• By Philip Green

Minot State baseball’s road to a national championship

The coronavirus pandemic paused the Minot State baseball team at the beginning of what should have been a very successful season in 2020.

The Beavers were returning to North Dakota following a big four-game series with No. 2 nationally-ranked Colorado Mesa University. The Mavericks hadn’t loss a home series in about a decade. That didn’t scare the Beavers as they came out swinging, winning the first two games. MSU would end up losing the last two games, but they gave Mesa a run for their money and showed the entire country they were a national contender.

Then, COVID-19 hit and canceled their season.

This season, the Beavers are back for redemption and off to a hot start. Success isn’t new to the Minot State baseball team. They won the regular season Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) championship three years ago and lost the following year. The Beavers are built for a run and they’ve already shown it this year.

Tyler Luban, the winning pitcher for one of the two wins against Colorado Mesa, weighed in on the team’s pursuit of a national championship.

“We’ve started really well with our pre- and conference play. We’ve been hitting and pitching at the level we need to be at to win games,” Luban said.

The Beavers have had big performances on the mound and in the batter box. Against Bemidji State, junior left-handed pitcher RJ Martinez had a career high 10 strikeouts. Game two of that series featured a three homerun game from junior outfielder Jordan Williams. Luban envisions this as just the start for success in both aspects of the game.

“I see continuing with all the work we put in on both sides, I feel like the success can continue,” Luban said.

MSU baseball has made lofty goals that they expect to accomplish this year.

“Our goal as a team is to make a regional and compete for a national championship,” Luban explained.

In order to do so, the Beavers have a tough road ahead of them. They are going to have to grind through a lot of adversity this year, but the team is more than prepared to do so.

“Our identity is to just be competitive each day, whether it’s a game or not — we compete at a high level,” Luban said.

One of the challenges Minot State will face is being on the road often. The way the schedule is laid out often finds the Beavers on the road for extended periods of time and frequently leaving in the middle of the school week. It’s not an easy task missing so much school, but MSU baseball is set up to do so.

“Being gone for travel is never easy but staying in touch with your professors and study tables in the hotels keep us on track,” Luban said.

As a relief pitcher, Luban faces a tough task of not playing for several games at a time and sometimes only coming in to get an out or two. Luban prides himself on supporting his teammates when he’s not out there.

“I want to be the best teammate I can be while being the best I can be out of the bullpen,” Luban explained.

They’ll play at home at Corbett Field for the remainder of April, including games against Winona State University and Northern State University. Beaver fans have a lot to look forward to when they go cheer on MSU at Corbett Field.

“Fans can expect an exciting game and an electric atmosphere,” Luban said.

Minot State is currently 12-7 as they prepare to hit the home stretch of conference play leading into the NSIC conference tournament.

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