By Harry Lipsiea
The Thompson American Legion baseball team is excited about making back to the State Class B tournament. For many of the players and coach Brady Schwab, the event beginning Wednesday in Langdon will be their second state baseball tournament in two months. At the end of May, the high school team qualified for state.
By Harry Lipsiea The Thompson American Legion baseball team is excited about making back to the State Class B tournament. For many of the players and coach Brady Schwab, the event beginning Wednesday in Langdon will be their second state baseball tournament in two months.
At the end of May, the high school team qualified for state. Now, the group is looking forward to keep a successful 20-3 campaign going as long as possible. Schwab, a native of Devils Lake, pointed out that the Northeast Region champion Thompson features an experienced core of athletes.
"We are a team dominated by older players," Schwab told the Journal Monday afternoon. "Our experience is definitely something we will look to rely on."
While a majority of the squad has several of years of starting experience under their belts, three starters also play on Thompson's Babe Ruth Team who qualified for state. Their tournament begins Friday in New Rockford. If the legion squad stays alive into Friday, the three players will be transported back-in-forth in attempt to play in both tournaments.
"It is kind of a tough situation, because you feel bad that the kids have to travel so much," Schwab stated. "But, it's a good problem to have, because it means you have programs that are doing well."
The team opens up the state tournament Wednesday against Nelson County at 4 p.m. The Owls, the two seed in the Central Region, feature a youthful, solid squad, the coach noted.
"They are a quality opponent," the second-year head coach of Thompson stated. "Nelson County is a really solid defensive baseball team who is well coached. It's going to be a very tough game to open up state."
Schwab has enjoyed his time coaching in Thompson. He is in his second year as the head mentor of the legion while he was in his first year as head coach of the high school team this spring.
The Devils Lake High School graduate also coaches football for the Tommies. Prior to moving to Thompson with his family, Schwab was a teacher and coach in Minnesota for 10 years.
"I've had a good experience here in Thompson," he stated. "I've really enjoyed coaching this group again this summer."
Now, the legion team is looking for a strong performance at state.
"When we are doing the right things and playing fundamental baseball, this group has been very successful. When we don't play with good fundamentals, we tend to struggle," he stated. "It should be pretty wide-open tournament. Pitching and defense are always important, but usually whoever is hitting the ball the best in the tournament is the team that comes out on top."