Not without a fightRoughriders hope to keep season alive in playoffs
It’s been a rough season for the most part for the Dickinson Roughriders. All of that doesn’t matter as the American Legion baseball team heads to the Class A West Region tournament that starts today in Mandan.
It’s been a rough season for the most part for the Dickinson Roughriders.
All of that doesn’t matter as the American Legion baseball team heads to the Class A West Region tournament that starts today in Mandan.
The Roughriders — the No. 5 seed in the tournament — play the Williston Keybirds at 9:30 a.m.
Expectations for Dickinson (12-24 overall, 7-11 statewide) this season, though, weren’t high despite coming off of two consecutive state titles.
Roughriders head coach Andy Emard said the pressure to meet up to lofty goals weren’t put on the team.
“We’ve never hit on that because I don’t think they feel pressure from that,” Emard said. “It would be one thing if we had half the team or more back, and they felt like they had to live up to it.”
With just one returner, outfielder Caleb Burgard, the slate has been wiped clean for this year’s team to do something on its own.
“These guys have been trying to put their own name on something,” Emard said.
The record hasn’t been kind for Dickinson against the other teams in the tournament — Bismarck, Mandan, Minot and Williston. The Roughriders have won just two games versus the four, with both coming against Williston on the road.
The latest came Monday night in a 7-6 win.
Burgard and the rest of the team’s confidence is high going into today.
“They are good opponents we got matched up with,” Burgard said.
Scott Gordon takes the start against Williston.
Emard said pitching shouldn’t be a problem, with the team having plenty of arms to throw out there.
Gordon said his job is pretty simple, don’t give the Keybirds batters any freebies.
“(I) need to throw good solid strikes and not get deep in the count,” Gordon said. “Just play them and don’t let them play you.”
A win against the Keybirds sets up a second-round game against the No. 1-seeded Bismarck Governors at 3:30 p.m. later in the day. A loss means a loser-out game against the loser of the Mandan-Minot game at 6:30 p.m. today.
PlayaThat consistency, though, just hasn’t been there from game-to-game.
Anything can happen in a game, Emard said.
“We have a chance to surprise some people, but our goal is just to get one,” Emard said.