We're not quite finished yet with the Maverick baseball team capturing the Central Region title to earn a spot in the 2010 NCAA Division II championship tournament which begins this weekend in Cary, N.C. More on that later, but as an FYI, MSU plays its first game Sunday vs. Southern Indiana. Members of the MSU track and field teams will also be heading to North Carolina for the national championship meet in Charlotte, May 27-29.
Regarding baseball, the last MSU team to go to the DII CWS was in 1986 and there's several memorable moments from that trip. It was the first time they had hosted the tournament in Montgomery, Ala., and the tournament organizers did a tremendous job. The University of Tampa, who played in the first game that day and was one of the top teams coming in, had a first baseman named Tino Martinez. Yep, that Tino Martinez. Troy State, which had a very good team, was the host institution and was ranked #1 coming into the tourney, had a large and raucous crowd supporting them in MSU's first game of the championship. The Mavericks played well against the Trojans and were up 6-4 heading into the ninth and, with one out and the umpire compressing the strike zone, starter Wes Weber walked the next two batters. Scott Toop was brought in to relieve Weber and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. The next batter, Wendell Stevens, launched one over the fence in the deepest part of the park for a grand slam. We lost that game, but went on to beat Tampa in our next game before heading home after losing to Columbus. One other memory from that trip - Hank Williams, Sr., is buried in a grave site adjacent to the ballpark where the tournament took place and several of the Maverick ballplayers had a looksee while we were there.
Finally, we did do a Maverick Magazine on KMSU last Friday in which we went over some of the top moments of the year that was 2009-10 in MSU Athletics. The podcast for that show (dated May 14) is available here.
Speaking of Hank Williams Sr., enjoy one of Scott Nelsen's favorite songs honoring him.