Baseball's Nelson Interns With Engineering Company

Baseball's Nelson Interns With Engineering Company

Sports Information Director's note:  This is the opening piece of a series highlighting what Dordt student-athletes did during the summer of 2020.

(Monday, September 21; Sioux Center, Iowa) When Dordt senior to be Lucas Nelson went home in March he eventually settled into a comfortable routing serving as an intern with Deltamodtech, an engineering company in Ramsey, Minnesota. At the same time Nelson was able to hone his baseball skills after seeing his season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic by playing in the storied Minnesota Town League system.

“I’m technically an electrical engineering intern there,” said Nelson of his time at Deltamodtech. “The company is about 30 years old and started with four or five employees and they’ve just moved into a new building and have 140 employees. This was my fourth summer there so I’ve gotten to work from the ground up. I started working in shipping and receiving my first summer. The next summer I worked on the wiring of some of the machines they build. The next summer I helped design some of the machines and then this past summer I was give my own projects to do and design everything going into the machine and then working with the people who were going to build the machine.”

The pattern of summer work, followed by school, followed by more summer work proved to be  beneficial for Nelson as he has had the opportunity to apply what he’s learned on the job in the classroom, allowing him a clearer look at the application of theory.

“Since I started at Deltamodtech before I started school I was able to learn some things before I came to Dordt and how that applied in the classroom setting,” said Nelson.  “Then I was in school for two semesters and I was able to come back to work and see how things I picked up in school gave me ideas of things we could try with the company.”

Deltamodtech is a unique company according to Nelson in that every aspect of a project is handled in-house except for the manufacturing of the component parts for the machines produced.

Nelson credits his time at Dordt with allowing him to analyze priorities and producing better solutions to the problems he works to solve.

“Electrical engineering is so broad.  It can range from designing microchips to working on the national power grid and making sure every house has power.  Dordt has taught me how to be an engineer—to see a problem and analyze it and then how to prioritize the things that may need to be changed to solve a problem,” said Nelson.

While Nelson was working days as an engineer he was able to compete in town league baseball, getting on the diamond after his college season, along with many others, ended abruptly in mid-March.

“There are three classes, A, B and C in Minnesota Town League baseball.  A is all Twin Cities teams and they have a wider talent pool to pull from and are generally pretty good. Class B has a lot of teams that are either really good or not as good and Class C teams are generally smaller town teams that have 12 guys who come out and play and have a good time together. It’s really fun to play the small towns because many have nice fields and they treat you well while you’re out there and they can get a couple hundred fans out to watch you play,” said Nelson

While the summer began with Nelson hoping to fix some holes in his swing, he changed his approach mid-season and experienced a re-birth in the latter stages of the season with the Anoka Bucks.

“I approached it as a way to improve.  I knew I had some holes in my swing after our season ended in the spring.  I worked into it but I wasn’t hitting that well at the start of the town season.  Then the last ten games of the season I think I was hitting like .370. I decided to start fresh, return to the basics and relax and stop pressuring myself about my performance and just have fun playing the game I love and enjoy the people I’m playing with,” said Nelson.

With a season at Dordt remaining in 2021 Nelson is optimistic about the future of the Defender program. A future that is fast approaching with the team beginning its program workouts in mid-September.

“I really like where we are heading. This will be Coach Bacon’s first full year of recruiting and recruits.  I really like where the program is heading,” said Nelson.

When the season is finished Nelson anticipates continuing his career in town league baseball in some way.

“It’s up in the air where I’ll live and where my job will be but there’s an option where I can play with the same team and a group of guys I love hanging out with.  There are some high school buddies I play against and with. It’s a chance to go out and play a game we still love,” said Nelson.