Head coach Jack Dickey begins his seventh season at the helm of the Blue Eye Bulldogs baseball program. Dickey, who is in his 21st season overall, has a career record of 325-219, and is optimistic that his young Bulldog team will be able to compete for a district title.
“Graduation resulted in our team losing 90 percent of last year’s offense,” said Dickey. “We also lost two of our top three pitchers. This group of players has shown that they can do a good job of pitching and playing defense.”
The Bulldogs, who went 22-16 last year between fall and spring seasons, will have to replace several All-SWCL players, including pitcher Christian Melcher, catcher Zach Jones, infielder Adam Butler, and outfielders Dalton Moore and Mitchell Sommer.
Seniors Tanner Snowden (IF/P), Brady Christensen (OF), and Peyton Stumph (DH) bring starting experience to this young squad. Junior Jacob Porter and sophomore Ryan Reagan also started games in the infield or at pitcher for Blue Eye last year.
Three juniors earned varsity letters last year and will be looking to improve their stats this season. They are Weston Parton (C), Michael Bulone (P/Inf) and Luke Dawson (Inf). Sophomore pitcher Riley Linscott also earned a varsity letter last year.
Having lost six lettermen from last year may seem hard to replace, but these Bulldogs are up for the challenge.
Two new faces looking to earn varsity innings this season are junior Jacob Bahr (P/Inf) and freshman Chase McClenathan (C/OF).
“Our top three pitchers are juniors,” said Dickey. “Four of our top six hitters will be underclassmen. One good aspect about the program is the difference in skill and ability. There is little baseball skills and ability difference between our top twelve players.”
Playing in the SWCL is a challenge for most schools and the conference has become one of the top baseball conferences in the area. Billings, Galena and Clever are all ranked in the top ten preseason coaches polls for their class. Add to them Forsyth, Crane and Spokane, all having won district titles in the past two years, and one can see that this conference is stacked. Blue Eye will have to learn quickly to hit and play defense if they want to challenge for the conference and district titles.
“If our hitting improves and we are able to stay healthy, we have a chance for a district championship,” said Dickey.