Warrior Baseball Team Advances to Region and Super Regional Tournaments
May 18, 2022
The Ridgewater College baseball team finished their regular season with three wins over M-State Fergus Falls on May 8. With those wins, the Warriors clinched a spot in the Region XIII Baseball Tournament in St. Cloud May 13 and 14. This is the first time since 2016 that the Warrior baseball team has advanced to the Region Tournament.
At the Region Tournament, Ridgewater College, along with St. Cloud Community and Technical College (SCTCC), Rochester Community and Technical College, and Central Lakes College, won their way to the Region 13/North Plains District Final Four Super Regional tournament taking place May 19-21.
The Super Regional Tournament will be hosted by SCTCC at the Municipal Athletic Complex at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the NJCAA Division III World Series in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Tickets for the Region 13 tournament can be purchased online. Online ticket purchases are recommended and cheaper than buying at the door. The daily ticket gains access to either field for that day.
- Thursday, May 19: https://www.vancoevents.com/21515
- Friday, May 20: https://www.vancoevents.com/21516
- Saturday, May 21: https://www.vancoevents.com/21517
Thursday, May 19th
- Game 1: 2pm Rochester vs. Ridgewater
- Game 2: 5pm Central Lakes vs. St. Cloud
Friday, May 20th
- Game 3: 11:00am Winner game 1 vs. Winner game 2
- Game 4: 2:30pm Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
- Game 5: 6:00pm Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Saturday, May 21
- Game 6: Championship 11:00am Winner game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
- Game 7: (If necessary) 2:30pm- Same teams if neither team has two losses
Below is an excerpt from an interview with Coach Tyler Hebrink on the Warriors Season as they headed into the Regional Tournament.
Can you breakdown your season a little bit first, and in your opinion what were the biggest reasons that this team qualified for the region tournament for the first time in 6 years?
- This season was one that started with a lot of unknowns. We were the only baseball team in the MCAC to not compete last year so we knew we were going to be behind the 8-ball in that regard going into the season. I think it took a little time for our guys to get acclimated to how a college baseball season works, and once we did that we really started to play well, especially down the stretch of our season. I think one of the biggest reasons that we were able to qualify for the region tournament this year is our team chemistry. I know this is a cliche for coaches to talk about when it comes to there team, but this team is so incredibly close that they were able to really lean on one another throughout the long season. A college baseball season starts in September with fall ball, but we don’t actually play games until March so it is a long season for guys, and this group really embraced the work throughout the fall season and into winter workouts. I think having that close chemistry with one another is what allowed our guys to push each other throughout the year because we set a goal at the beginning of the year to make it to the region tournament so they have worked extremely hard with one another to achieve that goal. Lastly, I think our guys willingness to be coached and there drive to get better is another reason why we are where we are right now. One player cannot win you baseball games, it takes a team effort and that effort needs to be grounded in things like hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and perseverance. This team understands that.
What are a couple of keys to your first round matchup against North Dakota School of Science this Thursday?
- Well, NDSCS is the only team in our region tournament that isn’t actually from the MCAC Conference so that makes it a little challenging in regards to formulating some sort of scouting report. I have been in contact with a couple teams that have played NDSCS this year to hear there thoughts, but in reality, the keys of this game will come down to controlling things that we can control. If we stay aggressive at the plate, throw quality strikes, and run bases like we have all year then we will be just fine. The ability to minimize mistakes is also crucial for our team so playing a clean defensive game will be a big key on Thursday.
What ingredients make for successful baseball in the Region XIII tournament?
- Everything is heightened at the region tournament. Every team in this tournament has played well throughout the season to get to this point so the talent level is through the roof, with that, every little pitch and every little play becomes that much more important. I think in order to be successful you have to find ways to play loose and have the ability to slow the game down. From a baseball perspective, pitchers need to throw strikes and quality strikes at that. These games are 9 innings now, and that is a bit of a change for guys considering our conference games are only 7 innings. The other thing is, every pitcher we will face will be a #1 or #2 so timely hitting is going to be extremely important for our success. Lastly, playing fundamentally sound baseball from a defensive perspective is crucial. We work on fundamentals every single day in preparation for being able to handle the tight moments in big games. I believe we have every ingredient necessary to make a deep run this weekend.
Are there certain guys or leaders that you have leaned on throughout this season?
- We have had so many tremendous efforts from guys throughout the season, and it has seemed like in each win that we have had this season that a new guy has stepped up in a crucial moment. Guys like Tyler Flis, Tyler Traphagen, Brad Bickmann, Reece Schwirtz, and Jadrien Keavy are all guys who we have all leaned on in certain moments. Josh Robb is another guy who has two home-runs on the year, and both of them were massively important grand slams. We have been getting efforts like this from so many guys up and down our lineup all year, even the guys who haven’t played as much as others have truly embraced there role as bench leaders for our team, and they bring the energy each game that we need. I can’t wait to see what these guys do later this week, and hopefully more people from around the state will see how special of a group this is.
What was the highlight memory or take away from the regular season?
- This is an extremely difficult question because we have had so many great memories from the regular season. I think the biggest thing that I will take away from the regular season has to be the overall camaraderie that this group has. It has been incredible for me to coach this group because they all get along, and they all work hard in order to achieve the goals that we set forth at the beginning of the year. For me, that is what it is all about. The memories that each player on this team has made with one another will last them much longer then a result of a simple baseball game.