The Bismarck Reps are a young baseball team learning the fundamentals as they go, and a big part of that is focusing on goals. The biggest goal is earning a spot in the state tournament, and they’re doing the extra work to get there.
“Normally on the weekends we’ll have the weekends off, but I think a lot of us have been going to the cages, or trying to play catch or just trying to stay focused on baseball,” infielder Tommy Kraljic said.
For the Reps, being mentally prepared for tournament time is just as important as being physically prepared.
“You know they learn to do mental reps and they learn to visualize, and they learn to be ready when they come to the ball park,” head coach Troy Olson said. “As the summer goes on we usually see improvement in that area, and it’s kind of fun to watch.”
And the Reps offense has been fun to watch, averaging 8 runs per game. A smarter approach at the plate is what they say has provided the spark.
“Trying to learn to hit the outside pitch and learning to hit the off-speed pitches, because you’re not going to get fastballs down the can every single time,” Kraljic said. “So we have to be willing and ready to hit anything that crosses the plate.”
The Reps will need plenty of offense to accomplish their goal and punch a ticket to the state tournament, and they’ve set themselves up well going into the west division as the two seed.
“Now, you know, we’re in a situation where it’s win or go home, and so we’ve got to play our best baseball,” Olson said. “Everybody else at tournament time steps it up and if you don’t step it up you might find yourself out of the tourney early, which is something we definitely don’t want to see.”
The Reps open the tournament in Watford City against Williston.