MUSTANG HOOFPRINTS: Mustang Booster Club Drive underway

Hello Mustang fans!

On Tuesday night, the Mustang Booster Club (MBC) hosted a Membership Drive Social at the Schwan Regional Event Center where new and current members gathered information and sign up for the 2014-15 athletic season.

Former SMSU men’s basketball player, Marshall resident and MBC executive board member Jacob Fahl spoke to the crowd on the importance of joining the MBC. He shared that the main goal of the booster club is supporting athletic scholarships and the student-athlete experience at SMSU. Fahl also explained the positive impact these dollars had on his decision to attend SMSU.

Fahl had the attention of everyone in the room as he talked about benefits of joining the MBC, the positive engagement of our teams and student-athletes in the communities and the importance of supporting the SMSU coaches in helping to recruit student-athletes of high character and academic achievement. Fahl shared his passion for SMSU and the competitive spirit of wanting to continue to build on the success of this past athletic season.

It was a wonderful evening that saw many new and familiar faces on campus gathering information about joining the Mustang Booster Club and having a chance to talk with members of the MBC executive board, Membership Drive Committee members and SMSU athletics coaches and staff members. We collected a number of registrations Tuesday and look to have another social in June.

If you have any questions about joining the MBC, please contact Tim Steinbach at 537-7204.

A big thank you to all our MBC executive board members, head and assistant coaches and staff members who were in attendance Tuesday, greeting next year’s members.

If you want to support our student-athletes and make a difference in SMSU athletics, please consider joining the MBC and help us grow the success of Mustang athletics.

Download app to follow Mustangs

The Southwest Minnesota State University Department of Athletics and sponsors, Aramark, Hy-Vee and Pepsi, are excited to announce a new way for fans to interact with the Mustangs on their mobile devices.

The Mustang app, which is now available for download, will not only allow you to keep updated with SMSU athletics, but will also allow you to earn rewards for attending Mustang events and receive great offers from Aramark Dining Services, Hy-Vee, and Pepsi.

The app, which is compatible with Apple devices and Android-based platforms, can be downloaded by searching, “Mustang app” in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or any other app stores.

Another way you can download the Mustang app is to follow these instructions: Step 1, text Mustangs to 80802; Step 2, click the link in the text message you received; Step 3, download it from Application Store; Step 4, register for the application; Step 5, start earning rewards.

Drown SMSU Golf Classic

Save the date!

The 29th annual David and Carol Drown SMSU Golf Classic will be held June 20 at the Marshall Golf Club.

The Golf Classic is the next Mustang Booster Club fund-raising event, and the Golf Classic Committee will be convening in the next couple of weeks to begin the planning for this great event.

Online

For all your information on SMSU athletics, visit our website: www.smsumustangs.com.

Upcoming SMSU athletics events

Baseball

The SMSU baseball team (27-23, 17-14 NSIC) went 1-2 in the NSIC Tournament ending a very successful season. The Mustangs lost to Augustana College in the first game 5-12, beat Northern State in their second game 5-3, before a heartbreaking loss in their final game of the season to Winona State 3-4. The 27 wins are tied for the 8th-most victories in the 45-year history of the program.

Patrick Rients, SMSU’s designated hitter, has been recognized many times for his amazing season at the plate. He was named to the 2014 Daktronics All-Central Region first team as voted upon by the region’s sports information directors. Reints named SMSU’s most valuable player earlier this week – is the first Mustang player to earn first team all-region honors since designated hitter Cody Curry in 2010.

Reints was also voted first team all-region by both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). It’s the second and third all-region accolades Rients has received this month. He will now move to the national ballot for all three organizations for an opportunity to earn All-American status.

Rients, a native of Jackson, played in all 50 games with 49 starts and led the team with a .369 batting average, while setting team single-season records for home runs (19), triples (6) and total bases (144). He also led the team in hits (66), RBIs (57) and slugging percentage (.804). Rients’ RBI and slugging percentage both rank second in the program single-season record book. He led SMSU with 17 multi-RBI games, had a team-high 16-game hitting streak and had just eight hitless games during the season.

Named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Newcomer of the Year and first team All-NSIC, Rients tied a conference record with 15 home runs in league play. In the NCAA Division II statistics as of May 11, Rients ranks first in the country in home runs per game (.38), second in home runs (19), second in slugging percentage (.804), fifth in total bases (144), 13th in triples (6) and 15th in RBIs (57). Congratulations to Patrick, Coach Blanchard and the entire Mustang Baseball team on a great season!

Track and Field

The SMSU men’s and women’s track and field teams have concluded their seasons finishing the two-day NSIC Outdoor Championships on Saturday, May 9 at Paul Giel Field in Winona.

The SMSU men’s team finished 12th with 20 points, while the SMSU women’s team recorded three points for a 13th place finish. Minnesota State won the men’s team title with 177 point, while the University of Mary won the women’s title with 169.3 points. It was the first NSIC championship SMSU has competed in since the program was reinstated in 2013.

The SMSU men’s team was led by Alejandro Sanchez who recorded a second place finish in the 800-meter with a time of 1:51.58 and helped the team earn eight points. Austin LaFollette earned four points with a fifth place finish in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.54.

Ben Tonsager recorded a sixth place mark in the shot put with a throw of 15.34m to help the team score three points, while Alex Weis earned five team points with a fourth place finish in the discus with a throw of 45.65m. O.J. Ojullu also advanced to the finals of the 1500-meter and finished 10th with a time of 4:07.16.

Rylee Armstrong scored the three points for the women’s team with a sixth place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 11.14m. Congratulations to Coach Wolf and the women’s and men’s track and field teams on a great first season!

This will be the last Mustang Hoofprints article until August when we kick off the 2014-15 athletic season. It has been a great athletic year with many successes in the classroom, in competition and in the community. We are very thankful for the support of the Marshall community and the surrounding communities. Have a great summer and Go Mustangs!

Trivia Contest

Congratulations to Jim Hmielewski who provided the correct answer to last week’s Mustang Hoofprint’s Trivia Question: Who was the last SMSU Baseball player to earn the NSIC Newcomer of the Year?

In 2001, freshman starting pitcher Mike Negen was recognized as the NSIC Newcomer of the Year for his season on the mound for Mustangs.