Tulloch excels on field, at plate as Dickinson State's full-time catcher
Dickinson State senior Scott Tulloch made the weight room his second home long before the 2008 baseball season began. The 6-foot, 190-pound catcher wasn't trying to build muscle mass though. He was just hoping to get into the best shape possible....
Dickinson State senior Scott Tulloch made the weight room his second home long before the 2008 baseball season began.
The 6-foot, 190-pound catcher wasn't trying to build muscle mass though. He was just hoping to get into the best shape possible. Tulloch knew he had to be at the top of his game by the time the regular season arrived in March.
After entering the season as the Blue Hawks' only seasoned catcher, Tulloch has lived up to the expectations DSU coach Duane Monlux had of him.
Tulloch has started all but two of DSU's 45 games behind the plate.
"It hasn't been too bad," Tulloch said. "... I kind of had an idea that I'd be doing this."
Tulloch hasn't missed a game since early March, when backup catcher Max Pearson spelled him against Marian College during the team's spring trip to Florida.
The senior has since started catcher in 31 consecutive games - including several doubleheaders and one tripleheader - and is ready to lead the team into the Dakota Athletic Conference tournament, which begins today at Valley City. The fourth-seeded Blue Hawks open the tournament against rival Jamestown College, the third seed, at noon MDT.
"He knew his role going into the season. He knew what he had to do," DSU senior pitcher Luis Avila said. "I'm pretty sure that's what got him through."
As for the countless hours spent in the weight room? Tulloch says it's paying off and keeping him fit enough to remain behind the plate as the Blue Hawks begin the playoffs.
While Tulloch's knees usually feel the need for ice bags following a doubleheader, he's not about to let pain put him on the bench.
"It's my senior year, so go big or go home," Tulloch said.
Said Monlux: "It's definitely taken a toll on him physically, but he's a tough kid and he wants to be in there."
However, Monlux believes having Tulloch on the field has also had a major impact in his swing.
Tulloch is batting .401 with six home runs and 33 RBI, a vast increase from the .285 average and two homers he hit last season while splitting his time 70/30 as the team's designated hitter and backup catcher to all-conference senior Paulo Contreras.
Aside from his hitting, Tulloch has committed just one error and helped guide a pitching staff that is beginning to come around after an erratic start to the season.
"I'm just trying to keep us in ball games," Tulloch said.
Monlux believes the senior is doing more than that.
"He's done a great job behind the plate and kept his offensive numbers up," Monlux said. "Doing that as a full-time catcher is a pretty tough thing to do."