MANDAN, N.D. - A regular season schedule is generally split where team's play about the same number of home games and road games, that's not the case for the Mandan baseball team. The Braves will be the home team, meaning they get the last at bat but they will not be playing on their home diamond.
Memorial Ballpark is getting a face lift, which means Mandan will not be playing in Mandan this spring.
"It's obviously a little weird. I've been playing baseball my whole life and we've always had our field. And considering that our field is kind of torn down right now, I don't think it's gotten to us to much due to the fact all of our away games were scheduled toward the beginning of the season. That's helps a lot," said Evan Arenz, Mandan senior shortstop/pitcher.
"It's been a bugger. We kind of hoped we'd be on it in May sometime, and at least get a game of two on there, but it's not looking like that's going to happen this spring. When it's all done, it's going to be a nice ballpark. But that's kind of the growing pains you have to go through when you update and upgrade, so we'd hoped it would be done but it doesn't look like it will happen," said Dewitt Mack, Mandan head coach.
Mandan is 6-4 overall and 4-4 in the WDA. Despite the obstacle of the diamond, it's going okay for the Braves so far.
"I like the grit that we have, especially that series against Century. We dropped the first game and coming back and winning the second game that shows a lot about our team. Our fielding has been pretty solid, and as the year goes on, every game I can notice we're hitting the ball better, and we're picking up the ball better from the mound and we're barreling it up better," said Arenz.
The next chance for the Braves to "barrel it up" is Friday against the Demons at Bismarck's Municipal Ballpark.