Coach Hostikka and the Bluejay Baseball team are optimistic about the upcoming 2018 season. We continue to change the culture of this program with recruits, facilities, and coaches. SACRIFICE the ME for WE... focuses on taking the talent that we know we have and developing a complete team that plays for each other instead of playing for themselves.
We continue to pour resources into our indoor facility and baseball fields with training equipment that will prepare our program to succeed throughout the year. We continue to introduce technology into the development of our student athletes and believe we have one of the most comprehensive programs in the MCAC. We have worked hard in recruiting and continue to sign players, locally, regionally, throughout the U. S. and abroad. We place an emphasis on providing opportunities to quality young men, developing them as baseball players and as positive role models in the classroom, on the field and in the community.
We are coming off a record year in 2017 winning 20+ wins for the second straight year. In 2017 we finished 29-17 overall, 14-2 in the Southern Division and were the 2017 MCAC Southern Division Champions, earning the #2 seed in the Region XIII tournament all were firsts for our program, a program that we believe is headed in the right direction. We were ranked in to top 10 in the Nation in numerous pitching categories, K’s, K / 9 IP, and we had an All-American that was tied for #1 in the Nation in wins. In 2016 we led the Nation in stolen bases in 2017 we were in the top 10 again in that offensive category.
This year we have added the motto Baseball 365 to our program, as we look to be purpose driven on the field, in the weight room and in the class room. We continue to work on the things necessary for the development of this program, this team, and these young men. We are focused on improvement and competing in the ever-tough MCAC Southern Division.
Letter from Coach Hostikka:
Minnesota West and I place a great deal of emphasis on the "student" part of student-athlete. Last season, 12 players were on the Academic All-Conference team and 6 players were on the Dean's List. We had 4 players receive Superior or Distinguished NJCAA All- Academic Team Awards. We graduated all 5 of our sophomores. In my three seasons, we have graduated eighteen of twenty-three sophomores (78%), and fourteen of them (78%) are in four-year colleges on schedule to graduate.
The Seasons Fall and Spring
Fall practice starts September 1 and runs to October 15. All players are in competitive scrimmages.
Off-season workouts, sprint workouts, weight lifting, hitting and throwing programs start October 25. Our coaching staff, athletic trainer, and exercise science coach will develop the program.
Spring Practice starts January 15.
We are scheduled to play 12 games during Spring Break in Illinois and at the Russ Matt Invitational Tournament in Florida March 2-9. We will travel to Creston, Iowa to play a DI NJCAA program, and we will host a six team classic in the 2nd John Spiegelhoff Memorial Classic on March 30-31, 2018. Non-conference games are strategic in getting our team good competition and great exposure to higher levels of baseball. Fifty (50) games will be played prior to the Southern Division MCAC playoffs this spring as we aim to earn another berth in the Region XIII Tournament.
Minnesota West has two baseball fields: one lighted for night games and one that does not have lights. We also have an indoor baseball facility which has a full college turf infield, two-80ft. batting cages, four portable pitching mounds, and a full weight room with machines, free weights, and cardio equipment. Players will have access to the indoor facility 24/7 with their own key card. This facility gets better each year as we make improvements to our equipment and facilities. Our Health and Wellness Center is connected to the YMCA and both are less than five years old.
As the Minnesota West baseball coach, I promise the opportunity from day one on our campus, to earn a starting position and play every day. If you work hard in the classroom and on the field, you can compete for a starting position. We will help you become a better player, a better teammate, a man of character, and will give you an opportunity to earn a college degree. In return, you will help us become a better program.
I welcome the opportunity to talk to you. You can call or text me at any time.
Coach T. D. Hostikka, M.S.