The Dickinson Roughriders are hoping to make a name for themselves this week during the state tournament in Bismarck.
Dickinson (28-17) appeared to be on track for a top seed just a short couple weeks ago, but a slump down the stretch pushed them back to the No. 6 seed meaning they’ll have to face No. 3 West Fargo in the opening round.
They face off at 4 p.m. CT/ 3 p.m. MT with the winner getting the winner of the Bismarck vs. Minot contest.
In the two teams doubleheader earlier this season, the Roughriders struggled plating runs as they lost 3-0 and 9-3.
They recorded five hits in each loss, and committed three errors on defense while walking 14 batters.
“We didn’t play our best baseball against them earlier this year,” Roughriders head coach Tyler Frenzel said. “We had a lot of walks, errors and hit by pitches. I think we can play a lot better than we played against them the first time.”
Dickinson seniors Kobe Krenz and Jaren Hugelen are hoping to make a mark in their final ride with the Roughriders.
Krenz will still play baseball in the future at Dickinson State University, while Hugelen is moving on to play hockey at the University of Mary.
“It means a lot to me especially because I have played baseball all my life,” Krenz said. “When you move on from one level to another, it is a little different. I want to make this experience last as long as possible.”
Frenzel knows that baseball is a game of runs, and he thinks that this week to get their mojo back, Dickinson needs to have really good performances from their starting pitchers.
He is confident that they can score runs if they can keep other teams off balanced at the plate.
Hugelen and Krenz both agree that Dickinson needs to focus on each play and bring intensity in order for them to maximize their success during the tournament.
“We have to do all the little things right and pick each other up if we make a mistake,” Hugelen said. “We have to forget about that mistake and move on the next play.”
When the first pitch is thrown on Tuesday, it will be the first game for Dickinson in almost a week which gave them time to work on things and get back to the basics.
Frenzel hopes the week of preparation pays off, and he thinks they will make noise this week.
“I am looking forward to the tournament and I think we have a shot. We have a good group of guys,” Hugelen said. “I have never felt this way about a team before, but I think we are a lot better than a lot of teams, we just don’t show it all the time. I think we have a great chance.”