The Bismarck Bull Moose make their Northwoods season debut Wednesday night, and a few familiar North Dakota names are on the roster.
When the Bull Moose started to practice a week ago, one player noticeably more excited is Paxton Miller, a former Legacy Saber, and UMary Marauder whose season was cut short.
“I was able to play in three games over the past spring,” said Miller. “But since we were able to only get 12 games in with the shortened season, it’s kind of tough. But coming out and getting the opportunity to play with these guys, it’s just going to be fun for me, and fun for the rest of us.”
Miller isn’t the only North Dakota raised Bull Moose. Current NDSU player and Grand Forks native Calen Schwabe donning the Blue and White.
“A lot of the town ball stuff around here isn’t as competitive as it is in other states,” said Schwabe. “So it’s fun having this opportunity to be able to come out here for the summer, as well as stay local. It’s pretty cool.”
A lot of their teammates are from across the country, many already leaning on them on how they’ll spend their three month season.
“Some guys are asking what there is to do around here and what fun things there are to do,” Schwabe said. “And I basically came out and replied ‘Not a whole lot.’ You got to create your own fun up here.”
Miller says it’s more than winning that’s on his mind this season, using this opportunity to really gauge how good he can be on the mound.
“My fastball can improve, my slider can improve and especially my splitter,” Miller said. “But especially, I need to work on accuracy along with confidence. A lot of these guys are big D1 guys that I’ve never been able to face before and just looking at them, they know how to play the game.”
But nothing will be more thrilling than taking the field in front of that home crowd for these local players.
“And now I have a whole city behind me,” said Miller. “So, hopefully, when my name is first called on the field, I’ll get a huge uproar. That’ll be awesome.”