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May 23, 2018 05:41 PM

Augustana Earns 5-Seed At College World Series

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Augustana baseball team (48-9) has been slated as the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C. The Vikings will open against No. 4 seed Southern New Hampshire (39-15) on May 26 at 2 p.m. (CT) at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

The Vikings won the Central Regional in Magnolia, Ark. on May 21 to earn a spot in the DII College World Series and the Penmen were winners of the East Regional. This will be Augustana’s first DII College World Series appearance in school history.

The Vikings will next play on May 28 against either No. 1 seed Florida Southern (42-9-1) or No. 8 seed Southern Indiana (36-21). If the Vikings win they will play the winner of Florida Southern/Southern Indiana at 6 p.m. (CT) on the 28th or if they lose they will play the loser of at 2 p.m. (CT).

The other side of the bracket starts play on May 27 with No. 3 seed UC San Diego (42-15) taking on No. 6 seed Texas A&M-Kingsville (41-15) at 2 p.m. (CT) and No. 2 seed Columbus State (45-13) will go up against No. 7 seed Mercyhurst (36-13) at 6 p.m. (CT).

Series History

• This will be the first meeting between Augustana and Southern New Hampshire

Augustana Notes

• This will be Augustana’s first DII College World Series appearance after winning its first Central Region title

• The Vikings last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2014 when they went 41-16 and won the NSIC Tournament. The Vikings won the NSIC Tournament and made the NCAA Tournament this season

• The Vikings have three NCAA Tournament appearances (2011, 2014, & 2018) and all three are under coach Tim Huber. The Vikings have an NCAA tournament record of 5-5

• The Vikings have two NSIC tournament titles (2014 & 2018) and three finals appearances (2014, 2015 & 2018)

• The Vikings have won a school record 48 games in 2018. Previous record was 41 in 2014

• Augustana achieved its highest ranking in school history on April 25 when they were ranked No. 1 in the NCBWA poll

Blank is Blanking Teams

• Senior Jacob Blank (Gretna, Neb.) has picked up where he left off last season. Blank is 8-0 in 13 starts on the year with an ERA of 1.98 and leads the team with 72.2 innings pitched and a career-best in strikeouts with 88. Blank has two shutouts on the year and three complete games

• Blank ranks fifth in DII in WHIP (0.87), eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.0), 16th in ERA, 18th in walks per nine (1.36) and 21st in hits allowed per nine (6.44)

• Blank has set the school record for career strikeouts (210) and is two wins away from tying the school record in career wins (22-1)

Three Amigos

• Augustana baseball has three senior transfer pitchers this season. David Flattery (Fort Dodge, Iowa) came from Omaha, Tyler Mitzel (Sioux Falls, S.D.) transferred from Arkansas State and Clay Collison (Algona, Iowa) transferred from Nebraska-Kearney

• Flattery has made 10 starts going 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA with 76 strikeouts and an opponent batting avg. of .184. Flattery is third on the team in innings pitched (54.1) and second in strikeouts

• Collison is an innings eater for the Vikings with five appearances out of the bullpen and seven starts totalling 36.1 innings and an ERA of 3.96 with 39 K’s

• Mitzel has made 10 starts and three relief appearances. Mitzel is 10-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 64.1 innings pitched (second on the team) with two complete game shutouts. Mitzel leads the NSIC and tied the school single season record in wins with 10 and is ranked 17th in DII in ERA

Party on Barth

• Freshman Jordan Barth (Cold Springs, Minn.) has become an RBI machine for the Vikings early on in his career

• Barth is the team and NSIC leader in RBI (60) and has 17 multi-RBI games in 55 games. Barth is also leads the team in doubles (15) and is second in hits (75) and batting avg. (.364) and third in home runs (seven)

Sophomore Sluggers

• Sam Baier (Springfield, Minn.) and Riley Johnson (Champlin, Minn.) are showing no signs of sophomore slumps in their seconds seasons

• Johnson broke a pair of school records during the opening weekend. Johnson recorded six hits in the season opener to break the school record of five and stole four bases in the series finale to tie the school record

• Johnson is batting leadoff for the Vikings and leads the team in hitting (.385), hits (85) and runs scored (67) and is second on the team with 33 steals.

• Baier, the 2017 NSIC Freshman of the Year, is second on the team in RBI (58) and in homers (eight) hitting .322. Baier is also third on the team with 28 stolen bases

• Johnson and Baier are the only two fielders to start every game this season for the Vikings

Don’t Run on Menssen

• Senior Ryan Menssen (St. James, Minn.) has been a stalwart behind the plate for the Vikings this season. The 2017 NSIC Gold Glove recipient has started 43 games between catcher and DH

• Menssen sports of fielding pct. of .997, 323 putouts and 31 assists. Menssen has also thrown 14 potential base stealers this season out of 27 attempts and has picked off one runner. Menssen has the school record by throwing out 39 potential base stealers in his career

Nickel for your Thoughts

• Ryan Nickel (Shoreview, Minn.) has made an instant impact as a freshmen. Nickel has appeared in every game for the Vikings and has made 54 starts

• Nickel is third on the Vikings in on-base pct. (.425). Nickel is tied for the team lead in walks (26), fourth in batting avg. (.339) and fifth in runs scored (44)

• Nickel is one of two Vikings that has more walks than strikeouts (Johnson)

Svozil Style

• Michael Svozil (Millbrae, Calif.) has made a successful transition from the JUCO ranks to Division II. Svozil attended West Valley College where he appeared in 34 games while attaining a .323 batting average with a .384 slugging percentage. Svozil connected on nine RBI, scored 21 times and stole six bases

• Svozil has brought energy with him in his first season at Augustana. Svozil has appeared in 54 games, making 53 starts, and is sixth on the team in batting avg. (.310)

• Svozil leads the team and the NSIC and is seventh in DII in stolen bases (38) and leads the team in sacrifices with seven sac hits and eight sac flies. Svozil’s 38 stolen bases rank second in a single season is school history and his sac flies are tied for first

Wylie E. Coyote

• Lucas Wylie (Sioux Falls, S.D.) has burst onto the scene for the Vikings after not seeing action in his first two seasons at Augustana

• As the Vikings primary DH, Wylie has appeared in 42 games, making 34 starts

• Wylie is hitting .363, which is the third best average on the team and has a team-best 10 home runs

• Wylie also owns the teams’ top on-base pct. (.457) and slugging pct. (.708) and is third in RBI (34)

Pitching Perfect

• The Augustana pitching staff has been stellar this season, posting the best marks in DII in shutouts (14) and WHIP (1.13)

• The Vikings have destroyed  the school record for shutouts in a season (14) with the previous record being six ( 2017 and 2011)

• Augustana has allowed set the school record for consecutive shutouts with four in a row (4/19-4/23 - SMSU and UMD x3)

• Currently the 2018 Vikings hold the school records in strikeouts per nine (10.16), the most wins (48), fewest losses (nine), most saves (17) and the most strikeouts (519) in school history

• Jacob Blank and Tyler Mitzel have tied the school record for shutouts in a season (two)

• Mitzel leads the NSIC and has tied the single season school record in wins with 10

• Michael Brandt is first in the NSIC in saves and 30th in DII with eight. Brandt also currently sits in the top spot in school history in strikeouts per nine (14.59) and tied for fourth in saves in a season

• David Flattery currently sits in fifth in strikeouts per nine (12.59) in school history

• Zach Reeg currently has the lowest  opponent batting avg. (.101) in school history and the fourth lowest single season ERA (0.99)

• Austin Orvis (1.42 ERA), Derek Dahlke (2.70 ERA) and Dalton Allen (3.12 ERA) have each appeared in 14 or games with 25 or more innings to help lockdown the Viking bullpen

Swiping Bags

• The Vikings have stolen 162 bases out of 187 attempts on the season

• Augustana’s 162 stolen bases ranks second in Division II and is a single season school record

• Michael Svozil (38), Riley Johnson (33) and Sam Baier (28) rank as the top three base stealers in the NSIC

• Svozil ranks seventh in DII in stolen bases. Johnson sits in 12th and Baier is in 22nd

• In school history Svozil and Johnson rank second and fourth for stolen bases in a single season. The school record is 40 by Nate Baumann set in 2010

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Courtesy: Augustana
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