What: VCSU baseball @ Dickinson State
When: Saturday - 1/3 p.m. MDT; Sunday - 12/2 p.m. MDT
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After just four days off following a 16-game, 12-day stretch in Arizona, the Viking baseball team is scheduled to play its first in-state games this weekend.
Valley City State is scheduled to play doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday at Dickinson State. As of Thursday afternoon, Saturday's forecast in Dickinson called for a high near 59 degrees and mostly sunny skies. Sunday's games could be in jeopardy with the forecast calling for a chance of rain and a high near 40 degrees. Game times are 1/3 p.m. mountain time on Saturday, and 12/2 p.m. mountain time on Sunday.
VCSU wrapped up its spring trip to Arizona on Monday, and returned to Valley City on Tuesday. The Vikings posted a 5-11 record on the trip and are now 9-18 overall. Dickinson also spent some time in Arizona this month and posted a 1-9 record. The Blue Hawks are 4-18 overall.
Dickinson State will join the five North Star Athletic Association schools for the North Star/Frontier Conference Tournament in early May. This weekend's games will count toward standings that determine seeds for the postseason tournament.
VCSU enters the weekend with eight players hitting .300 or better this season. Kevin Jones leads the way with a blistering .600 average (15-25) in limited at bats. He missed the second half of the spring trip after an injury.
Brady Anderson has been on fire at the plate, batting .447 with 12 extra-base hits and a .697 slugging percentage. Anderson is batting .535 over the last nine games and has 11 hits in the last three games.
Other players batting over .300 include: Hayden Johnson (.364), Dan Buehner (.344), Cole Honl (.330), Robert Wiley (.328), Nate Bagby (.328) and Anthony Necochea (.326).
The Viking pitching staff has been led by consistent senior Bryce Venaas. The Fargo native has been solid in all his starts this year, and has posted a 2-3 record and a 2.49 ERA in 43 1/3 innings pitched. Mike Gershman, primarily an outfielder, was very solid on the mound during the spring trip. He's posted a 3.44 ERA in 18 1/3 innings pitched.
Corey Pudas (5.40 ERA), Brandon Welinski (5.40 ERA), Jaime Villarreal (5.84 ERA), Chip Rosales (6.15 ERA) and Chris Holden (6.58 ERA) are all expected to pitch significant innings this weekend as well.