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Northwoods League: Sagedahl's back in action

After stints with the Bismarck Larks and Bird Island Bullfrogs, Jordan Sagedahl is now playing for the Willmar Stingers.

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Stingers second baseman Jordan Sagedahl smiles in the dugout during a game against the Mankato MoonDogs on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — Jordan Sagedahl played for the Bird Island Bullfrogs, an amateur baseball team, in the Corn Belt League made up of teams around west central Minnesota, up until July 24.

Then, he would soon realize the remainder of his summer would quickly change.

Earlier this year, Sagedahl played seven games for the Bismarck Larks in the Northwoods League before the team terminated his temporary contract . His last game with the team was June 22.

Sagedahl, who will soon be heading into his third year at South Dakota State University, traveled back to his hometown of Olivia and spent the next 32 days playing for the Bullfrogs until hile working at Grizzly Buildings & Supply in Danube.

During this time, Sagedahl enjoyed where he was at, getting to play baseball in his hometown with an amateur baseball team he had previously spent two summers with.

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The 20-year-old had aspirations to return to the Northwoods League full-time in the summer of 2023, but those aspirations came to fruition much quicker than he expected.

The Willmar Stingers dialed his number, signing him to the team on July 31.

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Stingers second baseman Jordan Sagedahl throws the ball toward first base in a game against the Mankato MoonDogs on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

With the Stingers recently seeing departures of infielders JT Navyac and Christian Dicochea, the team needed to fill those roster spots for infield depth as the end of the season and playoffs approaching.

Not only did the Stingers dial his number, but Sagedahl also played for Willmar that same night on July 31 in a 27-2 win over his former team, the Bismarck Larks .

Sagedahl has played in every Stingers game since his arrival.

In four games, Sagedahl has four hits with a .250 batting average and .417 slugging percentage. He has recorded four runs, two RBIs, a pair of doubles, a stolen base and a walk.

"It's been great. I've been meeting a lot of new guys," Sagedahl said. "I knew two guys on the team, prior to arriving — Drey Dirksen and Brian Baker — so that has helped me come here just knowing a couple of guys. It's been a lot of fun. It's a great program, a great team."

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The possibility of playing for the Stingers this summer was always on the back-burner for Sagedahl with him being 30 minutes south of Bill Taunton Stadium. He just didn't think Willmar co-owner Ryan Voz would give him an opportunity this late in the season.

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The Bullfrogs begin their playoff run at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Region 4C playoffs in Spicer. However, there are no hard feelings between Sagedahl and his Bird Island teammates.

Sagedahl told his Bullfrogs teammates when he first arrived earlier this summer about the possibility of playing for Willmar. Then, he texted the team when the opportunity arrived.

"It's hard to let one of your best players go once the playoffs start," Bird Island manager Mike Nagel said. "However, we're thrilled for Jordan and hopefully it helps him develop as a baseball player, so he can be the best he can be."

Sagedahl will remain with the Stingers until the end of the season. He reports back to college August 20 and the last possible scheduled playoffs game is August 18, weather permitting.

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Stingers second baseman Jordan Sagedahl makes contact at the plate in a game against the Mankato MoonDogs on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Stingers field manager Freddy Smith enjoys having infield depth and the addition of Sagedahl because of his versatility.

"Jordan can play second, third and corner outfield," Smith said. "He is a physical kid, not the biggest, but he has a good swing to the opposite side gap. ... He's had a great first impression."

Since Sagedahl has been with the Stingers, the team holds a 3-1 record while outscoring opponents 68-27.

Willmar and the St. Cloud Rox are tied for first in the Great Plains West Division overall. Both teams are 42-17 this season. Only the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have a better record (51-12).

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No team has a higher win percentage than the Stingers in the second half (.840), who hold a 21-4 record to lead the Great Plains West Division. St. Cloud won the Great Plains East in the first half of the season.

"It's a fun situation to go into," Sagedahl said of Willmar's success so far this season.

More by Michael Lyne:
Willmar completed a comeback against the Rox in 6-5 win.
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Bird Island beats Raymond to reach Region 4C championship.
The Stingers will face off against the St. Cloud Rox in the first round of the playoffs.

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in June 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at mlyne@wctrib.com, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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