Jays' Piatz plays in Badlands Bowl today

Jordan Piatz will put the pads on as a high school player one more time today at the Badlands Bowl. The 3-year Jamestown High School standout is a little over one month away from beginning his college football career at Northern State for former ...

Sun file photo / John M. Steiner Jordan Piatz is on Team North Dakota for the Badlands Bowl today in Dickinson. Piatz was a three-year starter for the Blue Jays and will play at Northern State this coming season.

Jordan Piatz will put the pads on as a high school player one more time today at the Badlands Bowl.

The 3-year Jamestown High School standout is a little over one month away from beginning his college football career at Northern State for former Jimmie head man Tom Dosch.

Before that he's joining the other best players in the state as they take on Montana at the Badlands Activities Center in Dickinson at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on BEK Sports, channel 19 on Daktel's programming package.

Piatz was one of the top players in recent years to wear the blue and white. He caught 22 touchdown passes over three seasons and finished just short of 2,000 career receiving yards (1,986).

Montana throttled the local boys last season 33-7 and hold a 12-4 overall lead in the series. Team North Dakota's last win came in 2007 (30-21).


This year figures to be one of their better chances in recent years.

The offense is loaded with Bismarck's dynamic duo of quarterback Esley Thorton (NDSU) and running back Jake Miller (Mary). Ryan Smith --grandson of Rollie Greeno -- (NDSU) figures to get the bulk of the carries.

The team features five Bismarck Demons, plus they'll be coached by Mark Gibson -- head man at BHS -- so it would figure they should be better on offense than they have in recent years with continuity on their side.

The offensive line will be anchored by Carrington standout athlete Devin Barton. All Barton has done this year is earn all-state honors in football, lead the Cardinals to the state 'B' basketball title, and then cap the season as one of the top throwers in track and field. He's also signed to play football at UND.

r r r

The College World Series begins today at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium. The CWS has been held at Rosenblatt since 1950, but will move to a new stadium in downtown Omaha next year.

It's strange, and unfortunate, how irrelevant major college baseball has become in the snow states.

From 1956-1966, Big 10 teams won 4 nationals championships -- three by Minnesota (1956, '60, '64) -- and one by Ohio State in 1966. Since then? Nothing.


The Gophers made a nice run this year, losing to Cal State Fullerton in the opening round, but they still ended up three wins short of Omaha.

The entire World Series used to take less than a week from cover to cover. A handful of years back, the money-worshiping NCAA realized they could stretch the thing way out and make a whole pile of cash. So now it lasts 12 days, June 19-30.

Fullerton was my pick to win the whole thing, but they donated their Super Regional series away to UCLA. So I'll be courageous and go with Arizona State. The Sun Devils have won 52 of their 60 games and were the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament

r r r

Elsewhere, on the D-I baseball front, two of the best hitters ever to come out of North Dakota had rough springs.

Zac Elgie hit .226 for Kansas in his sophomore season. He played in 27 of the Jayhawks' 59 games and did hit four home runs, but he also struck out 20 times.

Elgie was a 12th-round pick of the Oakland A's in the 2008 MLB draft after a stellar career for Minot High and the Legion Vistas.

Cole Frenzel is one year younger than Elgie. The former Dickinson star hit .286 for Arizona in his freshman season. Frenzel started 20 games, but did not homer and had just six RBIs.


Jack Brown Stadium was like a second home for Elgie and Frenzel. I remember both as slugging eighth-graders ripping rockets around the ballpark, and that was before these ridiculous wood bats. No high-schoolers around here have ever hit the ball harder than Elgie and Frenzel and no pitcher was ever injured or killed on the mound, either.

I was reading somewhere recently how one high school coach in this state said something to the effect of, "Well, now shortstops aren't hitting home runs any more," in reference to using wood bats.


Unless that fellow was coaching against A-Rod or Cal Ripken, there weren't many, if any, shortstops hitting home runs in N.D. high school baseball.

r r r

Speaking of former Jack Brown Stadium sluggers, former Jimmie Krause is having another strong season for the St. Paul Saints.

Krause, in his fourth season for the independent minor league club, is hitting .293 with 4 home runs and 21 RBIs.

Krause, 28, a star for the Jimmies from 2001-2004, has spent time in the minor league systems of the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers.


r r r

I've thoroughly enjoyed the opening week of the World Cup.

Had someone told me 10 years ago I'd write the previous sentence in 2010, I would have sought professional help of some sort.

My primary draw is that I feel like I'm learning stuff when I watch the games. That's not the case with baseball, basketball or football.

Also, the broadcasters are outstanding. They're the polar opposite of today's intolerable American loud mouths.

If we could somehow manage a trade where we acquire Martin Tyler and Ian Darke for Joe Buck and any 10 ESPN clowns, than we'd really be in business.

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads