For baseball teams from the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, Mother Nature continues to throw curveballs at the 2018 spring season, forcing several schedule adjustments, venue changes and postponements of contests. With only a handful of teams able to find playable conditions around the state, only one squad was able to maintain a presence in the NJCAA Division III national rankings.
Itasca Community College remained the lone MCAC representative in the Top Ten poll released April 10. For the complete poll, please visit: http://www.njcaa.org/sports/bsb/2017-18/div3/polls
The ICC Vikings clock in this week at the #9 spot nationally, with a 15-5 record so far this season. Itasca is led by Anthony Azor, who leads the league in RBI's, with 23 total. The sophomore from San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic also has a .321 batting average, a .404 on base percentage and has connected for one home run in 20 games over the spring. On the mound, Reid Howard (Winnipeg, MB, Soph.) and Lane Gerber (Hill City, MN, Fr.) have combined for slightly more than 36 innings of work, and both have picked up a pair of wins, while Tanner Shepard (Grand Rapids, MN, Soph.) leads the team in shutting the door on opponents with three saves. Itasca is scheduled to play next on Thursday, April 12 at Wade Stadium in Duluth, Minnesota, where they will take on MCAC foe, Hibbing Community College. Hibbing sits at 7-7 overall in 2018. First pitch of the double-header is scheduled for 11am.
As much of Minnesota sits in a late winter deep freeze, several teams are looking at different options and altered schedules as synthetic turf fields fill up with area college and high school games. Be sure to check the MCAC Sports website at: www.mcacsports.org for the most current list of cancelations, postponements and schedule changes in baseball this spring.
About Baseball in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference:
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference boasts a strong tradition in America's pastime; over fifty years of collegiate competition has prepared student-athletes in the MCAC to pursue careers at four year college programs as well as professional ranks.
Currently the MCAC Baseball squads compete in a three-division set-up. Northern Division teams include Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range College, Rainy River Community College and Vermilion Community College. The Central Division is home to St. Cloud Technical & Community College, Central Lakes College, Ridgewater College, M State Fergus Falls and Northland Community & Technical College. In the Southern Division, Anoka-Ramsey CC, Minnesota West CTC, Riverland Community College, Rochester Community & Technical College and Western (WI) Technical College compete for a divisional title.
Beginning with the 2018 spring season, MCAC Division Champions and Divisional runner-up teams will advance to the 2018 NJCAA Division III Regional Tournament. Additionally, a seventh playoff slot will be allocated to the highest ranked MCAC team as designated by the 2018 Region XIII which did not earn a championship or runner-up finish in divisional play.
Baseball in the MCAC features athletes from over 20 states and five countries. Our campus environments include the opportunity to attend college and compete in a variety of Minnesota State System colleges, from the urban hubs of the Twin Cities, Rochester, St. Cloud and La Crosse, Wisconsin to the picturesque college towns ranging from Thief River Falls to Ely, Worthington to Brainerd. Learn more at: http://www.minnstate.edu/
This release sponsored in part by:
The United Heroes League seeks to keep military kids healthy and active through sports while their parents are serving the nation. The United Heroes League is headquartered in Hastings, Minnesota and offers several opportunities for colleges, businesses, organizations and individuals to help support their cause. The #1 goal for the United Heros League is to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports. This intense focus on youth development and serving the families of our miliary service members motivates the United Heroes League to keep programs focused. This focus has also inspired over 90 professional athletes and over 30 sports franchises to lend their name and support to the United Heroes League.
About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.
For more information, visit www.mcacsports.org