Friday, May 11, 2007

Deden's 2007 MIAC Tournament Preview

It's that time of year again, when the best teams in the state converge on Northfield to play for a chance to compete in the NCAA tournament. Drunk college kids, a beautiful host city, draft hopefuls and great baseball set this tournament apart. Heres a preview so you're not clueless when you're drunk at the games.
College baseball wonk Troy Deden provides this exclusive analysis
Who won last year
St. Olaf returns as the defending champions, after winning last years rain shortened tourney. Due to hostile weather last years tourney was cut to a single elimination format, unlike its normal double elimination style.
In the first round of last years tourney, 4th seeded Hamline upset the number 1 seeded Tommie’s 4-1, moving Hamline into the title game, where they would have a date with the 2 seeded Ole’s From Gods Country, who beat the number 3 seed Gustavus 6-4.
St. Olaf went on to win the title edging Hamline 3-2.
MIAC Player of the Year:
The Max Molock MIAC player of the year award goes to Gustavus senior Tony Konicek. He led the MIAC in almost every offensive category, (Avg:.466, Slug: .914, RBI: 53, 2B: 15, Total Bases: 106) He was also tied for 2nd in 3B: 5 and HR: 9. This is the second year in a row that Konicek has been selected as the top player in the league. This is the first time that someone has one the award in back-to-back years since Brian Sprout in ’99-’00.
National Rankings:
#1 seed: St. Thomas (14)
#2 seed: St. Olaf (28)
#3 seed: St. Johns (NR)
#4 seed: Gustavus (NR)
The Field of Four
As usual, Olaf is in. They have qualified for the tourney each year since it’s inception in ’00. They come in this year as the number two seed, and regular season co-champs. The Tommie’s, purple socks and all, will be there again, and I’m sure everyone is real excited about that. The Tom’s come in as the 1 seed, and regular season co-champs. The 3 seed are the Johnnies from Collegeville, they’re alright, but an it's all guy school for fucks sake. The 4 seed, GAC, no one really likes them - they are okay, but still pricks.
Who will win?
The Tom’s are not as good as they have been in the past, and I hope they go 0-2 barbeque but that might just be a dream and never be reality. They’re good - they are regular season co-champs, but that’s only because of Olaf’s huge blunder at the end of the season.
The Johnnies will be the first team out of the tourney, they are not good at anything - can't pitch, can’t hit, and those two things are kind of important in this game.
GAC is the team that I’m not sure about, they’re pitching is ok and they can hit, but I don’t know if they really have what it takes to get to the final game. The Gusties have maybe one decent pitcher. I’m just not sure about these clowns - they’ll score some runs, but I’m not sure they can keep anyone from scoring.
Olaf, after starting the season as one of the hotter teams in the country, took a turn for the worse, as their sophomore All-American pitcher Todd Mathison went down with an elbow injury and has not pitched in a couple weeks, and they get swept by the Tom’s, split with Augsburg, (probably should have been swept by them too), and lost another pitcher due to injury. But the Oles From Gods Country somehow managed to come back and sweep GAC to earn a share of the regular season title. It will be very interesting to see if the two injured pitchers will be throwing this weekend, or will they have to go with their power and draft hopeful right fielder.
I have two scenarios for the final day, championship day. There is one constant, and that is St. Thomas playing in the championship game. , Who they will be playing is something that is a little blurry to me. If the Oles can get their injured pitchers back and throwing well, they will be playing St. Thomas for the title and the Tom’s will have to beat them twice. If the Ole pitchers are unable to throw, watch out for GAC. They could make it a little tougher on the Ole’s, and could pull off the upset.
The championship game will consist of St. Thomas being 2-0 so far in the tourney, putting what they have left up against the defending tourney champs and hometown favorite, Ole’s from St. Olaf, who will be 2-1 coming into the affair. Neither team has great pitching, but I think that St. Thomas will be in better shape due to the one less game that they had to play, and will have their big guns rested for the championship game. It will be close, and as much as I hate to say this, St. Thomas will win, in a nail biter.


haasertime said...

i hate st. thomas. gustavus are a buncha fuckbags too. i wonder if i want st olaf to win. probably not.
good read.

tfrezac2002 said...

Maybe there will be a worse version of last year and the whole tournament will be called off. that wouldn't bother me much since I can't watch it anyway.

the Dutchie said...

Entering this season I had high hopes for the Bethel University Royals. They have always had the talent, but they just never put a playoff season together. Their talent starts at the top of the conference with center fielder Kirby Carr. His aggressive play, mixed with his deceiving speed helps him track down anything that comes his way. In addition to all that, he sits in the top five of every offensive category, and has lead the MIAC in homeruns for the last three years.
Kirby is the best athlete I have ever step on a field with, and I more than anticipate seeing what he can do at the next level.

soup said...

Booya. Soup's in the house.

Kirby Carr is really good. His brother is also a man. The rest of the team did not give a lot of offensive help to the BU Royals. If I were an opposing MIAC pitcher I would pitch around both of the Carrs everytime.

Holm, I have stepped onto a wiffle ball field with you. So, I don't know where you are getting this "best athlete I have ever step on a field with" garbage from.

haasertime said...

DUNDAS, Minn. - Chris Bullis struck out 12 and scattered nine hits in eight innings to help the University of St. Thomas to the NCAA Tournament with a 7-3 win over St. Olaf.

St. Thomas (32-10) became the first team in the eight-year history of the MIAC Playoffs to win the event through the loser's bracket.