Augustana is the defending division II baseball champion, and in the hunt to make a return trip to the national championships.
After winning its first-ever national championship last Spring, Augustana knew it was capable of another deep playoff run and carries a 12-game win streak into the super regional round.
“Just played some good baseball, I think, and I think we are playing hot baseball at the right time and that’s the biggest thing come postseason. It’s never been a doubt in our minds that we can come back here, as long as we trust each other and play our game,” Augustana Senior Michael Svozil said.
After losing a long list of players to graduation, including a pair of MLB draft picks, the Vikings reloaded their roster and are right back in the title mix.
“The big thing this whole year is we knew we have way more than enough talent, we knew that we lost pitching but I knew guys were going to shock the division with how good they are, but the biggest thing was just the little things. If you take care of the little things in baseball, they end up being the biggest things in games,” Svozil said.
Offensively, Augustana is averaging more than nine runs per game, which has played a major role in the team’s postseason success.
“Just that experience piece, you know guys are understanding what their trying to accomplish at the plate, taking better approaches. I think we’ve stolen a lot more bases the last few weekends than we had earlier in the year, not that we didn’t run early but, we’ve been really good and aggressive on the bases and been successful there,” Augustana Head Coach Tim Huber said.
After sweeping their way through the NSIC and Central Region tournaments, Augie now turns its attention to Central Missouri, who plays a similar style of baseball.
“They’re going to hit well, they’re going to field well, they’re going to pitch well and that sounds exactly like the team we do and they’ll play some small ball. So the best way to prepare against them is to prepare against ourselves right now” Svozil says.
Augustana opens the best-of-three Super Regional against Central Missouri on Friday. First pitch is set for 6:00 at Ronken Field.