Bismarck Baseball has had flashes of greatness this season, at one point winning 5 of 8 in a stretch, and playing close games against top teams like Minot and Legacy. But the next step is translating those moral victories to actual victories come tournament time.
Coming into 2021, most teams hit the reset button, and no team had to do that more than Bismarck Baseball.
“This year was really the first year we had a true traditional tryout I think in a long time,” says head coach Scott Kinnischtzke. “Where we really had so many wild cards and we’re still trying to figure out where those kids fit. We’re sprinkling them in where we can. I think right now, we have a better idea of where we are than say a month ago.”
Coach Kinneschtzke says his defense has improved greatly over the season, leading to more confidence in the pitchers to get the plays made.
“Pitchers want to come in and strike everybody out,” says senior Nic Devine. “And in high school baseball, that’s not going to happen anywhere. So I’m really trusting the guys. It’s a believe it when I see it type of thing. You got to let those players give you the confidence to do that. Not necessarily putting pitches over the plate but trusting that if you miss a spot, you have a pretty good chance that you’re getting an out.”
Bismarck has heated up at the plate as well, finding hits when they need them through an aggressive approach.
“We definitely go up to the plate now looking for hits,” says senior Lucas Schell. “Not looking for walks. We’re definitely looking to get those extra bases on the base paths. Doing the extra to get more out of it.”
With no real separation in the WDA, Bismarck feels they can be a team that can get hot and make a state tournament.
“If we take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves,” says Kinnischtzke. “And they’re starting to pick up on that. We’re cutting down on the mental mistakes and the physical mistakes are getting better too.”