Legion baseball is slowly coming to an end and teams across the state are getting ready for their divisional and district tournaments.
The Minot Metros are the sixth seed in the west division and head to Watford City on Thursday. We caught up with the team to ask them their thoughts on how this season is going.
“Baseball is so hard. It’s the weirdest game ever. The fact that you fail more times than you succeed is insane,” said Minot Metros Assistant Coach Craig Schmich.
Schmich was originally the Minot Expos coach, but the two teams combined early in the season because of a lack of players to fill two rosters.
“I’ve seen them grow up as a group. That was kind of my goal is to come in here and try to make them as tough as I possibly could: mentally, physically that way they’re just ready to play,” said Schmich.
Right now, the team is 10-8 this season.
“It’s going a lot worse than I thought it was going to go, honestly. I expected us to come in here and just roll every team. I know we have that possibility, we’re a good enough team. Just the focus isn’t there and we kind of lose track of what we should be doing and so it’s kind of mediocre at this point,” said catcher/first baseman Tyler Collins.
Earlier this month, they played doubleheaders for eight consecutive days.
“I can tell that our team is very tired,” said pitcher/first baseman Eddie Fry.
They agree the team is tired not only physically, but mentally too. And having to play so many games in a row can have its ups and downs.
“They have to realize that failure is going to happen, what are you going to do next? You drop a pop-fly, oh well, go get the next one. You miss a ground ball, same thing. It’s so hard. The game of baseball is so hard and you can definitely let it defeat, but that’s where the mental toughness comes in,” said Schmich.
“Like if you go out on the mound and just have a bad day, and then you have to come in and go play first or whatever, it can be harder but it’s doable,” said Fry.
“I need to just stay focused at the plate. I need to keep my head at the plate. I think the rest of the team struggles with that, too. We kind of…we’re all kind of head cases. Like say we strike out or pop-out, a lot of us carry that onto the next at-bat. So, if we work on that, I think we’ll be just alright,” said Collins.
“When you come out here and you have a bad day, like, whether it be in school, life, whatever. You’re going to have to come back out here and play baseball and you’re going to have to flush that and just go to what you need to do,” said Schmich.
And while it takes seven innings to determine a winner, Schmich says he only needs one.
“You can tell whether they really want to be there or if they’ve kind of just zoned out and checked out for the day. That’s what’s frustrating for me and Dalton Cooper as well, is that the talent is there, it’s just the focus. If they just check out, we’re going to be a pretty bad baseball team. But when they’re there, we’re really, really good,” he said.
They all have the same goal in mind this week, to win the regional tournament and then go on to state.
For Collins, he feels like they have something to prove.
“I want to be that team in state. Like, I want us to go into state and everybody’s like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s that Minot team. They’re good,'” said Collins.
The Metros start play on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.