Gullickson and Nordbye find a spot at DWU, Tomes throws a hit
Two local athletes continue to find their rhythm on the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team.
Dell Rapids native Carter Gullickson has appeared in six college games and is 3 for 8 in the plate.
The Tigers are off to an 8-10 start (3-5 GPAC), and while Gullickson said he was happy to contribute, he would obviously like a little more time at home plate. He’s been on the varsity roster all season, but the second baseman faces a deep infielder at DWU, and playing time comes at a premium.
“It’s one of those things where, unfortunately, you don’t get as many bats as you want,” said first-year coach Charlie Dubanoski, who made a late start to his post after taking the relay only in January. “But he shows up and competes and has been a fantastic teammate who brings a lot of energy.”
Gullickson has said he understands depth at DWU, but his goal is to be the starting second baseman by the time his career is over with the Tigers. Because the season was canceled last year due to the pandemic, Gullickson received one year of eligibility and plans to play for five years with the Tigers.
He is currently a college junior working on a business degree with a minor in sports management, and said he plans to work on a masters degree in his fifth year at school so he can use his eligibility.
“Obviously I would like a little more playing time, but as long as we win games, that’s all that really matters,” he said. “I’m just here for the team and anything I can provide to win games I’m good with that.”
Nordbye finds time for baseball
Baltic-born Avery Nordbye is in his first year at DWU. He splits time between football and baseball with the Tigers, which can be a challenge at the college level.
Nordbye said in the fall that his focus was on football, where last season the 5-foot-10 outside linebacker played two games just months away from Baltic High School football. He said that during football season he goes to as many baseball meetings and practices as he can. In the spring, the focus is on baseball, with football filling in the gaps where it can.
“It’s a lot harder than in high school,” Nordbye said of juggling two sports. “You don’t think it’s going to be that bad because you play a lot of sports in high school. At university, sports last pretty much all year round. “
Nordbye only played on the JV baseball team this spring, but he longs to get moving. He hopes to make the jump to college baseball if all goes according to plan.
“If I go to JV this year, which I hope I would say that’s a possibility,” Nordbye said of the transition to the varsity squad again this year. “I’ve always had a lot of power for as small as I am. I think that surprises a lot of people.
Regarding Dakota Wesleyan’s season, Dubanoski said he hopes the Tigers could be one of eight teams that qualify for the GPAC tournament.
Considering what the DWU baseball program has been through over the past 12 months, a playoff berth would be monumental.
“I told our guys how tough it was with COVID last year and then having a new coach six weeks before the start of the season,” he said. “They had a few challenges, but the membership was great.”
No-hitter for Tomes
The Dell Rapids Junior Fall Tomes pitched a hitless game for the Fusion Heat softball team in a 21-0 win over Diamonds Elite on Sunday, March 28 at the Sanford Fieldhouse in Sioux Falls. The 17-year-old also had seven strikeouts in the shortened racing rules game and was 2 for 2 from home in the win.
It was his first career without a hit. Tomes is the only Dell Rapids player on the team.
“I just felt super confident, even in the first run,” she said. “I’ve never had a game like this, and everything was going well.”