DSU baseball looking for hot start
During the fall ball season, Dickinson State junior Eric Seiler created a motto for the baseball team: "start hot, get hotter." The Blue Hawks took it to heart in their season opener last weekend and won their series against University of Minneso...
During the fall ball season, Dickinson State junior Eric Seiler created a motto for the baseball team: “start hot, get hotter.”
The Blue Hawks took it to heart in their season opener last weekend and won their series against University of Minnesota-Crookston 3-2 in Miles City, Mont.
“We got to start hot and get hotter,” said Seiler, who finished the series with a win and two saves pitching and eight RBI and four hits batting. “We started out with winning the series, but we want to get hotter. We want to be hungry, we want to get more and more wins, we want to sweep the series and all that kind of stuff.”
Though the season is in its infancy stage, DSU is off to a better start than the previous season, when they split a four-game series with Dakota-Wesleyan (S.D.). Last year didn’t go as planned for the Blue Hawks. The team finished a dismal 12-40 overall and were outscored by opponents 410-208.
To remedy the situation, DSU head coach Jason Watson brought in 16 new players, between freshmen and junior college transfers, to increase the amount of competition within the team.
“Last year we had a very talented team, we just didn’t put it together and every once in a while you’ll have seasons like that,” he said. “I went out and brought in quite a few guys that make sure everyone is competing against each other. If you’re competing against the next guy, you’re getting better, the next guy is getting better, the program is getting better.”
The weekend series was a good measuring stick for the team, but especially the new players to showcase what they can offer. A few of them didn’t disappoint.
One of the top newcomers is junior Jacob Hignite - an infielder from Lewis and Clark State (Colo.). In 18 at bats, Hignite scored eight runs, had six RBI and hit two home runs.
One of the more recognizable new faces is DSU true freshman and Dickinson High graduate Dylan Skabo. Skabo came up clutch for the Blue Hawks with the game-winning run in game four of the series. He scored six runs total and had five hits.
“Playing in the same town I grew up in is nice,” Skabo said. “Just being familiar with all the facilities and stuff is a pretty easy transition from high school to college.”
Watson also added some arms in the rotation with Tony Roberts and Josh Schuller. Both played last weekend and Roberts walked away with a no decision and Schuller was credited with a loss.
“He’s a big pitcher for us and we’re hoping for good things from him,” Watson said about Schuller. “He’s probably the best velocity on the team and has a splitter that’s very good.”
So far, the competition has been embraced by the team, whether it’s a newcomer or a veteran player.
“They bring a lot of heart which helps with our chemistry on and off the field which is huge,” DSU senior Jordan Tescher said. “Especially in the games when we were down early. No one put their tail between their legs and the new guys stepped up, old guys and coach did too. Everybody has heart this year which is different for us.”
Hignite added: “We haven’t been on the field since September so getting on the field and seeing everybody work together for the first five games was outstanding. Teamwork was good, no one hopped on anybody and everyone picked each other up when we needed it so I think we worked really well.”
The Blue Hawks continue their season traveling to the College of Idaho for a weekend series starting at noon today. DSU proved it can score and score early in games, but couldn’t finish them out. In games one and four in its series against Crookston, the Golden Eagles outscored DSU 19-0 in the final five innings of the games.
“We’re excited to get out, it’s supposed to be nicer weather and get to be on the field and not wear hoodies and everything,” Skabo said. “Just try and get on the field again and work on that team comradery some more and get out there and play.”