself. New to the staff swill be Adam Harlander and Corey Fitzgerald, transfers from NJCAA World Series qualifier St. Cloud Tech CC. Harlander set records at SCTCC for saves in a season, lowest ERA in a season at 0.36 and career ERA at 1.87 ERA. Fitzgerald was a team captain at SCTCC and went 7-1 last season.