NSU impacts baseball seniors
TNE Editor

NSU impacts baseball seniors

Published 2/8/18

Austin Headlee

TNE Writer 

RiverHawks baseball seniors are gearing up for the season and reflecting on their college career. 

Dustin Berrong, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. senior

Dustin Berrong, senior pitcher from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is playing in his third year as a RiverHawk. Berrong played at the University of Southern Mississippi during his freshman year before transferring to NSU. He had four starts during his sophomore year at NSU. He suffered from an injury his junior year, which required surgery. However, he was able to return for the 2017 season when he recorded a team-low 4.44 era. He was the starting pitcher for the RiverHawks’ first game of the 2018 season against the St. Edward’s University Hilltoppers where he led his team to a win.

Although Berrong grew up in Florida, NSU is a place he can call home. He has made lasting connections and formed special bonds during his time in Tahlequah.

“NSU, to me, means home,” said Berong. “I am from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., so obviously this is not where I grew up, nothing like the place I grew up, but I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t trade this for the world. When I left my old school and was deciding where to come my brother played here and was still here at the time as a volunteer assistant. So, I wanted to be close to him and see how it was up here, and when I got here I absolutely fell in love and it was awesome.”


Tristian Ridenour, Nixa, Mo. senior

Tristan Ridenour, senior catcher from Nixa, Mo., is playing his second and final season with the RiverHawks. Ridenour played at Independence Community College in Independence, Kan. for two years before transferring to NSU. He is majoring in pre-professional health with an emphasis in physical therapy. 

NSU gave Ridenour the opportunity to continue his baseball career. He took advantage of the opportunity presented to him and made close friendships and met his girlfriend while at NSU.


“It’s an opportunity,” said Ridenour. “I went to a junior college for two years out of high school. NSU means a lot to me because it gave me the opportunity who keep playing when I didn’t know if I was going to be able to or not, and not even just to keep playing but to keep playing at a high level. The MIAA is one of the best conferences for our division in the nation. So, to be able to play and to be able to play at an elite level is a blessing. It has been great and it has been so much fun. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of my best friends and my girlfriend here at NSU. It’s been something I would do all over again if I was given the chance.”

Derek Shedden, 23, Edmonton, Canada senior

Derek Shedden, senior catcher from Edmonton, Canada, has dreamed of playing baseball at a high level. Shedden has played a central role for the RiverHawks and has played multiple positions. He made three starts his freshman year, four starts his sophomore year and 19 starts in his junior year. He is majoring in criminal justice and has been named to the MIAA Honor Roll twice.


“NSU means a lot to me as a kid from Canada,” said Shedden. “Everyone wants to come down to the states and play baseball because that’s where the good baseball is. You know, Canada is all about hockey. So, every Canadian kid who plays baseball has a dream to come down to the states and play ball. It’s been really special to me to come to NSU and let me live that dream.”


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