SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Augustana baseball team earned a two-game sweep over Winona State in the first round of the NSIC tournament.
“I told our guys that after day one, that you basically want to finish in two and keep the momentum. If you get to the point where you have a deciding game, it puts a little more pressure on the team that is potentially supposed to win,” Huber said. “You want to stay out of that situation if at all possible.”
The Viking offense came alive in the two victories as they posted 19 runs and 25 hits.
“We swung it really well day one. Day two, not quite the same, but still pretty solid. We had a lot of ‘at-em’ balls, you know, a lot of baseballs hit at guys,” Augustana head coach Tim Huber said. “I was definitely impressed with what we were able to accomplish. I told them we’re going to see good teams the rest of the way and you just need to play good ball.”
Augustana is now preparing for the next round of the NSIC tournament where they’ll face St. Could State.
“We’ve kind of focused on just doing our thing and today (Monday) we’ll start focusing on St. Cloud, who we’re going to face, so we at least can have a little bit of an idea there of which guy it will be and again, for us, it’s more just do what we’re supposed to do and be successful,” Huber said.
Playoff baseball usually means strong pitching and the Vikings will look to build off of their 3.59 conference earned run average.
“We like our spot that we are in. If I’ve been critical this year, it’s been offensive stuff. Our guys have faced good pitchers and we haven’t done much. Sometimes we face poor pitchers and we haven’t done much,” Huber said. “It hasn’t been because of great guys out there, it’s because we’ve hit ruts and I hope we’re passed that and I know that we’ve struggled and can move beyond it.”
The Vikings are preparing for the NSIC tournament, but they’re overall goal remains the same and that is reaching the NCAA tournament.
“Our goal is to get into the NCAA’s and have a chance to get back to Cary (North Carolina) and do something at the end and to answer your question we have talked about it,” Huber said. “In my personal opinion when we went to Mankato and swept them at there place, they’re heads and tails above the other teams in our conference and we took two on the road against them, that put us in a position, because we’ve won enough games, that I think we’re going to be in.”
Augustana is looking to build consistency and that will help them succeed in the postseason.
“Consistency is the goal. This time of year you don’t want to have a stinker of a game and if you get too high, you let off the gas so to speak and then you’re going to struggle there too,” Huber said.
The Vikings will meet St. Cloud State on Wednesday, May 19 at Karras Park in Sioux Falls. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.