By Greta Klein
Staff writer

As the weather is warming up so has the Hutchinson Community College baseball team. The Blue Dragons have been on a roll this season and look to continue the momentum for the rest of conference play.

The Blue Dragons have started the season well, going 36-9 overall and 21-3 in conference play. These conference games are important not only to get another win but also for seeding later in the season.

“Conference games are where the exciting baseball comes into play,” sophomore Cooper Wesslund said. “We have been handling that well.”

The Blue Dragons lead in several categories as a team in the KJCCC. Hutch leads the Jayhawk West with the best batting average of .357 as well as having a conference-best 163 stolen bases. The Blue Dragons also lead the conference with 420 runs batted in and have a .477 on-base percentage.

“We have been pretty good on all phases so far,” Blue Dragons coach Brock Nehls said. “We have put a lot of pressure on teams offensively that have helped us get on base. Whether that be hit by pitches or walks, we find a way to first base. We do not care how we score runs, just as long as we have one more point than the other team.”

Along with leading in team stats, several players have made individual appearances on the KJCCC leaderboard. Sophomores Kael Babin, Cody Gunderson, Ethan Giesbrecht and freshman Trenton Roehler have placed among the top four in the conference, each in different categories. Babin is second in the conference for stolen bases with 43. Tying for first, Gunderson leads in RBIs with 63 and also holds the third-place spot for having 15 home runs. Giesbrecht is third in strikeouts, having 66.

The Blue Dragons have gone through some hardships this season from playing competitive teams to injured players.

“I think we faced some adversity especially when we (the team) went down to Texas,” sophomore Kael Babin said. “That kind of competition would help us in the long run. ​​We had a little bump in the road when we faced Butler, but everything else since then has been pretty good.”

While these circumstances can take a toll on the team as a whole, other players are stepping up into positions that need to be filled. 

“We are four weeks before playoffs and everybody has some injuries,” Nehls said. “We have guys that are stepping up into important roles. They all have the mentality of next man up, they are going to do what is best for the team.”

Many teams could dwell on situations not going their way, but the Blue Dragons are not one of those teams. They are a close-knit team that has each other’s back at all times.

“The team chemistry is all around good,” sophomore Jacob Hadden said. “Whether we are on the field or off the field, we are brothers.”

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One thought on “Blue Dragon baseball team continues strong run toward conference title

  1. Matt says:

    Love this. Keep it up.

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