As the high school baseball season comes to an end, legion play begins.
By COLE BENZ
The Night Hawks baseball team finished 3-17, which included a 2-8 regional record.
Head coach Nolan Dix’s prediction of better hitting came true. Last season (2015) the squad hit .186, and this season Dix’s team hit .284, nearly 100 points over.
The team finished 0-2 in the region tournament this year. They fell to Kidder County in the opening round 5-4 in Bismarck, and lost the following day to Hazen by a score of 4-0.
Pitching is something Dix said he will focus on during the Legion season and during the offseason.
“I’ve encouraged them all to get in the weight room to get [up] their arm strength,” Dix said.
The coach did note that he saw his team improve across all facets of the game.
“All three aspects, pitching, hitting, defense, all improved,” Dix said. “As we got more games I could see the confidence.”
Dix hopes to see some of that carryover into the Legion season as he takes over as head coach from Kelly Pierce.
Roughly 10 kids will be playing on the Hettinger Bears Legion team that played for Dix at the high school. But some, he said, will see time at both the Legion level, and the Babe Ruth level.
The team has 22 games scheduled, or 11 double-headers. The team will play three double-header homestands.
The Bears open up the season at Steele (Kidder County) today.
The regional tournament will be in Bismarck at Shiloh Christian School on July 19-23.
When asked if he has confidence in his team putting the ball in play, Dix said he still believes his team will excel at the bat.
June 26 (H)
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