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Friday, June 25, 2010

Natural Selection

The National Hockey League Draft is slated to start at 4:00 p.m. (PST) Friday in Los Angeles and Maverick Hockey fans will be watching to see which team will select forward Tyler Pitlick.

Pitlick, who tallied 11 goals and had eight assists for 19 points in 38 games as a freshman for MSU in 2009-10, is projected to be the highest-ever draftee ever to come out of the Maverick men's hockey program.  Forward Tim Jackman was selected in the second round (38th overall) by Columbus in 2001 and 2010 Olympic silver medalist David Backes was selected by St. Louis in the second round (62nd overall) in 2003.   Pitlick has been projected to go anywhere from 18th overall (by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau) to 35th by McKeens and several places in between.

Pitlick's NHL Draft card appears here and a draft preview bio by THW is located here.

MSU has had a total of 11 players selected in the NHL Draft since the Maverick men's hockey program was inaugurated in 1969.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More on Expansion

Matt Zimmer of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls penned a great piece on the potential changes that the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference would have to make if the league presidents vote to add the University of Sioux Falls and Minot State University to the league in 2012-13.  You can view the article HERE.

A couple of things in this article raised my eyebrow a bit.  Zimmer stated that the league would have to go to divisional play for all sports (currently the league only uses divisional play for football) and I would have to agree with that.  One thing that struck me was Augustana's head men's basketball coach Tom Billeter saying that he thinks Augustana should stay with Wayne State as a travel a partner and USF should join with Southwest Minnesota State.  If that logic were to come into play, Minnesota State would be forced to change travel partners, as MSU is currently paired with the Mustangs.  The good news is, Concordia University is currently in the South Division for football, while their traveling partner St. Cloud State is in the North Division.  So, if divisional play was instituted league wide, the Mavericks and Golden Bears would seem like logical travel parteners.

Of course all of this is pure speculation but it's good to see the Argus Leader hitting this story like they are.  It's obvious why, but the idea of expansion hasn't been looked into too much by newspapers around the league. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keeping the Faith

“The good ole days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems.” - Billy Joel, American poet.


Believe it or not, as we begin to embrace the heat and humidity of a fine Minnesota summer, there's a ton of things going on these days here at MSU.


Former Maverick offensive lineman Adrian Battles continues to work out in anticipation of attending the Minnesota Viking training camp which starts here in Mankato July 29th.

And along these lines, it's expected that workers will begin laying new sod on the playing field at Blakeslee Stadium sometime this week.  We'll post some new photos in the next few days relative to that.

It's been announced by the Northern Sun that MSU Athletics legend Manny Beckman will be inducted in to the league's Hall of Fame Wednesday, July 14, at the Best Western Kelly Inn/St. Cloud.


We have a press conference scheduled for later on today to announce a major indoor track & field meet which MSU has been selected as the host institution.  Be sure to check out msumavericks.com this afternoon after 3:30 p.m. for details.


A couple of key fundraising events for MSU Athletics on the docket include the 34th Annual Women's Sports Classic, which takes place June 26th and the Dan Meyer Blue Line Club Golf Classic which takes place Friday, July 26.  Both tournaments occur at the Mankato Golf Club.  Former MSU men's hockey forward David Backes is playing in the Dan Meyer Tournament and there's a live auction prior to the tournament to have him on your team.   Please call Cindy Hobbs at 507.389.5351 for more information.

And, as it considers the possibility of expanding, the NSIC has announced that it will do site visits in December to Minot State and the University of Sioux Falls. Black Hills State and South Dakota School of Mines are also interested in joining the league but won't get a visit just yet.  According to an article in the St. Cloud Times, SCSU's president, Earl H. Potter III, has said that he's in favor of league growth.

It's great to be a Maverick!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"

Minnesota State junior righthander Bret Mitchell has inked a deal with the New York Mets to become, officially, a professional baseball player.  Congratulations to the Lakeville, Minn., native, who spent just one season hurling for the Mavericks after matriculating for two seasons at Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge, Iowa.  We suspect he'll be assigned by the Mets to their shortseason A team in the New York-Penn League, the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Mitchell, who fanned a school-record 108 batters in 2010, went 10-4 record in 14 starts with a 4.31 earned run average and 108 strike outs in 94.0 innings pitched this year.  Mitchell, who helped lead the Mavericks to their first trip the NCAA Division II Championship tournament for the first time since 1986, finished the year ranking seventh in the nation in total Ks and was 29th in the nation in strike outs per nine innings (10.34).

It's great to be a Maverick.

Friday, June 4, 2010

School's Out

The conclusion of the 2010 NCAA NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C., last weekend officially signalled the end of the competitive season for Minnesota State student-athletes and teams.

And while we anticipate another top-five finish in the final NACDA Directors' Cup standings for the Departement (MSU finished second behind Grand Valley State last year and was fourth in this year's standings prior to championship events for softball, baseball and track & field), we also look forward to following several Maverick baseball players as they perform for teams in the Northwoods League and other summer collegiate baseball leagues around the country.

In the Northwoods League RHP Blake Schwartz, LHP Ryan Demmin and OF Danny Miller are all plying their trades with the local Mankato Moondogs.  RHP Bret Mitchell is with the Rochester Honkers. Ss Zach Rowles is with the Willmar Stingers and RHP Luke Putz is throwing for the Waterloo Bucks.

The New York Collegiate Baseball League features three Mavericks with the Watertown Wizards with RHP Eugene Sturm, RHP/IF Ben Kincaid and OF Patrick Dockendorf.

RHP pitcher Mahlon Zimmermann will his spend his summer with the Laramie Colts of the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League.

The 2010 Major League Draft is also nearly upon us with the annual selection of amateur players slated for June 7-10 (next Monday through Wednesday).  Two Mavericks were picked last year in RHP Chris Odegaard (23rd round, 696th overall by Arizona) and IF Geno Glynn (43rd round, 1309th overall by Tampa).  In all, and dating back to 1968, 30 MSU players have been selected in the MLB Draft.

It's great to be a Maverick.