The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference released the 2023 Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll on Wednesday morning with the Northern State baseball team picked in a tie for 11th in the conference, picking up a total of 66 points in the poll. Redshirt-junior outfielder Karson Hesser and junior right-handed pitcher Max Otto are tabbed as the Wolves players to watch this upcoming season. The Northern baseball team is slated to open the 2023 season February 3-5 on the road in the Edmond First Pitch Classic where they will face a trio of MIAA opponents in Central Oklahoma, Emporia State, and Pittsburg State. To view Wolves full season schedule CLICK HERE.
Hesser returns to the diamond after a 2022 season where he held a batting average of .294, an on-base percentage of .304, a slugging percentage of .412, and an on-base plus slugging percentage of .716. He appeared in 37 games while making 35 starts for NSU, where he totaled 40 hits, six doubles, two triples, two homeruns, and 11 RBI in 136 plate appearances. On the bases Hesser went 7-8 on stolen base attempts.
Otto returns to the mound after a breakout 2022 season where he accumulated a 2.69 ERA and 6-3 record. He made 11 starts and appearances, pitching four complete games which included one shutout performance. Otto pitched a total of 67.0 innings a season ago, throwing 57 strikeouts and surrendering only 19 walks while opponents were held to a .252 batting average.
The preseason coaches’ poll is based off each coach ranking each team from 14 to 1 with the top team receiving 14 points, second 13, third 12, etc.
The baseball non-conference season gets underway in early February with NSIC play beginning on March 18. The 2023 NSIC Baseball Tournament will take the top eight teams in the final NSIC Standings. The eight-team double elimination NSIC Tournament takes place May 10-13, hosted by the University of Mary at Veterans Memorial/Municipal Ballparks, in Mandan & Bismarck, North Dakota.