North Dakota State Bison baseball hopes maturity becomes wins
FARGO -- The opener for the North Dakota State baseball team is today. The home opener is April 6. What happens on the road between those two dates in most years is a key indicator of a successful season.Last year didn't go so well."We didn't han...
FARGO - The opener for the North Dakota State baseball team is today. The home opener is April 6. What happens on the road between those two dates in most years is a key indicator of a successful season.
Last year didn’t go so well.
“We didn’t handle playing on the road early in the season very well and it snowballed,” said head coach Tod Brown. “Last year we had some complacency and a ton of turnover. We just didn’t gel very well. Every year our season is decided on how we handle the first seven, eight weeks on the road. You can either bury yourself or tread water and get home and make a move.”
The Bison open with a three-game series at Arkansas-Pine Blue this weekend. That’s followed by a four-game series at Lamar University (Texas) and an eight-game swing in Florida against northern teams like Maine, Central Michigan, Michigan State and Boston College. The bonus with neutral-site field games is the Bison will be the home team for a few games.
“I like to play likeable competition, teams that aren’t in the World Series on a consistent basis,” Brown said. “Teams that have snow on their field right now.”
Individually, the Bison will be turning to left-handed pitcher Parker Trewin as a leader. The sixth-year senior received a medical hardship after undergoing surgery to repair nerve damage in his arm last year. He was 7-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 2014 and pitched in the NCAA tournament against UNLV.
“He’s obviously a special pitcher,” Brown said. “It’s all going to start with him. We’re excited to have him back; he was a big part of that championship team. He’s going to be our Friday guy.”
That translates to the team’s No. 1 starter. After Trewin, NDSU returns senior right hander Brian VanderWoude, junior right hander Reed Pfannenstein, junior right handers Sean Terres and Luke Lind and sophomore left hander Blake Stockert
All-Summit League outfielder Ben Petersen is the team’s best returning position player. He hit .355 in 49 games. The top seven hitters from last season are all back.
“As a whole our team is more mature than we were last year,” Brown said.
Two players from Fargo are on the roster. Junior Nick Salentine from Shanley is a right-handed pitcher and will travel. Freshman Carter Thompson from North will redshirt.