What screams American Summer nights: Baseball, Family and Fun! Minot’s own Souris Valley Sabre Dogs are here for one last baseball season in Minot. Since 2018, the wooden bat collegiate team has played here in the Expedition League. While some changes are coming next season for the league and team, it did not stop the enthusiasm and positive thinking of the current Sabre Dogs Team.
Prior to batting practice before the Sabre Dogs game on Friday, June 3, this reporter got to sit down with a few ambitious Sabre Dogs players to learn their stories, goals and what living in Minot has been like for them. Since the entirety of the Sabre Dogs team is made of excellent baseball players from around the US, each player has been scouted, or asked to play on this team for a reason. Every player is discovered in a unique way and 2nd baseman, Jake Barlow, 24 said that he was initially contacted by a Sabre Dogs coach who discovered him on his Twitter page. Pitcher Reed Butz, 23 said that he ended up on this team because he had previously worked with one of the coaches and they asked him to play on the Sabre Dogs for the summer season. Butz said that the process to getting on league teams involves connections and networking, just like any other job. Both Butz and Barlow have only been in Minot for a few weeks (or less) but when asked what they thought about the city of Minot, Barlow replied in his southern accent that it was “just right” and was bigger than his hometown in Jonesville Louisiana, so he didn’t have any complaints. Butz said that he didn’t mind Minot at all. According to him the town is “perfect”. Both Barlow and Butz admitted that the Sabre Dogs have a very talented team this year with a record of 8-1 this season . The team is filled with great, hardworking and mature players, which both Barlow and Butz really respect. Butz mentioned that all the players want to be here, are encouraging and hold each other accountable. The purpose of the Expedition League and others like it is to get younger players the chance to be seen and show off their skills to eventually be picked up by a major league team. Since all the players have the same goal, the pregame atmosphere exuded athleticism and positivity. Butz said that the league is great and “ a sample of professional baseball”. When asked how he got to this point and what he would say to younger baseball players that want to be professional, Barlow said, “never stop working, don’t give up; you never know what opportunity could be just around the corner.”
The game on Friday, in which the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs battled the Pierre Trappers at Corbett Field, featured a truly family-friendly atmosphere. In between innings the crowd was entertained with games for all ages. And, located near the bathrooms was an obstacle course bouncy castle as well as a popular pitch speed radar for the kids to get some energy out. The turf field, and covered seating offered shade and a beautiful clean baseball diamond sight. Friday’s game proved the talent of the Sabre Dogs with a 14-0 win in 7 innings! Tickets are also affordably priced with regular priced tickets starting at $12 for adults and some really innovative combo ticket deals including a $15 Dog Pile Package which includes entry, a concession stand item and 2 beers. Another great deal for a night out is their VIP table, $180, which comes with 4 tickets to the game and all you can eat or drink until the 6th inning! Whichever option, the experience of the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs is a treat for young and old and not to be missed.
While this is the last season the Sabre Dogs will play in the Expedition League, hopes are that another team will find success in Minot as well. Assistant General Manager Coby Brault said the plans for next year’s team include: “…playing in the Northwoods League, which is one of the most prestigious summer collegiate leagues in the nation. The players will all have an opportunity to continue on with their careers after our season ends, either returning to school or attempting to get signed to play in the minors. Everybody on our team only signs for the summer, so the new team coming in will have no effect on the guys.” Talks are still in the works for what will exactly happen next, but one thing is for sure, the summer 2022’s Sabre Dogs baseball team are taking this final season by storm and are prepared to give their all!
Tickets and Schedule information for the Sabre Dogs can be found at sourisvalleysabredogs.com. The Sabre Dogs will host a Military Night on Sunday, July 3,
5:45pm. The night will include $5 tickets for all active duty and veterans, as well as a free drink voucher.