Michael Dahl has the unique challenge of building a program from the ground up.
After discontinuing their baseball program several seasons ago, Dickinson State hired Dahl last summer and resurrected the program from the dead.
“It has been exciting, it has been fun and frustrating,” Dahl said. “There are a lot of different emotions and it depends upon the week.”
Though they were not slated to play in 2020, Dahl and his staff hit the road immediately after being hired for their return in 2021.
“There was nothing really else for us to do at the time,” he said. “We started to get a lot of prospects and focus on the 2020 high school seniors and reaching out to junior college coaches.”
Thus far they have 29 players signed and Dahl says they need around 32 or 33 players for next spring.
Pitching is the roster spot that they are looking to fill out with their last three or four spots available.
“That is our main focus right now. Luckily the last two recruits that committed were pitchers. Of the 29, we have around seven or eight pitchers only. We have a few guys that can pitch and play the field,” he said. “We are still probably two pitchers away from probably being set.”
When they take the field next spring, Dahl thinks Dickinson State’s roster will be made up of about 60% transfer students and about 40% freshmen who signed with the Blue Hawks out of high school.
Players signed so far vary from high school signees to junior college transfers to transfers from other four year institutions. They even have one holdover in a player who played on the team before it was shut down a couple of seasons ago.
The hope is that the mix of experience and youth will mesh for a successful return.
Dahl doesn’t want to put a win total on the team for the 2021 season, and he doesn’t want to put pressure on his players, but since they play double headers, he hopes that his squad can win one game a day.
If we can (do that) and play .500 baseball to start out, then we will finish with 20 something wins which would be a great starting point for a brand new program…,” he said. “I just want to put a team on the field that is competitive. I want guys to work hard and play hard and do good in the classroom and community.”