|HOW THEY’LL FINISH|
|Teams are listed
by predicted order of finish with 2012 records listed.
|Projected NCAA Teams (1): North Dakota State.|
|Conference Schedule: 30 games, begins April 5.|
|Conference Tournament: Four teams, May 23-25 at Rochester, Mich. (Oakland).|
|Player of the Year: Tim Colwell, of, North Dakota State.|
|Pitcher of the Year: John Straka, rhp, North Dakota State.|
|TOP PROSPECTS, 2013-14 DRAFTS|
Straka, rhp, North Dakota State
|2.||Tyler Farrell, rhp, Western Illinois (2014)|
Ernst, rhp/1b, North Dakota State (2014)
|4.||Layne Somsen, rhp, South Dakota State|
Dispensa, of, Western Illinois
Schumacher, rhp, North Dakota State (HS—Blaine, Minn.)
|2.||Tim Koons, rhp, Oakland (Tr.—Fort Scott, Kan., CC)|
Ratz, 1b, South Dakota State (Tr.—Ellsworth, Iowa, CC)
• The Summit League takes on a radically different look in 2013, starting with the departure of Oral Roberts, which won or shared 15 regular-season titles and 15 tournament championships in 15 years before departing for the Southland Conference. Southern Utah also bolted for the Big Sky Conference, with the Summit welcoming former independent Nebraska-Omaha as the sixth league member necessary to receive an automatic-qualifying bid for the NCAA playoffs.
• The six Summit schools have combined for one NCAA tournament bid, by North Dakota State in 1956. The Bison should end their 56-season drought in 2013 after setting a school record with 40 victories last year. Sr. RHP John Straka (7-4, 2.61, 110 IP/92 SO) has bounced back from Tommy John surgery and a shoulder tear to become the ace of the staff, commanding an 88-92 mph fastball and 83-85 mph cutter. Jr. OF Tim Colwell (.381/.438/.512, 12 SB) led the Summit in hitting, runs (62), hits (93) and triples (nine) a year ago. The Bison also have the league’s top newcomer in Fr. RHP Tanner Schumacher, a projectable 6-foot-5, 200-pounder.
• South Dakota State’s NCAA playoff hopes ride on a pair of pitchers who were named pitcher of the year in their summer college leagues. Sr. RHP Layne Somsen (1-6, 4.53, 56 IP/53 SO), who had Tommy John surgery in 2010, used a low-90s fastball and solid breaking stuff to star in the Coastal Plain League. So. RHP Adam Bray (3-3, 4.31, 65 IP/48 SO) is more of a finesse pitcher and won the Pacific West League pitching triple crown.
• The Summit has one new coach this spring. Western Illinois’ Mike Villano resigned after going 17-35 last season and was replaced by Ryan Brownlee, an assistant at Iowa for the previous nine years. Brownlee inherits some talent, most notably Fr. RHP Tyler Farrell and Sr. OF Dan Dispensa (.344/.423/.469). Farrell redshirted last year but was a 43rd-round pick by the Yankees in 2011 out of high school, when he showed an 88-93 mph fastball and promising curveball. Dispensa began his college athletic career as a defensive back on the Leathernecks’ football team.