May 9, 2012 at 8:33 am
ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) – With the opener of the NSIC tournament in Mankato Wednesday the St. Cloud State Husky baseball team looks to start a post-season roll after putting together an outstanding regular season campaign.
The 11th ranked Huskies, and #2 seed in the double elimination conference tournament, will open up post season play against the #5 seed Augustana Vikings at noon Wednesday. Less than a week ago the Huskies swept away the Vikings in the final regular season series.
With a 42-10 overall record in 2012, the Huskies won more games than any other NSIC team this year. But tournament host Minnesota State bested SCSU's conference mark by just a single game, putting the Huskies in the second slot for the tournament. The Mavericks ended conference play at 27-5 and will take on #6 seed Minnesota-Duluth, while the Huskies built a 26-6 final mark. On the year the top two teams in the NSIC met just twice, splitting a double-header on April, 14.
After dominating the conference for much of the season, including an active streak of 17 straight wins to finish the year, the Huskies landed five players on the All-NSIC 1st team. Pitchers Logan Birr and Kyle Fischer, along with hitters Joey Benke, Phil Imholte and Brian Hansen all garnered first team honors for their efforts this season.
Benke, a senior captain, is coming of a record setting regular season in which he reached the top of the St. Cloud State career record books in multiple categories. Benke, a Roseau native, is now the all-time leader in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, walks and total bases, among others.
With a win in the tournament opener the Huskies would face the winner of the 4/5 match-up between Wayne State and Winona State. The tournament runs through Saturday, with the winner advancing to the NCAA DII World Series.