When Tim Colwell first stepped foot on a diamond at NDSU, the Bison were the bottom feeders of the Summit League. With the program all but forgotten, the team experienced a resurrection. Coming off their first winning season since 2004, the 2013 Bison baseball club will look to this junior center fielder and leader to guide them to another successful season.Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography By Joe Kerlin
No one is responsible for the resurgence of the Bison baseball program more than Tim Colwell. But of course he would be the last one to tell you. The humility of the Bison center fielder isn’t the only attribute that baseball fans are drawn to; it’s his display of excellence on the diamond that has fans believing he may be the greatest player to ever wear the Bison pinstripes.
The American Baseball Coaches Association certainly believe this to be true, voting Colwell to the All-Midwest Region team last Spring, the first Bison to receive such honor since the program’s move to division one. He was also recognized earlier this winter when he was voted to the preseason All-American third team by the National College Baseball Writers Association.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for something like that, but at the same time it doesn’t mean too much,” said a grinning Colwell. The junior from Shoreview, Minnesota knows the importance of preparation and hard-work, stressing the point that he has to perform on the field to be fully satisfied.
Colwell attended Irondale High School where he and his two older brothers were in constant competition with each other on the diamond and the front lawn.
“Growing up, baseball was life,” Colwell said. “We would get the neighbors together and play in our front yard. It’s just what we did and I loved it.”
Colwell, the youngest of four, followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers and credits much of his success to watching them when he was growing up.
“We were always really supportive of each other,” Colwell said, “but I mean, you always want to do better than the other one for sure so that drove us even more to work hard. I wouldn’t say there was a sibling rivalry though.”
During his first two seasons at NDSU, Colwell had the pleasure of playing with his older brother, Nick.
“It was awesome playing with Nick, especially coming into college baseball. He made it great for me. He helped me as much as he could and made the whole transition process great.”
After an outstanding freshman season, Colwell followed with an extraordinary sophomore season hitting lead-off for the Bison. He attributes his work ethic to the key to his success.
“I love baseball,” Colwell said. “So it’s kind of something I have liked working towards. I’ll take extra hitting and I feel like it’s just my love of baseball. It makes all that extra work I put in that much easier.”
The extra batting practice paid-off, earning him a spot on the 2012 All-Summit League First Team. But, it’s Colwell’s wheels on the base paths that have head coach Tod Brown singing his praises.
“Tim brings a certain amount of energy to the top of our line-up,” Brown said. “He puts a lot of pressure on defenses because he runs the bases so fast and so well. He brings that energy to our lineup and the level of play is increased when he is productive and he has obviously been very productive since he has been here.”
Colwell’s energy propelled the Bison to their best season in program history in 2012. The Bison went 40-20 and qualified for their second straight Summit League tournament but fell one game short of the conference title. Colwell looks forward to leading this group back to the tournament.
“We’ll have some new faces in the field,” Colwell said. “I think we have had guys working hard and there has been a lot of competition which is definitely good because there are some spots that need to be filled.”
Having tough position-battles is a good problem to have, but it’s safe to say Colwell has solidified his position in the outfield and will look to solidify his spot in Bison baseball lore for years to come.