Drey Dirksen helping Augie ride the ups and downs of a championship season
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sometimes the dirt of an infield might seem like sand on a beach to Drey Dirksen.
“I mean more than anything he is just kind of that kid that he seems like, personality wise, pretty loose and doesn’t get to serious all that often.” Augustana Head Coach Tim Huber says.
Like that of a surfer, which Drey grew up doing in Minnesota.
“We live on Green Lake so we’ve got a surf boat. It makes it’s own little wake in the back and just kind of ride the wake whenever I’ve got free time in the summer. I think it’s just relaxing being out on the water.” Dirksen says.
It’s helped bring an added calm to his role as catcher for Augustana.
“I mean you kind of figure that out as you get older. Compared to freshman year how I was on the field to this year, you just kind of figure out how to catch your breath, just stay relaxed.” Drey says.
And he knows a thing or two about riding waves, whether it be coming in as a relief pitcher on spot occasions, or at the plate last season when he hit nine homeruns during a ten game stretch.
“The end of our year he was hitting ninth in our lineup. You look at him, big and strong kid, and a lot of people are like, this guy is hitting ninth? And he’s hammering baseballs. He hit some homeruns. He didn’t have to be a guy. We had so many talented offesnive players where he could just be kind of a role guy.” Huber says.
Drey wanted a more consistent flow to his 2023 season.
“I worked really hard in the offseason and I think it’s really showed this year I just wanted to get more hits instead of strikeout or homeruns.” Dirksen says.
Which he’s done, raising his batting everage 86 points to .361 while driving in 50 runs, 13 above last year, helping guide a Viking team that lost 13 players from 2022 through a turbulent start, and to an NSIC championship.
“We’re getting a more consistent guy. He’s getting more at-bats, he’s been really solid behind the plate, he’s thrown a few guys out.” Huber says.
“I’ve got to be ahead of the field, take control. Younger guys always ask question so gotta kind help them and guide them.” Drey says.
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