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Minnesota State ace on verge of history

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The collegiate level is THE place to be right now as a pitcher in Minnesota.

Not a lot of success at the major league level with your Minnesota Twins, but to say the college scene is overflowing with quality arms might be an understatement.

There's Tom Windle and DJ Snelton at Minnesota, two lefties projected to be selected in the top few rounds of the upcoming MLB draft.

While those two are impressive, neither has had a stretch of pitching nearly as dominant as Jason Hoppe of the Division II Minnesota State Mavericks.

If you look closely at his game log, you'll see four complete game shutouts in his last five. The one he didn't go the distance? A 14 inning victory over Missouri Southern in which he hurled 10 2/3 innings of shutout ball.

Overall, it's been over seven weeks since Hoppe allowed a run, a first inning RBI single to Augustana designated hitter Alex Fink. That puts his scoreless innings streak at 51 2/3, just seven outs short of the single season NCAA record.

Hoppe's streak is no fluke, the junior has lost only twice in two years as a starter for Minnesota State, and the Mavericks have outscored opponents 55-12 in postseason play, including a 17-1 drubbing of St. Cloud State to get to the DII College World Series.

Hoppe will have his chance at the record tomorrow on a massive stage, the NCAA DII semifinals, with a chance to bring the Mavericks to their first national championship game in program history. They'll take on St. Edwards, who defeated soon-to-be Division I Grand Canyon earlier tonight.

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