Big Sticks first pitch set for June 26

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Badlands Big Sticks players will report next week and they will play their first game on June 26. (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

The Expedition League is back and the Badlands Big Sticks will get a chance to defend their title from last summer.

The regular season will have 52 games with the first pitch being thrown on June 26.

The championship will go further into August this summer with the championship series scheduled for August 21-23.

“It is something we are all excited about and it is great for our community,” Big Sticks General Manager Jason Watson said. “People are ready to get outside and do things family wise. We are excited that the announcement came out and shortly we will have a schedule out so that people can start planning to come to some Big Sticks games.”

Six of the league's 10 teams in the Freemont Moo, Hastings Sodbusters, Pierre Trappers, Souris Valley Sabre Dogs and Western Nebraska Pioneers along with Badlands will all play ball this summer.


The Wheat City Whiskey Jacks, Casper Horseheads, Spearfish Sasquatch and Sioux Falls Sunfish will not play this summer due to restrictions.

Due to the uncertainty of the situation and with schools across the country announcing they will go back earlier than planned this fall, some players Badlands expected to suit up for them this summer will not.

The Big Sticks have signed several new players over the last few days including a couple players that were set to play in the Northwoods League and the West Coast League.

Players were told to report June 14 giving them almost two weeks to prepare for the season.

“Ten to fourteen days isn’t enough for our pitchers to be ready to throw multiple innings and high pitch counts. We will have limits and pitch counts because they haven’t been playing,” Watson said. “Hopefully they have been preparing on their own and I have stressed that to them. The talent level of the baseball may not be what we expect early, but it will come around. They have been on a break pretty much and they have to get back in the swing of things.”

Tyler Frenzel, the head coach of the Dickinson Roughriders, and Watson have discussed having a community day at the ballpark sometime over the next two weeks or so, and if the plan comes to fruition, then it could have a scrimmage between the two teams.

The plan would give many of the Big Sticks a chance to see live pitching and get their competitive juices flowing again.

All players will be tested for the coronavirus when they get to Dickinson, and the Big Sticks have even requested that they be tested before they leave their hometowns or college towns to come to the Midwest.


Watson said that they will do everything they can to ensure the safety of their players, host families and everyone involved.

“It is a great feeling and one thing I have been preaching is that if the Big Sticks have a season, then that means things are getting back to normal,” he said. “We will still make measures to make sure everyone is abiding by the regulations. Everyone is excited to get back to the ballpark and we have had tremendous support on social media when we released that we will be playing.”

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