Blackhawks second baseman Dylan Schimke (2) waits for the ball in the first inning of a doubleheader in Wessington Springs last Saturday. The 'Hawks hosted Howard under overcast skies and spring-like 65 degree weather. Coach Nathan Hainy's club lost a tough 8-5 contest to Clark the previous night.

The sound of fans cheering from the grandstand paired with the buttery aroma of fresh-popped popcorn stirred long-dormant excitement for  spring  -- and more importantly for some -- baseball season’s long-awaited arrival.

The Blackhawks played for a home crowd both Friday and Saturday, taking on Clark Friday evening and battling it out against Howard Saturday afternoon. Heading into Saturday’s game on the heels of a 8-5 loss to Clark,  the ‘Hawks hosted Howard  in mid 60 degree weather, coming up short 2-0 in the first and second games. 

Another tell-tale sign of spring was underway just west of the grandstand, as younger kids carried on the long-standing tradition of trading in foul balls for quarters and spontaneous game play in  the Wessington Springs version of The Sandlot down in the gulch. 

Next up the Blackhawks are scheduled to take on Deul April 12 and Madison on April 14, with both contests scheduled at home -- at least for now. The schedule may hang in temporary limbo until we witness what this week’s blizzard brings to the area.