Hettinger/Scranton Bears ready to compete at state tournament

Bowman Little League team, the Green Sox (pictured with their coaches), won the little league tournament championship against Lemmon on their home field in Bowman. (Courtesy Photo)

The Bears are ready to play.
On Thursday, July 27, the team packed up and headed northwest to Thompson, N.D. for the Class B State Babe Ruth tournament.
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“We’re ready to play,” said Nolan Dix, head coach of the Bears. “We know we can compete.”
The team has a plethora of hitters and pitchers that should be able to stand up with the rest of the best in the state. Dix said his plan for his team is to be aggressive and force the action, something they are taking from a team a few years when Hettinger hosted the tournament.
“When we had it here two years ago Thompson did that,” he said. “They got into a point where they were bunting, and stealing, frustrating the other team.”
Dix said they are going to look at keeping their opponents off balance.
The coach—who also just guided the Post 115 Legion team through the season—is going to have his hitters practice patience, something they’ve done all year.
“We watch a lot of pitches,” Dix said. “If you end up see six, seven pitches, and end up striking out, that’s still a good at-bat, because you’ve already given the pitcher seven, eight pitches.”
By employing this method, Dix hopes they can figure the pitcher out or get them to their bullpen early.
Dix said his team’s fielding has been pretty clean, with the exception of a few errors throughout the season. Something that’s to be expected.
The tournament starts July 27 and goes through Tuesday, Aug. 2. It’s a double-elimination format and the Bears are guaranteed to play on both Friday and Saturday.
There are eight teams, seven district winners and one at-large spot given to the host team.
“They’re excited to go,” Dix said. “Both communities have gotten behind us…a lot of support.”
The games will be on KNDC with Jon Kohler broadcasting the play-by-play.
Their first game is against Surrey at 1:30 p.m. central time.
“Between Babe Ruth and Legion, we’ve had 20 plus dedicated kids that could have easily just not played because it takes up their summer,” he said. “We’ve got dedicated kids and that’s what builds programs and that’s why we’re going to the state tournament.”

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