A couple weeks ago Augustana came through to play Hawaii Pacific. I was doing a little research on the team, and read that “Collegiate Baseball” has noted Dalton Lehnen, one of the team’s starting pitchers, as a “player to watch” in 2017. He was actually one of three, the other two being team ace Ryan Hamilton and outfielder Patrick O’Donnell.
Dalton Lehnen is a lefty from Lakesville, Minn. He spent the last two years at the University of Cincinnati, and transferred to Ausgustana for the 2017 season. He is also a draft eligible junior, so being able to slide right into the Augustana starting rotation should really help him showcase his talents for scouts, who I am sure are watching him.
I expected to see Hamilton pitch game one, with Lehnen in game two. But I would learn that Hamilton was being held back due to a minor shoulder injury, and instead Lehnen would pitch the first game. He was fantastic: 6 IP, 1 hit with 7 K’s and 4 walks. He would not factor in the decision, and Augustana would go on to lose 3-2. It was a tight game, exciting to the last at-bat.
Hawaii does not have a bad team, so I think that his success was pretty notable. But I was really looking forward to his second start, which was today against Lindenwood. And again, he did great: 6 IP, 3 hits with 5 K and 3 walks. Unfortunately, the Vikings were held to two hits and Dalton was tagged with the loss. But wins/losses are a stupid way to judge a performance—it was a great start, and would get a win most nights.
If Lehnen keeps pitching like this, I can’t imagine teams are going to pass up drafting him come June.