MADISON, SD (PlayNorthStar.com) – Bellevue (NE) is the coaches’ unanimous favorite to repeat the North Star Athletic Association baseball regular-season title, the preseason coaches’ poll was announced Monday. BU was the league’s favorite to win the league title for the eighth consecutive year. Bellevue, which finished their 2022 season with an overall record of 49-13 and won the league title with an impressive 25-2 conference record, tallied all eight first-place votes with 64 total points to claim the top spot in the preseason poll. The Bruins hosted the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round last season for the second straight season, capturing the opening round tournament title by defeating Concordia (NE) in the second championship game. Bellevue went 1-2 record in the Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
BU is ranked No. 5 in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 national poll last November.
Dakota State (SD), who made their first-ever North Star Athletic Association postseason tournament’s championship game for the first time since the league was formed, finished second in the preseason poll with 55 points. The Trojans fell in the championship game in a pitcher’s duel with the Bruins 1-0, despite losing the opening round of the conference tournament and winning all four loser’s out games to advance to the championship game.
Dickinson State (ND) was third in the preseason poll with 47 points. Waldorf (IA) placed fourth in the poll with 36 points, followed by Mayville State (ND) fifth with 32 points. Valley City State (ND) was sixth after recording 30 points. Viterbo (WI) earned 16 points to finish seventh, while Presentation College finished eighth with eight points. Points are awarded on an 8-1 basis and coaches can vote for their own team.
The North Star Athletic Association baseball conference season officially kicks off on the weekend of March 17-19. Each school is slated to play a total of 28 North Star conference baseball games. All eight teams will compete in the North Star Baseball Conference Postseason Tournament, which is scheduled for May 5-8 in Dickinson, ND.
There is an automatic bid from the North Star Athletic Association for the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round, which is held on May 15-18. The postseason tournament winner will earn a trip to the national tournament’s opening round. The Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is slated to be played in Lewiston, Idaho from May 26-June 2.
|2023 North Star Athletic Association Baseball Preseason Poll|
|1||Bellevue (Neb.) (8)||64|
|2||Dakota State (S.D.)||55|
|3||Dickinson State (N.D.)||47|
|5||Mayville State (N.D.)||32|
|6||Valley City State (N.D.)||30|
|*First-place votes in parenthesis|