On the hunt for number six: DHS baseball seeks state title in Mandan
The Class A baseball tournament gets underway this Thursday in Mandan.
Baseball for Dickinson High has been a sport rich with history.
They’ve won the state championship five times, an accomplishment that no other team have surpassed. The most being no more than two titles.
They are no strangers to the big stage. They have missed out on the state tournament just five times since 2000, most recently in 2018. It’s a competition the Midgets were dominant in during the early 2000s, claiming the championship four times between 2001 and 2009.
The success has worn off just a bit with only one title since then, coming in 2016. But the Midgets pose a threat each time they step foot on the diamond.
However, they will have to shake off some rust after falling short in the WDA tournament.
In each of their three games in last week’s tournament the Midgets were slow to begin games, as they fell behind in either the first or second inning.
Save for the semi-final round against Century, where they scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning after falling behind 1-0, Dickinson found themselves climbing out of an early deficit.
Another slow start in the final against Legacy cost them a seventh WDA tournament championship, something head coach Pete Dobitz had some concerns about going into the tournament
“It’s been how we’ve been playing our last couple of weeks,” Dobitz said to the press after their quarterfinal win against Bismarck. “Starting slow and then keeping the pressure on and able to finish strong. We keep preaching it’s going to come back and bite us.”
Their first matchup in their quest for a sixth state will be against West Fargo High, the east region’s No. 3 seed on Thursday. The Fargo team earned their spot in the tournament via the east region’s state qualifying matchup, defeating Fargo North 2-1.
The Midgets played the Packers in a doubleheader back on April 17, taking both games by a combined score of 26-18.
In one of the games, a 14-11 victory, Dickinson scored ten runs in the final two innings after being down 11-4 after five.
The other teams on Dickinson’s side of the bracket are Bismarck Century, the west region’s No. 4 seed, and Fargo Shanley, the east region’s top seed, who won their conference tournament as the No. 3 seed and posted a 25-5 regular season record.
But it would be premature to look ahead. It’s a one game at a time mentality at state and one should not be caught looking ahead to the next opponent.
The Midgets will have plenty of firepower going into the tournament. Troy Berg, Aiden Haich, Isaac Daley, Landon Aman, and Logan Bentz earned All-WDA selections this season.
In addition, Dobitz was named the WDA coach of the year.
It would be harsh to consider the Midget’s absence from the summit of NDHSAA baseball a drought, considering they own the most titles out of any team in Class A and regularly pose a threat at the state tournament.
Though this group of players have not reached the championship game, the Midget’s history and confidence in the competition gives them a good shot to emerge as the champions in the eight-team tournament.