Dickinson Baseball Ready For Conference Play After Undefeated Spring Break trip

Dickinson Baseball went 8-0 on their spring break trip and have since improved their record to 12-5-1. With conference play starting Saturday, April first, the Red Devils look fit for a strong year. 

Dickinson has not just relied on one part of the team for wins. They are getting positive contributions up and down the roster. 

Coach Craig Hanson spoke about the balanced success,  “some of the games on the trip, we scored a ton of runs and our bats led the way. We had others, though, where our pitching held down the fort and gave our hitters time. It’s been nice to see, day in day out, one group or the other showing up. There’s been some [games] where the pitching and hitting has been working and those are the best, of course.”

The confidence is understandably high for the players after the roaring start but Hanson wants to keep them grounded. “The 8-0 week was great and when you add that on top of the success we had early in the season against good teams, it’s even better. Our guys know they can compete with anybody. They understand the consistency in terms of having to show up every day and the effort needed to be competitive at this level. We want to be firing on all cylinders when conference play comes around and we don’t want to peak too early,” said Hanson.

“All in all, it’s tough to find flaws in an 8-0 week but, at the same time, we talk about learning while we win,” Hanson added. There is a clear hunger in the team and a clear emphasis on always improving. Referring to the early games in the season, Coach Hanson said, “we treated them all like they were the most important game on the schedule.” 

Even though the games were treated seriously, there was a clear focus on giving young players opportunities. 

“We went into it with an open mindset. We wanted to see everybody. Every time a new person got a chance to be out there was an exciting time for us. Just to be able to see how they responded and we got great play out of a lot of our guys. We’re always looking for opportunities to get young guys into games and get them more experience.”

Like other Dickinson teams we cover, Dickinson baseball has had an influx of exciting young talent. Hanson said, “we have a very young team. At any given point, [the majority] of players on the field will be Freshmen and Sophomores. The trip was about growth. Obviously, we wanted to win some games, but we have been trying to build experience and confidence in our younger players throughout the non-conference season. We want them to get a good feel for what our conference play is going to look like.” 

He added that the trip helped acclimate the team for the season. “We’ve challenged ourselves with some nationally ranked opponents in the hopes to prepare them for our conference season. So, for us, the trip was a chance for us to get a lot of guys a lot of game time and to really develop their skill sets. We want to ease guys into it and set them for success. It takes time for people to get used to the speed of the game,” he said.

Dickinson’s players were stars on their high school teams but, now, many will have to get used to a role on the bench. Hanson said, “yeah, it’s tough because they are coming into a situation where they were relied on but have to take a step back. Then figuring out their role on the team, embracing that role and working to make sure they are ready to go when their number is called.” 

Hanson also said, “we talk about running your own race. Rather than sit there worrying and complaining. It’s having a conversation with a coaching staff on what someone can do to improve to play more. The guys are always getting chances in practice and, if they do well, they will definitely see more play time.” 

The Red Devils seem to have found keys to success with their all around game and contributions from players from all classes. 

The team has also found chemistry along the way. “I think right now it is the team chemistry and unity. I think that it’s a group of guys that have invested in each other and themselves. They work hard, and that hard work is starting to pay off. It takes a little while to figure out how the team will click. This year it’s been really positive. The guys love each other. It’s a family. It’s a brotherhood and it’s been fun to be a part of,” Hanson said. 

Hanson said, “I was proud of the way the guys played all week and I think we left Florida playing better baseball than when we got there.