WILLMAR— Drey Dirksen seems to be making the adjustment to college baseball well this spring.
That’s the report from Tom DeBoer, his high school coach at Willmar.
Dirksen is a back-up catcher for Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Vikings, who are an NCAA Division II school headed to Division I next year, are 18-6 heading into the weekend.
Dirksen, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound freshman, is batting .385 with a home run and 11 RBI. He also has three doubles and a triple heading into a three-game series starting Saturday at Concordia-St. Paul.
“He’s doing really well,” said DeBoer, who pitched for Augustana.
“I encouraged him to look into (Augustana),” DeBoer admitted.
Dirksen, who briefly played for Augustana in 2020 when the pandemic shut down the season in March, is also set to play for the Willmar Stingers this summer for the second straight season.
Bluejay headed to Fergus
Central Minnesota Christian senior guard Nyssa Vogel is headed to Minnesota State-Fergus Falls to continue her basketball career.
The Spartans are a two-year school in the same conference as Ridgewater. MS-Fergus Falls is coached by Jodi Holleman, whose coaching career has included stops at Hancock and Ridgewater.
Vogel averaged 9.3 points, 2.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game for CMCS. She shot 32% from the field for the Bluejays.
“I am extremely excited to add Nyssa to our roster,” Holleman said in a statement. “She is a great fit right now with our current basketball team and she is the kind of athlete every coach wants in their program.”
Vogt set the Bluejays’ 3-point field goal record in one game by hitting nine threes against Lac qui Parle Valley, finishing with 27 points.
MS-Fergus Falls played during the 2020-21 season, winning the Region XIII title by defeating Riverland Community College 73-63 in the championship game April 3.
The Willmar Stingers have signed two more players for the 2021 Northwoods League season, Jakob Newton and Sasha Jabusch. Newton is a junior outfielder at Florida Tech University. Jabusch is a senior pitcher at Northwest Nazarene University.
The Stingers picked up Newton from the Thunder Bay Border Cats, who won’t be playing in 2021 because the Canadian border is closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Newton was selected in the 16th round of a league draft conducted over the winter.
In 2019, Newton batted .292 in 61 games with the Border Cats, hitting three home runs with 23 RBI. He is hitting .282 in 24 games at Florida Tech. He’s from Oakville, Canada.
Jabusch is a left-hander from Kelso, Washington. He has made four starts this spring for Northwest Nazarene, posting a 2-2 record in 20 1/3 innings. He has struck out 29 and walked five. The Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks are located in Nampa, Idaho.
Newton and Jabusch bring the number of Stingers under contract for the season to 20. Willmar’s in its 12th year as a franchise.
The Stingers open the season May 31 at Bismarck, North Dakota. Their home-opener is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday against the Eau Claire Express.
Because Thunder Bay won’t be able to play, the Northwoods has created the Minnesota Mud Puppies for the 2021 season. It’ll play the entire season on the road, 36 games, which is half a normal Northwoods League schedule. The Mud Puppies field manager is Sean Repay, who was with the league’s Bismarck Larks and is the head coach at Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana.
* Heading into the weekend, former BOLD star Jordan Sagedahl is batting .140 for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. He’s 7-for-50 in 16 games with a home run and four RBI. The home run, the first of his career, came March 28 at Western Illinois. Sagedahl, a freshman, is catching and playing third base.
* Former Willmar Cardinal wrestler Clay Carlson wound up eighth in the nation at 141 pounds. The sophomore for South Dakota State wrapped up the season with a 20-9 record and wrestling in the NCAA Division I national championships in late March in St. Louis.
* On April 10, former Willmar Cardinal star Leah Hansen won the 5,000 meter race at the Joe Walker Invitational Track Meet at the University of Mississippi.
It was a huge meet, with 27 colleges. Hansen was one of 40 runners in the event. Her time of 16 minutes, 18.80 seconds set a University of Mississippi outdoor stadium record. She won the race by four seconds. The time placed her second on the Jackrabbits’ all-time list for the event. Her next race is Thursday at the Drake Relays. Hansen will run the 10,000.