After having his sophomore season cut short at Minnesota State-Fergus Falls, Wadena-Deer Creek’s Jake Dykhoff has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball career with the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

In his shortened sophomore season, Dykhoff was 1-0 on the mound with 23 strikeouts with a 3.65 earned run average in just 12.1 innings pitched. Dykhoff continued his strong ways at the plate, boasting a .458 batting average with five runs scored, two doubles, one triple and a home run.

Dykhoff said it was a big relief to be done with the recruiting process. It was down to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Purdue University-Fort Wayne and the Golden Eagles.

UMC head coach Steve Gust said the Golden Eagles have recruited the former W-DC star the last few years.

Jake Dykhoff delivers to the plate in a playoff game for the Wolverines. The former WDC star has signed with the University of Minnesota-Crookston to continue his collegiate baseball career. (Jason Groth / Pioneer Journal)
Jake Dykhoff delivers to the plate in a playoff game for the Wolverines. The former WDC star has signed with the University of Minnesota-Crookston to continue his collegiate baseball career. (Jason Groth / Pioneer Journal)

“It was great, and I love what (Steve) Gust has done with the program there these last five years,” Dykhoff said. “He has them on the ups, and they are only going to get better from here. He has signed some great talent and I’m excited to play for them.”

“We’ve targeted him as our top pitching prospect. Our staff deserves a lot of credit for selling our vision to some of the area’s best,” Gust said in a press release. “This is the first year where we have signed most of the top players on our recruiting board. Jake fits in well with the other top recruits we have signed. We are thrilled to add Jake to our pitching staff.”

Dykhoff is the third to sign during the late signing period and 12th overall for the Golden Eagles. Dykhoff will join a pitching staff that posted a 4.21 earned run average during the 2020 season. Gust was quick to praise his new signee.

“He is a talented pitcher, a very good student, and is a high-character young man,” Gust said. “His stuff plays well as a top of the conference starter. His command is his best attribute and he has swing and miss stuff. Dykhoff already has a pretty good fastball and an above-average breaking ball, but we believe he has a chance to be even better in the near future. He is a piece of the puzzle that we have been looking for this off-season. We believe he can help take this program to another level.”

Dykhoff was one of the key players on a M-State Fergus Falls team that posted a 32-19 record. He was 9-3 on the bump with 94 strikeouts. He boasted a 2.69 earned run average. He showed great control by allowing just 11 walks during the season.

Dykhoff hit for a .379 average with four home runs and drove in 33 runs. He was named to the Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference All-State Team. He threw a perfect game, striking out 14 of the 21 he faced.

“It was great. I loved every second of it. I made some great friends, lifetime buddies and will never forget them,” Dykhoff said. “We played some great competition and I loved playing for Coach (Cody) Hughes. I am going to miss him. We tied the school record for wins, which was pretty cool.”

Dykhoff had the option of coming back for one more season at Fergus Falls due to the COVID-19 Pandemic cutting the season short. He considered staying but was set on going to the next level.

Dykhoff and a couple of his teammates visited Crookston in the fall, and he said it fits him well.

“I love the coaching staff. They took care of us when we were there,” Dykhoff said. “They are great guys. They offered me the right scholarship and here we are.”

With the stay-at-home in place, Dykhoff has kept busy with baseball activities with his brothers Justin and Josh. The three can be seen hitting baseballs or throwing bullpens at the Bluffton Field preparing for the potential amateur baseball season or the upcoming college and high school season. Justin and Jake were teammates for a season at Fergus Falls and they are hoping it can happen again at Crookston.

“It was pretty cool. I was really excited for the season to play with him again and having Wyatt Hamman, my cousin, there was pretty cool, too,” Dykhoff said. “I was really excited, but life happens and you have to move on. There is a chance we could play together again next year. I know Crookston has their eye on him and it would be cool if they gave him the right offer and he decides to come. It would be pretty cool to get a full season out of it.”

However, now Dykhoff is hoping baseball returns for the summer.

“I’m really hoping that the amateur season happens,” Dykhoff said. “Whatever we have to do, I just want to make it happen. I don’t think I can handle a whole summer without baseball.”