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Nice weather, good competition awaits DSU baseball in Tucson

It wasn't a rubber ground. It wasn't a weight room. It wasn't a football field blanketed by snow, and it wasn't a makeshift baseball diamond inside a cavernous U.S. Bank Stadium.

It wasn't a rubber ground. It wasn't a weight room. It wasn't a football field blanketed by snow, and it wasn't a makeshift baseball diamond inside a cavernous U.S. Bank Stadium.

For the first time since the fall, it was a real life, outside diamond, and it was in 90-degree Tucson, Ariz.

That's what awaited the Dickinson State baseball team Friday, after a little more than day on the road.

The Blue Hawks left town on Thursday morning and got to Tucson around Friday afternoon.

So far, it's been baseball heaven, at least compared to what head coach Jason Watson was working with in snowy Dickinson.

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"Something about the warm weather, the attitudes pick up, the tempo picks up. Getting away from the chilly weather, being able to have a full field to practice on in the sun, it's different," Watson said. "You can tell the mood from the guys has been a lot better. Day one, getting to stretch your legs on a diamond after being on a bus so long is good. Some live reads, some batting practice, it's definitely beneficial for us."

The Blue Hawks, after being swept by Minnesota-Crookston inside at U.S. Bank Stadium last weekend, enter their spring trip at 3-7, a record that includes the 3-5 tally from the fall.

They open up today with a double-header against Briar Cliff (Iowa), a familiar opponent over the years, and will play 10 games overall in the next week.

They'll see North Star Athletic Association opponent Waldorf twice, as well; that will be the only matchup this year with the Warriors, who play in the southern division of the NSAA. It will go down as a non-conference double-header.

Next is another two against NCAA Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State, with the final four against four different schools, including Westmont (Calf.), currently ranked No. 21 in the NAIA.

"Westmont is by far the best team that we'll play. We're looking to put together a good game and pull out a win against a very good team," Watson said. "But they're good, a very prestigious program. It'll be a good test for us."

After dropping both last weekend, the goal Watson and his Blue Hawks discussed this week regarding their trip was to get back to 10-10 before the final month and a half stretch of baseball.

That would mean a 7-3 clip.

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"I think we're very capable of doing that," Watson said. "We've just got to start putting complete games together, start playing as errorless baseball as possible. If we do that, we'll have a good shot at reaching our goal."

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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