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BASEBALL: Lavin, Munson named Players to Watch, Beavers picked 15th in NSIC

“We have laid a solid foundation from last year, but left a lot on the table and are excited to improve upon that this year," BSU head coach Matt Ellinghuysen said in a release.

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Bemidji State's Jack Munson (9) throws to first in the sixth inning against the University of Mary on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at the BSU baseball field. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
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BURNSVILLE – The Bemidji State baseball team was picked to finish 15th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll announced by the league on Wednesday.

Juniors Jack Munson and Will Lavin were each tabbed as the Beavers' Preseason Players to Watch.

“We feel we are taking steps in the right direction here at Bemidji State,” BSU head coach Matt Ellinghuysen said in a release. “We have laid a solid foundation from last year but left a lot on the table and are excited to improve upon that this year. We have a great mix of young and experienced talent and cannot wait to turn the page in the 2023 season.”

Reigning NSIC Tournament Champion Minnesota State was the top pick in the poll. The Mavericks amassed 188 points and received eight first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team). Augustana was second with 185 points and five first-place votes. St. Cloud State was picked third with 174 points and the final two first-place votes.

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Bemidji State's Logan Barrick throws a pitch in the fourth inning during game one of a doubleheader against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, May 6, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Bemidji State is looking to build upon a 6-40 (3-29 NSIC) 2021 season that saw the Beavers play just one home series the entire season because of long-lasting winter weather. The Beavers return 15 letter winners from the 2022 season, and 20 newcomers will make their debuts for the Beavers in the upcoming season.

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Munson was selected as the Beavers' Preseason Player to Watch after he batted .236 with an on-base percentage of .275 and slugging percentage of .299 in his sophomore season. The Hugo native started and played in 41 of the team's 45 games in 2022 and totaled 34 hits with six doubles and one home run. He was second on Bemidji State with 19 RBI.

Lavin was named the Beavers' Preseason Pitcher to Watch after a 1-10 record in 2022, when he posted an 8.80 ERA over 45 innings. The Hastings native finished second on BSU with 53 strikeouts and pitched the third-most innings for the club.

The 2023 Bemidji State baseball season officially gets underway Feb. 24-26, when the Beavers travel to Springfield, Ill., to face University of Illinois-Springfield for a four-game nonconference series. The Beavers begin NSIC play March 18-19 with a three-game series at Concordia-St. Paul. The Beavers will play a 50-game slate during the 2023 season.

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Bemidji State's Derek Dolezal hits a single in the fourth inning during game one of a doubleheader against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, May 6, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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