It's hard to believe that baseball season is almost here ... but Rapid City Post 22 has been prepping for the summer of 2018 for months now ... we headed over to Fitzgerald Stadium to check in on the Hardhats and see how things are going under first-year head coach Kelvin Torve.
Post 22 is coming off of a 51-9 2017 season that ended with a loss to Mitchell in the state tournament ... the team lost a good chunk of its roster from last season and Torve says there will be plenty of opportunity for players who have shown themselves to be excellent all-around athletes to step up and fill roles this summer.
Kelvin Torve says, "We lost a lot from last year, 10 guys ... our four top pitchers ... but guys are working hard. Non-winter sports athletes start in the second week of January, and went five days a week at 6 o'clock in the morning ... and the winter sports guys joined us last Monday and I love the enthusiasm and the work ethic we've seen so far."
Torve said that he's looking to returning starters Cooper Bowman and Connor King to help lead the Hardhats up the middle defensively and for Jack Sorenson to pace a relatively inexperienced pitching staff.
Torve says, "I love the multi-sport athletes .. you know because they don't get the repetitive motion injuries and they don't get burnt out. We lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 25 years and most everybody down there is a one-sport guy ... I really like that Rapid City is a small enough town that guys can play multiple sports."
Post 22, which has won 41 South Dakota state Legion championships, opens its season on May 2 against Gillette.