Local - North Dakota State Baseball Heads To The NCAA Tournament
In a sport that is often an after thought in the North, the NDSU Bison have found a way to survive the brutal winters, which consume much of the first half of their season, and claim a Summit League tournament championship.
NDSU did not have a unbelievable season, the are only a game over .500, but played well when it counted. They went 3-0 in the Summit League tournament and will now be heading to Corvallis, Ore. to take on the number one overall seed in the tournament, the Oregon State University Beavers.
A couple guys for the Beavers to pay attention to. On offense, the Beavers are led by outfielder Michael Conforto. Conforto leads the team in batting average, hits, doubles, homers, runs and slugging percentage.
The pitching staff is led by Jace Fry and Ben Wetzler. The lefties both sport 11-1 records. Wetzler has a 0.76 ERA, has allowed eight earned runs over 95 innings pitched and opponents are hitting .144 against him.
Fry has a 1.43 ERA but also leads the team in strikeouts with 94. He has been a bit wild this season, throwing six wild pitches and hitting nine batters.
As of yesterday, OSU had yet to name a starter. My guess would be neither Fry nor Wetzler will start this game as the Beavers will opt to save their arms for later in the regional.
Regional - Dave Joerger And The Timberwolves
The Timberwolves seemed oh, so close to landing thee coach of the future for the team. Dave Joerger is young, he just turned 40 this year, on the rise and a Minnesota native. I could have seen Joerger staying in Minnesota for several years, even if Kevin Love vamoosed.
However, because the Memphis Grizzlies are the ongoing daytime TV drama of the NBA, Joerger was wooed back into returning to the Grizzlies by their crazy owner Robert Pera.
Now, the Wolves are back at square one, which is more like a negative considering they have no coach and their star player wants out. Joerger could have made things a bit better for the Wolves. If Love leaves, at least you have a coach you can turn to and say, "You have time. Turn this thing around." Now, you don't know what to do.
Hopefully, the Wolves can turn things around with a solid draft pick. They are pretty good at doing that, aren't they?
National - The Finals Are Near
As two of the major four sports, basketball and hockey, get closer to the finish, we are seeing some happy big wigs from both sports. In hockey, three of the final four teams were from major U.S. markets with the other one being from Canada.
The New York Rangers clinched their first Stanley Cup Finals berth since 1994 the other night with a Game 6 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The other conference final features the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings. It won't matter to the NHL who makes it out of this series as they already have their darling, the Rangers, in the finals.
In the NBA, those big wigs want certain names in the Finals. Sellable names like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. With the Miami Heat on the verge of their fourth straight trip to the finals, the NBA would love nothing more to see them clinch the Eastern Conference Finals with a win on Friday night and see KD and the Oklahoma City Thunder win Game 6 and 7 against the San Antonio Spurs. A LBJ vs. KD match-up in the Finals? Begin to salivate NBA.
You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called The Pinto and White Shadow Show. Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.