MITCHELL, S.D. – Ethan Opsahl’s days of playing college baseball ended in May with the Great Plains Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament, but that final collegiate game was hardly the end of his baseball career.
Opsahl, who graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University after four years with the Tiger baseball program, signed his first pro contract earlier this week and suited up for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. In his first game with a pro team, Opsahl – who was named the GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year as a senior – struck out two batters and gave up one hit and one run in 2.1 innings of work.
Opsahl is one of 22 players on the Redhawks’ roster, including one of 12 pitchers. The Twin Valley, Minn., native – who graduated from DWU in four years with a degree in math – is one of four left-handed pitchers on Fargo-Moorhead’s roster.
“We’re very excited for Ethan, and this is a great opportunity for him,” Tiger head baseball coach Steve Gust said. “He did an amazing job as a student and baseball player for DWU. No matter what happens to him as a professional player, he will always represent himself and DWU in a positive manner.
“I feel Ethan will do well in pro ball because he has a good head on his shoulders and an abundance of integrity. He is still pretty raw, but he will do whatever it takes to grow and develop as a pitcher. The sky is the limit for him, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues to move up the ranks of pro ball. We will miss him at Dakota Wesleyan University.”
At DWU, Opsahl was a four-time All-GPAC athlete. He earned honorable mention status as a freshman, second-team honors as a junior and first-team accolades as a sophomore and again as a senior. He is the third Tiger baseball player to earn a major GPAC award since the conference was created in 2000.
Opsahl led Dakota Wesleyan in strikeouts all four years with the program. As a senior in 2012, he led the GPAC and was 15th in the NAIA with 94 strikeouts, and he tied the school record for strikeouts in a game with 17 against Hastings College. He went 9-4 as a senior, and finished one game shy of tying the school’s single-season wins record. He finished his four-year career with 278 strikeouts and went 26-12 in 60 appearances with 18 complete games, three shutouts and three saves.