After barrage of injuries throughout his career, Dickinson baseball standout Mason Schiff is finally enjoying an injury-free seasonMason Schiff laces up his baseball cleats like everyone else.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Mason Schiff laces up his baseball cleats like everyone else.
The only difference about this season is the senior has actually been able to put on his cleats every single day.
“That’s been a big point,” Dickinson head baseball coach Pete Dobitz said. “You know he’s there. You can put his name in the lineup every day. I don’t care if it’s the major leagues, if you can write a guy’s name in the lineup and you know he’s going to give 110 percent every time. You know what you have a chance at winning and that’s what have with Mason.”
Schiff’s senior season has been plagued by injuries, starting with a tear of his medial collateral ligament during Dickinson Trinity’s football season.
He came back at the tail end of the basketball season, but had some hip trouble that kept him out of a few games. With his being his first injury free season, he said it’s been pleasant to play every day.
“It’s been nice to actually play a full season, especially in my senior year,” said Schiff, who has a .294 batting average with four doubles and 14 RBIs. “It’s been somewhat cut short and it’s completely a disappointment, but I feel like it’s been nice to have a full season under my belt.”
The Dickinson High baseball team is the No. 2 seed in the West Region Tournament and faces No. 7 Bismarck St. Mary’s at 11:15 a.m. today at Williston’s Aafedt Stadium.
Though Schiff’s football and basketball seasons were cut short, he feels like he is back to normal with his full range of motion, which is important at his primary position of third base.
“I’ve been working rehab for a long, long time,” Schiff said. “I feel like my quickness is back. I might not have the vertical leap that had, but that’s not exactly what I need. I feel like it’s back to normal.”
These weren’t the full barrage of injuries that Schiff had to both physically and mentally overcome. During his sophomore baseball season, Schiff had to have Tommy John Surgery. The surgery, which is elbow ligament reconstruction, was medical and not preventative, Schiff said.
“They aren’t exactly sure why that was,” he said. “I might just have bad tendons. It was because an injury and it wasn’t one that happened right away.”
Two years removed from the surgery, Schiff feels like he’s back to form. His pitching statistics are back up and are representative of the health that he’s feeling.
Schiff has a 1-1 record with a 1.19 earned run average and 15 strikes over 18 innings.
“I feel like I’m back where I was before my Tommy John’s surgery,” he said. “I feel like I can throw that hard across the diamond or pitching. I feel like I’m back to normal.”
Dobitz said the biggest asset that Schiff brings to the team is leadership and a sense of calmness to the field.
“He’s kind of a calming presence for the boys,” he said. “He steps in and does his job. I think he makes the kids around him a lot better because of his expectations of himself. But then he expects other kids too. The other kids don’t want to disappoint.”
Schiff’s teammates have not disappointed and the there’s a certain excitement level of having Schiff as the cornerstone of the Midgets defense and offense all season.
“It’s awesome to get him back on the field when we need him there or on the mound if he needs to pitch for us,” Dickinson senior Jon Wanner said. “I know he can throw strikes and it’s nice to have him back.”
As the Midgets prepare for postseason play, the mindset is not to overlook anyone.
“I think our team has potential to do well in the tournament,” Dickinson junior Alex Huschka said. “Obviously, we hang with everybody and everybody hangs with us. We just need to work hard and play our game.”