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From Start To Finish

Senior flamethrowers John Straka, Simon Anderson and Kyle Kingsley know what it takes. Pitching is not always about how fast you can throw the baseball or how much break is on your curve ball. Focusing on the task at hand and playing the game pitch-by-pitch helps these Bison pitchers from start to finish.  

Photos By J. Alan Paul Photography



In 2012, Straka broke the NDSU record for most strickouts in a single-season with 92.

John Straka – Starter
Height: 6’3
Weight: 220
Year: Senior
Throws: Right
High School: Chaska High School
Summer Team: Kenai Peninsula Oilers – Alaska Baseball League


Quick Hitters:
– 2012 All-Summit League Team
– Named to Summit League Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence
– Selected as a 2013 Candidate for Senior CLASS Award
– Recovered from major elbow injury and had to miss the entire 2010 season

 Whats the mentality of this pitching staff?

Answer: “All of our pitchers focus on one thing and that’s executing pitches. It allows us to focus on what we can control and doesn’t distract us from other factors like the weather, who is up to bat, what our defense is doing or the umpires strike zone. If we just try to hit the catcher in the glove, the rest will take care of itself. And if you can be consistent with your command and control you can go a long ways in this game.”

Simon Anderson

Simon Anderson had a 1.83 ERA in 39 1/3 innings in 2012.

Simon Anderson – Setup
Height: 6’5
Weight: 215
Year: Senior
Throws: Right
High School: Bemidji High School
Summer Team: Walla Walla Sweets – West Coast League

Quick Hitters:
– 2012 Summit League all-tournament team
– Summit League Winter/Spring All-Academic
– Had a microscopic 1.83 ERA in 2012

What makes coming out of the bullpen so unique?

Answer: “It gets the adrenaline going, you know? Sitting over in the bullpen twitching; but that’s the good part about it. It definitely is nerve racking but at the same time you have to take it one pitch at a time and if you do struggle a little bit, you just have to put it behind you and make sure you bring it the next time.”


Kyle Kingsley

Kyle Kingsley has a stretch of 17-straight scoreless innings in 2012.

Kyle Kingsley – Closer
Height: 6-3

Weight: 230
Year: Senior
Throws: Right
High School: Fargo South High School
Summer Team: Walla Walla Sweets – West Coast League

Quick Hitter:
– Named to the Stopper of the Year Watch List by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
– 2012 All-Summit League Second Team
– Pitched 17-straight innings without allowing an earned run in 2012

What made your move to the bullpen so easy?

Answer: “I was a starter my freshman and sophomore year. It didn’t go so hot right away my sophomore year and coach Angier was like, ‘let’s try the bullpen.’ It just kinda worked out from there. I love the ‘pen now more than starting…The key is to have a short memory. If you have a bad day you have to put it behind you, forget about it and go out there the next day.”

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