BURNSVILLE, MN -- Augustana is picked third and the University of Sioux Falls eighth in the 2014 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches' Poll.

Minnesota State-Mankato, the 2013 NCAA Division II national runner-up, was the unanimous pic to win the NSIC, with 196 points and 14 first place votes.

The Vikings earned 169 points and the other first place vote.  Tony Viger and Bennett Johnson were listed as Augustana's Players to Watch in 2014.  Viger played in all 56 games last season, leading the NSIC in RBI with 53 and sacrifice flies with seven.  He hit .337 and led the Vikings with 15 doubles.  Johnson, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, made 11 appearances including seven starts in 2013.  He finished with a 4-1 record, a 2.68 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 43.2 innings of work.

Augustana finished the 2013 season with a school record 38 wins, finishing 38-18, marking its fourth straight season of 30-plus wins. The Vikings posted a 21-7 record in NSIC play, which was good for a third-place finish.

The Cougars gathered 94 points in the coaches poll.  The NSIC tabbed Derek Fischer and Noah Durkin as the USF Players To Watch.  The right-handed Fischer finished 2013 witha 5-8 recordand a 3.23 ERA.  He was third in the NSIC with 79 strikeouts.  Durkin batted .317 with two home runs and 20 RBI and led the Cougars with 32 runs scored.  In the outfield, Durkin posted a fielding percentage of .987 and was charged with just one error.

Augustana opens the season this weekend with a four-game road trip to Magnolia, Ark. to take on No. 13 Southern Arkansas.

USF plays a three game set February 14 at Colorado State-Pueblo.

NSIC Release