WAYNE – With spring sports looking for a more complete season this year, the Wayne State College baseball team will look to compete with the best in conference play.
According to a release from the Wayne State Athletics office, WSC was voted fifth in the 2021 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll released Thursday by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Junior outfielder Andrew Hanson and sophomore pitcher Ryan Obrecht were listed as Wildcat players to watch this season.
The Wildcats were 8-7 in nonconference play last season when the reminder of the 2020 schedule was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Augustana was voted as the team to beat in the NSIC this season receiving 195 points and 13 first place votes from league coaches. Minnesota State-Mankato followed in second with 181 points and the remaining two first place votes. Rounding out the top five teams are St. Cloud State (160), Minot State (153) and Wayne State with 151 points.
Winona State was sixth with 130 points followed by Minnesota Crookston (114), Concordia- St. Paul (103), Northern State (78) and Minnesota Duluth with 77 points rounding out the top 10.
Closing out the coaches’ poll are University of Mary (69), Southwest Minnesota State (59), Sioux Falls (41), Upper Iowa (36) and Bemidji State with 28 points.
Hanson, a 6-1, 180-pound junior infielder from Burnsville, Minnesota hit .343 with nine doubles, four homers and 15 RBI in the shortened 2020 season. Hanson is a two-time All-NSIC selection earning First Team honors as a freshman and Second Team as a sophomore. He was also voted D2CCA and NCBWA All-Central Region Second Team in 2019.
Obrecht, a 6-4, 170-pound sophomore from Omaha (Millard North HS) went 2-0 last year with a 3.55 ERA pitching 12.2 innings while allowing 12 hits and just six runs. During his freshman year Obrecht earned All-NSIC First Team honors. He also was D2CCA All-Central Region Second Team and NCBWA All- Central Region Honorable Mention.
The Wayne State College baseball team is slated to open the 2021 season on February 19 at Newman in Kansas for a four-game series before conference play begins in March.
2021 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll
1. Augustana (13) 195 pts.
2. Minnesota State (2) 181 pts.
3. St. Cloud State 160 pts.
4. Minot State 153 pts.
5. Wayne State 151 pts.
6. Winona State 130 pts.
7. Minnesota Crookston 114 pts.
8. Concordia-St. Paul 103 pts.
9. Northern State 78 pts.
10. Minnesota Duluth 77 pts.
11. University of Mary 69 pts.
12. Southwest Minn. State 59 pts.
13. Sioux Falls 41 pts.
14. Upper Iowa 36 pts.
15. Bemidji State 28 pts.