The Wayne State College baseball team was voted fourth in the 2018 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll released Thursday afternoon by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Senior outfielder David Janes and sophomore pitcher Aidan Breedlove have been listed as Wildcats to Watch in the NSIC this season.
The Wildcats return five starters from last year’s team that was 29-24 overall and placed fourth in the NSIC with a 23-15 league record.
Minnesota State was a unanimous selection amongst league coaches to win the NSIC this season with 14 first-place votes and 196 points. Augustana collected the remaining first-place vote and had 177 points in voting. (Coaches can not vote for their own team).
St. Cloud State was a close third with 174 points followed by Wayne State (141 pts) in fourth and Concordia-St. Paul fifth at 138 points. Minnesota Duluth was sixth at 132 points with Northern State (116), Minot State (110), Minnesota Crookston (89) and Winona State (79) rounding out the top 10 teams.
Janes, a 5-8, 185-pound senior outfielder from Dubuque, Iowa (Ellsworth CC), is Wayne State’s Position Player to Watch in the NSIC this season. Last season, Janes received Second Team All-NSIC honors after hitting .348 with 55 hits, 11 multi-hit games and a team-high 18 game hitting streak. He finished the year with one homer and 24 RBI while striking out a team-low 13 times in 158 at-bats.
Breedlove, a 5-10, 155-pound sophomore from Omaha (Westside HS), is the Wildcat Pitcher to Watch this season. He is the team’s top returning starter on the hill after posting a 5-4 mark in 12 starts last season with a 2.95 ERA. In 61 innings pitched, Breedlove fanned 53 batters and had one complete game with one shutout while allowing opponents to bat just .245.
Wayne State is scheduled to open the 2018 baseball season on Friday, February 16th with a nine-inning game at Regis (Colo.) at 2 p.m.