Final NSAA Baseball Player(s) Of The Week Announced

BISMARCK, ND ( – The North Star Athletic Association announced their final edition of the Baseball Players-of-the-Week Monday by the conference office.  JD Kirchner of Dakota State (S.D.) was selected as the Pitcher-of-the-Week.  Dawson Cortese of Dickinson State (N.D.) was chosen as the Player-of-the-Week.

North Star Athletic Association Baseball Pitcher-of-the-Week
JD Kirchner – Dakota State (S.D.) – Junior – pitcher – Excelsior, Minn. – Kirchner went 2-0 record for the week as Dakota State (S.D.) went 3-3 record.  He earned a victory at home versus Valley City State (N.D.), where he allowed four runs (three unearned) on five hits.  He registered nine strikeouts.  Kirchner followed up with 8 1/3 scoreless innings in relief in Trojans’ 9-6 15-inning four-game series opener victory at No. 5 ranked Bellevue (Neb.).  He did not allow a run and scattered six hits.  He struck out BU’s batters 12 times.  Kirchner finished the week with an earned run average of 0.67 with 14.17 K/9 per inning strikeout ratio (21 total strikeouts).

North Star Athletic Association Baseball Player-of-the-Week
Dawson Cortese – Dickinson State (N.D.) – Senior – infielder – Laurel, Mont. – Cortese batted .636 (14-of-22 at the plate) as Dickinson State (N.D.) went 5-1 record for the week.  He collected three home runs, four doubles, seven singles with a slugging percentage of 1.227.  He also produced an on-base percentage of .680 and OPS of 1.907.  Cortese scored 11 times, piled up 27 total bases, registered seven extra-base hits, and recorded two walks.

Recap from last week’s games
The North Star Athletic Association baseball regular-season title came down to the final game of the regular-season between No. 5 ranked Bellevue (Neb.) and Dakota State (S.D.).  After the Trojans took the four-game series opener with a 9-6 15-inning affair victory, the Bruins took the final three games of the series (on April 28-29) to clinch the NSAA regular-season title for the fourth consecutive year.  Bellevue is 41-8 overall record and finished the North Star conference schedule with a 25-3 record.

Dakota State completed their four-game series sweep of Valley City State (N.D.) in the doubleheader on April 24.  The Trojans are 34-16 overall record and completed their league schedule with a 24-4 record.

Mayville State (N.D.) won three games in the four-game home series with the Vikings on April 28 and April 30 in Mayville, N.D., marking the final home contests for MSU’s legendary head coach Scott Berry before his retirement at the end of the baseball season.  The Comets improved their overall record to 20-22 and 14-13 record in the league.  VCSU is 12-32 overall record and 8-20 NSAA conference record.

Waldorf (Iowa) and Dickinson State (N.D.) split their two games on April 24 in Forest City, Iowa, with the Blue Hawks winning the first game 8-7 and the Warriors winning the second game 5-1.  WU split a four-game series conference regular-season finale at Viterbo (Wis.) on April 28-29, closing with a 16-12 four-game series finale victory.  Waldorf is 21-24 overall record and 16-12 NSAA conference record.  The V-Hawks are 15-29 overall record and 12-16 record in the league.

Dickinson State closed the regular-season schedule with a four-game series sweep at Presentation (S.D.) on April 29-30.  The Blue Hawks are 20-26 overall record and 12-15 record in the North Star conference.  The Saints, who also dropped a non-conference doubleheader at Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on April 25, is 0-44 overall record and 0-28 NSAA conference record.

Looking Ahead
The North Star Athletic Association baseball postseason tournament opens with the first-round action on Friday at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.  Bellevue (Neb.) will be the top seed in the postseason tournament, taking on Presentation (S.D.) at 10 a.m. (Central Time)/9 a.m. (Mountain Time).  No. 4 seed Mayville State (N.D.) faces No. 5 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) at 1 p.m. (CT)/12 p.m. (MT), followed by No. 2 seed Dakota State (S.D) taking on No. 7 seed Valley City State (N.D.) at 5 p.m. (CT)/4 p.m. (MT).  The opening round concludes with No. 3 seed Walodrf (Iowa) facing No. 6 seed Viterbo (Wis.) at 8 p.m. (CT)/7 p.m. (MT).

The double-elimination tournament continues on Saturday with two loser’s out games and two winner’s brackets games.  Sunday’s schedule features two remaining undefeated teams with three loser’s out games.  The NSAA Championship game is set for Monday at 3:30 p.m. (CT)/2:30 p.m. (MT).

The winner of the NSAA postseason tournament will receive the automatic bid to the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round on May 15-18.  Bellevue was selected as one of the host sites for the national tournament’s opening round.

Friday’s Games – NSAA Postseason Tournament Opening Round – Dickinson, N.D.
Game 1:  No. 8 seed Presentation (S.D.) vs. No. 1 seed Bellevue (Neb.) – 10 a.m. (CT)/9 a.m. (MT)
Game 2:  No. 5 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) vs. No. 4 seed Mayville State (N.D.) – 1 p.m. (CT)/12 p.m. (MT)
Game 3:  No. 7 seed Valley City State (N.D.) vs. No. 2 seed Dakota State (S.D.) – 5 p.m. (CT)/4 p.m. (MT)
Game 4:  No. 6 seed Viterbo (Wis.) vs. No. 3 seed Waldorf (Iowa) – 8 p.m. (CT)/7 p.m. (MT)

Saturday’s Games – NSAA Postseason Tournament Day 2 – Dickinson, N.D.
Game 5 (Loser’s Out):  Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser – 10 a.m. (CT)/9 a.m. (MT)
Game 6 (Loser’s Out):  Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser – 1 p.m. (CT)/12 p.m. (MT)
Game 7 (Winner’s Bracket):  Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner – 5 p.m. (CT)/4 p.m. (MT)
Game 8 (Winner’s Bracket):  Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner  – 8 p.m. (CT)/7 p.m. (MT)

Sunday’s Games – NSAA Postseason Tournament Day 3 – Dickinson, N.D.
Game 9 (Loser’s Out):  Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser – 10 a.m. (CT)/9 a.m. (MT)
Game 10 (Loser’s Out):  Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser – 1 p.m. (CT)/12 p.m. (MT)
Game 11 (Winner’s Bracket):  Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner – 5 p.m. (CT)/4 p.m. (MT)
Game 12 (Loser’s Out):  Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner  – 8 p.m. (CT)/7 p.m. (MT)

Monday’s Games – NSAA Postseason Tournament Day 4 – Dickinson, N.D.
Game 13 (Loser’s Out):  Game 12 winner vs. Game 11 loser – 12 p.m. (CT)/11 a.m. (MT)
Game 14 (Championship Game):  Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner – 3:30 p.m. (CT)/2:30 p.m. (MT)

Tuesday’s Game – NSAA Postseason Tournament If Necessary – Dickinson, N.D.
Game 15 (If necessary if Game 11 winner lose first game):  Game 14 winner vs. Game 14 loser
– 1 p.m. (CT)/12 p.m. (MT)

2023 NSAA Baseball Conference Standings

School Overall
(5) Bellevue (Neb.) 41-8 25-3 —- Won 3
Dakota State (S.D.) 34-16 24-4 1.0 Lost 3
Waldorf (Iowa) 21-24 16-12 9.0 Won 1
Mayville State (N.D.) 20-22 14-13 10.5 Won 1
Dickinson State (N.D.) 20-26 12-15 12.5 Won 4
Viterbo (Wis.) 15-29 12-16 13.0 Lost 1
Valley City State (N.D.) 12-32 8-20 17.0 Lost 1
Presentation (S.D.) 0-44 0-28 25.0 Lost 44

The NSAA Player of the Week is selected from a pool of conference players of the week.  Sports information director representatives from each conference institution may nominate players for the specific conference award in each category.  A voting panel comprising of sports information directors from each conference institution vote using the PrestoSports secure platform.