Hugelen looking to get back on track for Roughriders

Jaren Hugelen sets up at first base to receive a throw for an out in a game earlier this summer for the Roughriders. (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

Jaren Hugelen started off the season red hot at the plate for the Dickinson Roughriders, but his good start has turned into trying times over the last few games.

Nine games into the season, he was batting over .550, but the last seven he has been in a slump batting under .200. He is now down to a .351 average.

“I was looking for fastballs (to start the season) and if I got one I jumped on it. The offspeed pitch is a little more difficult to hit, so I was just jumping on fastballs,” he said. “(Now) I need to be more calm at the plate. I am a little too jumpy, and I need to be a little more selective and read the pitches better. I need to swing at better pitches. I have been swinging at some pitches that aren’t the greatest, and that has backfired on me lately.”

Hugelen graduated from Dickinson High School in May and is spending his summer playing baseball, but he does not know yet if he is going to be spending his college years playing baseball or hockey.

Several schools have contacted him or are looking at him to play college baseball, including the University of Minnesota Duluth, Bismarck State, Dickinson State, Bemidji State, Fergus Falls, Concordia and even North Dakota State along with several junior colleges in Iowa.


For hockey, the University of Mary and a couple junior hockey teams in the North American Hockey League are courting his service.

“I am not sure which one I am leaning more toward right now,” Hugelen said. “I think it is hockey, but obviously, that could change when it comes time to make a decision.”

He expects a decision to come in about a month in either mid or late July.

Roughriders coach Tyler Frenzel knows which sport he thinks Hugelen should play at the next level, but that is entirely up to him.

“His ability and potential is there (in baseball). I tell him he has the ability to do things that other kids cannot, which is hit the ball out of the ballpark and over the center field fence,” Frenzel said. “For Jaren to become a better baseball player, he needs to become more consistent and a more consistent hitter.”

As of now though, Hugelen is excited about getting better at baseball and coming to a decision in the near future.

He is extremely excited for Thursday night when the Roughriders take on the Badlands Big Sticks in a controlled scrimmage, and he hopes to learn a lot during the experience.

“I am really excited. It is going to be a fun game and good time competing against high level players like the Big Sticks,” he said. “Something I hope to take away from the game is hitting off good pitchers. There are some good pitchers in North Dakota but a lot of them don’t throw too hard. Seeing next level pitching is going to be a positive.”

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