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March 26, 2010

2010 Season - Baseball moves to 11th in NCAA Division III

The Augustana Vikings have moved steadily up the national baseball ranking and are now currently 11 th in the latest NCAA Division III national baseball poll. The Vikings, who lost to Aurora last night for their first defeat of the 2010 season, will play Buena Vista in a non-conference game tomorrow at home at 3:00 p.m. They moved up from 18 th a week ago according to D3baseball.com.

Under the direction of veteran head coach Greg Wallace, Augustana has victories this year over a participant in the 2009 College World Series (Farmingdale State) and four other 2009 NCAA tournament teams (Beloit, Rose-Hulman, St. Norbert and Fontbonne).

The Vikings were not ranked in the pre-season and moved to 24 th after the first poll and then jumped to 18 th last week before moving to 11 th in the most recent ranking. St. Thomas, the defending NCAA Division III national champion, is currently holding down the top spot with a 5-1 record and 625 points. The Tommies have garnered all 25 first place votes. Augustana has 345 points in the 11 th spot.  

The Vikings have combined timely hitting with solid pitching so far this season to compile their 12-1 record. As a unit they are hitting at a .354 clip with 146 hits in 413 at-bats and have scored a total of 108 runs in the first 12 games for an average of 9.0 runs per game. Junior third baseman Dave Hoffman (Cary Grove HS, Fox River Grove, Ill.) has been scorching with a .500 batting average. He has 25 hits in 50 at-bats with 13 runs scored, five doubles and nine runs-batted-in. Sophomore leftfielder Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) and freshman designated hitter Tyler Wilson (Valparaiso HS, Valparaiso, Ind.) are both hitting .400. Serna has 16 hits in 40 at-bats with 10 runs scored, three doubles, one triple and 12 RBI. Wilson is 14 for 35 with 13 runs scored, one double, two triples and nine RBI.

Power has not been plentiful as Augustana only has two home runs this year. Freshman shortstop Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) leads the team in runs scored with 15 while the RBI leader is junior right fielder Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) with 13.

The pitching staff has compiled an earned run average of 3.39 and in 101 innings of work has struck out 81 and walked just 39. Sophomore Josiah Martin (Canton HS, Canton, Ill.) has the lowest ERA among pitchers with at least 15 innings pitched. He is 3-0 with eight strikeouts and just three walks in 12 1/3 innings of work. Senior Mike Pagano (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) is also 3-0.

Sophomore Joe Ufheil (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) has done a superb job as the closer. He has appeared in seven games and has yet to give up an earned run while striking out seven. He has been credited with six saves and is also 1-0.

2010 NCAA DIVISION III BASEBALL POLL

As of 03/024/10 by D3baseball.com

RANK

TEAM

RECORD

PTS

1

St. Thomas (25)

5-1

625

2

Heidelberg

12-1

585

3

Wooster

11-2

551

4

Chapman

17-4

530

5

Trinity (Conn.)

1-0

504

6

Salisbury

13-2

489

7

Kean

9-4

408

8

Pomona-Pitzer

17-5

356

9

Rochester Polytechnic Institute

8-2

351

10

Marietta

10-3

347

11

AUGUSTANA

12-1

345

12

Carthage

7-4

341

13

Mississippi College

19-3

336

14

Eastern Connecticut

3-3

227

15

UW-Stevens Point

1-1

219

16

Rose-Hulman

11-3

214

17

Birmingham Southern

16-3

199

18

UW-Whitewater

6-1

181

19

Johns Hopkins

11-3

165

20

Shenandoah

15-4

150

21

St. Scholastica

11-3

135

22

Southern Maine

6-3

132

23

Worcester Polytech

10-0

102

24

Cortland State

9-5

86

25

Trinity (Texas)

18-5

79

DROPPED OUT: No. 17 Wheaton (Mass.); No. 22 (Keystone); No. 24 Adrian

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Pacific Lutheran 75; St. Olaf 49; Rhodes 44; Linfield 43; Redlands 37; Millsaps 36; Keystone 32; Oneonta State 28; Huntingdon 24; Wheaton (Mass.) 20; Lynchburg 17; Plattsburgh State 16; Washington & Jefferson 14; Ohio Northern 12; Methodist 9; Texas Lutheran 5; Concordia (Ill.) 2; Ferrum 2; Adrian 2; Wheaton (Ill.) 1.