SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Despite falling to Minnesota State in the NSIC baseball tournament, Augustana still received an at-large bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Augustana’s 42-18 record helped them earn their fifth straight regional appearance, but now the Vikings are trying to improve on their recents setbacks.
“The beauty of baseball is you just have to play good. You know, otherwise anybody can win any day. And so if we can sure some stuff up that costs us some losses, a couple errors, didn’t hit great, didn’t pitch great at times, we just need to put it all together and do that consistently for three or four days,” Augustana head coach Tim Huber said.
Augie claimed the National Championship in 2018, when they entered the regional as the same seed they are currently. Now, five years later, coach Huber is hoping to instill confidence in his players.
“Going down to Warrensburg, it’s just understanding that we are good enough, we are capable, and they have to believe that. I think our guys that have been in our program before are having that understanding. But the freshmen that are playing and the transfer guys, they haven’t been there yet, so they they’re not quite sure what to think, hopefully it can all come together,” coach Huber said.
Seth Miller is one of the top pitchers in the conference as he owns a 2.83 earned run average alongside 89 strikeouts.
“Seth has a ton of experience. He’s the guy we’re going to lean on and go to in game one, and it kind of starts with him. Defense and pitching is what it’s going to come down to. If you can do those things well, now, you still might lose, but you’re going to at least be in the game. If you can do those things right and throw strikes, make plays, you’ll have a shot at the end and then hopefully, you get a big hit,” coach said.
Heading into the tournament, Augustana is taking the pressure off, by staying focused on one game at a time.
“We got to take advantage of every day, we could get eliminated. But, if we just bring that same focus, just take one day at a time and one win at a time and, hopefully we don’t get eliminated,” Augustana infielder, Jack Hines said.
The team will travel to Warrensburg, Missouri to compete against Ouachita Baptist University Thursday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.