BUTTE — Dylan Wilhelm is just glad to be in Butte this summer.
The Mining City Tommyknockers pitcher, a native of Athens, Georgia, saw his chance to play with his college team during the 2021 season wiped out due to academic ineligibility. Wilhelm failed a biology course during his fall freshman semester at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
It was a setback, but also a wake-up call.
"I retook (the course) the next semester and I made a B in it," Wilhelm said. "I got right back on track. Had a really good semester. I'm not planning on it happening again."
Back on track academically and still wanting to play baseball in 2021, Wilhelm began searching for opportunities.
"My coach didn't have a lot of options for me and he got me the chance to come up here and play," Wilhelm said. "It's a change for sure. It's wide open, beautiful scenery."
Now spending his summer with the Tommyknockers, Wilhelm is looking to make the most of his opportunity in the Expedition League, which looks to acclimate its players to the rigors of a minor league schedule. He's embraced the rigorous game and travel schedule.
"You just gotta stay on it," Wilhelm said. "The whole summer season is definitely a grind. You got six days of playing, one day off. Long bus rides and everything. But really it just teaches you to keep your head down, keep moving and push through everything."
Now heading into his sophomore year, graduation is still years away for Wilhelm. But he already knows what he wants to do once he earns his diploma.
"I'm looking to play baseball of course," Wilhelm said. "But if that doesn't work out I'm hoping to graduate with my major in exercise and sports science and become a sports psychologist. And hopefully get with a big team. Help a lot of people out cause I know that I've definitely had a lot of mental training when it comes to pitching."
The Tommyknockers player their next home series, a four-game stretch against the Spearfish Sasquatch, beginning on Monday.