Last in a long lineKorey Kallenbach knew from a young age what sport he wanted to play and to extend the position he wanted to play too.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Korey Kallenbach knew from a young age what sport he wanted to play and to extend the position he wanted to play too.
He spent a majority of his childhood at the ballpark watching his four older brothers — three of them played in the Dickinson Roughriders program.
Kallenbach is the youngest son in his family and steps on the field for his final Class A state American Legion baseball tournament starting at 10 a.m. today when the No. 9 seed Dickinson Roughriders play No. 8 seed Jamestown in Mandan at Veteran’s Memorial Ballpark.
“It started with my brother, Pat,” Kallenbach said. “He was a really good center fielder for them and that’s what I wanted to do from the get-go. Those guys all did really well in baseball and I knew I wanted to do since I was really little.”
The soon-to-be freshman at the North Dakota State plays in all three outfields positions or steps on the mound to pitch for Dickinson.
Kallenbach is one of seven Dickinson players whose eligibility to play Legion baseball expires after this season. He said he wants to end it with a bang.
“It would definitely be amazing if we could end up winning some games and winning state,” Kallenbach said. “It would definitely mean a lot.”
The Roughriders have had a rocky season and final-year player Aaron Berg said their overall record of 14-25 doesn’t exactly portray how well the team has been playing.
“We’ve had quite a few tough losses in our conference games, by one or two runs,” he said. “We’ve been in every single one and I feel like we have a good chance of winning. I feel like we have a good chance of beating any team we’re put up against at the state tournament.”
Berg, a veteran pitcher and infielder, has been proud with how well the team has held their heads high after coming up on the short end of the stick so many times this season.
“We’re going to take the experience from all those close games and try to put them in our favor at the state tournament,” Berg said.
Kallenbach is one of three captains along with Aaron Berg and Mason Schiff, who isn’t playing in the state tournament because he’s in Guatemala for an aide trip.
Growing up with three older brothers who played baseball can be intimidating, but Kallenbach said he’s learned a great deal. He’s now able to pass along that information to the young players on the team.
“I just tell them to really enjoy playing the game of baseball,” he said.
Kallenbach’s senior seasons at Dickinson have been memorable. He was part of the Midgets team that won the West Region championship and ultimately won the consolation championship on a walk-off single by Taylor Thiel at the Class A high school state baseball tournament.
“I guess just having a really good time,” Kallenbach said. “Winning is always fun, hanging out with the guys and it’s just a good time playing baseball.”
He hopes to find some of that magic at the state tournament and at the Central Plains Regional Tournament, which Dickinson hosts beginning Aug. 9 at the Southside Municipal Ballpark.
“We just never really gave up,” Kallenbach said. “We were always in games and played well.”
“After those tough losses, we’re going into the state tournament as the No. 9 seed, so we have nothing to lose,” Berg added. “We’re just going to go in with a lot of confidence.”