Baseball Weekend Preview
Notes: Link ranks among national leaders with 39 stolen bases
Coe (29-10) won its first Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship this month and is making its fourth consecutive appearance in the conference tournament this weekend at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Kohawks have had seven players tally multi-hit games this season and Nick Stein has led the charge. Stein has 14 on the year and is batting .391 wit 47 RBIs.
The pitching staff has been fueled by the play of Wade Morris and Kevin Baranowski. Both pitchers are 9-2 and have combined for 71 strikeouts.
Coe is ranked first in the region and will open against Simpson or Luther in its first game.
Buena Vista will be the second seed and is 27-13 on the season as it looks to derail Coe‘s hopes of winning the title. The Beavers are third in the region and are making their third consecutive trip to the IIAC tournament.
Buena Vista has won its last seven games and its senior class recently won its 100th game. Ryan Scheetz has been key to its success. The senior is batting .368 with 24 RBIs while Brad Blum, riding a 12-game hit streak, is batting .363 with 27 RBIs.
Beloit just won its first North Division title in school history and will host the MWC tournament at Strong Stadium this weekend.
The Buccaneers (23-10) are gunning for their second consecutive title and have the best pitching staff in the league with a team ERA of 3.98. It has allowed only 63 walks and Alex Norman has been a key part of its success. Norman has six wins on the year and a 2.70 ERA. Aaron Busher has nailed down five saves and is 3-1 with a 1.09 ERA.
Mike Kovach is not only 4-2 as a pitcher, but he is a threat at the plate as well. Kovach is hitting .308 and has knocked in 27 runs. The Buccaneers will battle Monmouth (17-13) in its opening game. The Fighting Scotts will test the Beloit pitching staff as it comes into the game with 17 home runs, the second highest total in the league. Ross Donnan has five of those homers and is batting .371.
St. Scholastica (32-5) will be the favorite to win the conference tournament championship this weekend at Wallace Wade Stadium in Duluth, Minn.
The Saints are ranked ninth in the nation and have won at least 30 games for the 13th consecutive season. They are averaging 9.6 runs per game, good enough for No. 2 in the nation, and are batting .350 as a team.
Junior Kyle Moody will need to keep up his stellar performance to give the Saints a shot at the title. Moody is one of the nation’s top hitters, batting .462 on the season, while Joe Link is hitting .370 and has a 13-game hitting streak. Link is also one stolen base away from tying the single-season record. He is currently 39-of-39 on stolen base attempts this season.
St. Scholastica will open tourney play against Northwestern, which is 13-23 on the year.
Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
A lot will be riding on the outcome of the WIAC tournament this weekend. Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the host of the tourney, is the top team in the Midwest Region and will play either Wisconsin-Whitewater or Wisconsin-Oshkosh in its opening game.
The Pointers are eighth in the nation and Whitewater enters the tournament as the second best team in the region. It is No. 10 in the nation as well.
Stevens Point (30-8) is batting .341 as a team and has gotten a solid effort from Dan Douglas this season. Douglas is hitting .432 with 14 RBIs. Cody Koback is batting .428 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs.
Scott Williams has been impressive on the hill. He is 9-2 with 83 strikeouts and has walked just 22 batters.
Whitewater (31-9) is the second seed and has 30 or more wins for the fourth consecutive year. Daniel Putnam is batting .453 with 19 RBI and has scored 54 runs. Jeff Donovan is batting .401 with 44 RBIs and has belted six home runs. Riley Tincher is one of the top pitchers for Whitewater, coming into the tournament with a 9-2 record and 2.92 ERA. He has tallied 50 strikeouts. Donovan is 9-0 with 63 strikeouts.