The Mission Valley Mariners American Legion baseball team has experienced a turbulent summer filled with a variety of highlights and disappointments.
The M’s, who continue to focus on cultivating their young team which is gaining valuable playing time with several young players gaining experience on both the A and B teams teetering back and forth between the combined 20 players they have on both rosters, are still a work in progress, according to Mission Valley Mariner’s manager Tim Rausch.
“We are still young, and I think the toughest thing to remember is that we are young,” Rausch said. “These kids have so much talent, and they bring a high intensity and consistency level every day at the ball field. We are going to be an adamant team to beat if we can do that.”
With any young roster, the M’s continue to improve and they also still have a high ceiling, according to Rausch.
“We are doing better in recent games,” Rausch said. “Still, I am a little disappointed. We could have been a lot better probably in our last six games. Recently, we’ve been on kind of a roller coaster, and we are still trying to find that even plain.”
In spite of the team’s early-season struggles, the young squad has still showcased promise, Rausch said.
“This team is way better than it was last year,” Rausch said. “We’ve had some ups and downs, but I see a lot of growth in the boys coming together and trusting each other. They are doing their best every day for each other, and they are coming together and playing as a team rather than playing like a bunch of individuals.”
According to Rausch, the M’s are currently in the middle of the pack in the American Legion conference standings.
“We are at the bottom or the middle of our conference,” Rausch said. “It’s been an interesting year. I was talking with the Bucs the other day before they came and split with us. If our team wins a couple of two-game series as the season progresses and gets a couple of sweeps, we will be right near the top.”
The Legion season can be a grueling 70-game plus schedule
No Fourth of July Firecracker Tournament
Each year, the Mission Valley Mariners have hosted a Fourth of July Firecracker tournament that brings in American Legion baseball clubs from all over the state of Montana and the region.
“We’ve done it the last couple of years, but because of lack of parent involvement, and helping with things that needed to get done for the tournament such as concessions, scoreboard and announcing field, we decided to not put on the event this year.”
The Mariners continue to build an American Legion ball program from the ground up, as they continue to work on the program.