Mission Valley Mariners manager Tim Rausch understands his team is capable of competing with anyone in the District, and soon his team will get an opportunity to prove it.
Last season, the top-tier teams including the Bitterroot Bucs and the Glacier Twins, were a cut above the rest of their competition, but this season, the dynamics of the District is not the same and its anyones game, according to Rausch.
The Mariners, who have one of the younger teams in the District with only three seniors that will age out after this season, are working on building their team back to one of the more prominent American Legion teams.
The Ms, who have a total of 20 kids combined on both the A and B teams, have continued to develop as the season has progressed.
The Ms recent 1-3 record against the three teams in the district, the Glacier Twins, the Red Sox and the Kalispell Lakers, is deceiving.
What is essential to Rausch isnt the final score, but the teams rapid progression as they continue to prepare for the games that matter in the upcoming American Legion District Playoffs, July 17-21.
You know, physically and mentally weve had a lot of growth, Rausch said. We went from not being able to compete with some of the top teams (last season), but now we can genuinely beat any team in our District.
Rausch knows his team has one essential ingredient toward achieving success in the District Tournament.
Our chemistry is the best its been all year, and we are peaking at the right time, Rausch said. Right at the point coming into Districts, we are finding a way to win. We have to find a way to get over that losing hump, and be the team I know that we are capable of winning District.
Headed into the tournament, Rausch is confident his team is built for tournament play, which is a different mentality than single game play or doubleheaders.
Every tournament weve played in, weve played extremely well, Rausch said. I am pretty excited to see what they do. Our B team won the Helena Memorial Tournament, and we were down 3-1 in Dillon, Rausch said. I would say my boys are incredibly suited for that.
Rausch knows that come District play, the regular season records are now inconsequential.
That is the thing that is special about Districts, and is that youve got to know your opponents because they are the same teams that youve played throughout the year, Rausch said. You know what they have, and its building the confidence (moving forward).
The Mission Valley Mariners continue to build their program back to where it used to be in the early 2000s, when Jamie Hanson was the manager for nearly two decades.
Under the last two managers, the Ms have continued to progress, as they continue to utalize younger players in order to build the program back to prominance.
The Mission Valley Mariners manager Tim Rausch said he felt his team can compete with anyone in the District Tournament moving forward.
The Ms, along with several other contenders, will be vying for a spot at state, if they can advance past the American Legion Distirct Tournament.
Like in years past, the District Tournament is one of the most competitive in the state of Montana, and it appears to continue that direction.
The young Ms team, has a total of 20 kids on both their A, and B teams, hope to continue to remain competitive in Districts.
Red Sox 10, MV A Mariners 8 (gm2)
A Corbin Davis sacrifice fly edged the Mariners ahead 6-5 in the bottom half of the sixth, followed by a Dawson Dumont two RBI double that expanded the lead to 8-5. Only three outs to go would secure a win for the host Mariners on their Senior Night. But the visiting Red Sox refused to fold, loading the bases in the top half of the seventh, then found the gaps that included a pair of two RBI doubles that would reclaim the lead.
MV A Mariners (7-13, 18-21)
Bitterroot 200 012 5 10 13 2
Mssn Vly 000 503 0 8 8 2
Bridger Huxtable, (6) Tim Hickey and Tyler Davis. James Bennett, (7) Eric Dolence and Izyk Gillingham.
BITTERROOT RED SOX Rothie 2-5, T.Davis 3-4, Jones 2-5, Draper 0-4, Pilkerton 2-4, T.Rostad 0-4, Lewis 0-4, B.Bowman 2-4, Hickey 0-3, Bryson Fisher 1-2.
MISSION VALLEY A MARINERS Gillingham 1-4, Mergenthaler 1-4, Dolence 0-1, C.Davis 0-3, Dawson Dumont 3-4, Trevor Lake 1-2, Keyan Dalbey 0-2, James Bennett 0-1, Xavier Fisher 1-4, D.Davis 1-3.
3B T.Davis. 2B T.Davis 2, Pilketon, B.Fisher; Dumont. RBIs Jones, Pilkerton, B.Fisher 2; C.Davis, Dumont 2, Lake, D.Davis. SF C.Davis. BB Draper, Tim H, B.Fisher 2; Gillingham, Dolence, Lake 2, D.Davis. HB Mergenthaler, Dolence 2, Dalbey. ROE Jones, Tim H; C.Davis. FC Bowman; Lake, X.Fisher. SB Alex Muzquiz (Su07Jul19gm2)
Red Sox 5, MV A Mariners 4 (9 inn.)
The Mariners rallied to knot the contest even to send it into extras, but the visiting Red Sox would plate a run in the top half of the ninth that the Mariners were unable to counter. Inbetween games, seniors Izyk Gillingham, Corbin Davis and Keyan Dalbey were honored for their multiple seasons with the club.
Bitterroot 000 201 101 5 9 1
Mssn Vly 100 002 100 4 5 1
Nick Draper, (7) Tristan Lewis and Mitch Spinetta. Dylan Davis, (7) Espn Fisher and Izyk Gillingham, (7) Corbin Davis.
BITTERROOT RED SOX Cam Rothie 1-5, Tyler Davis 2-5, Tucker Jones 2-4, Draper 0-5, Spinetta 1-3, Dillon Pilkerton 1-3, Tyson Rostad 1-3, Lewis 0-4, Bridon Bowman 1-2.
MISSION VALLEY A MARINERS Gillingham 0-1, E.Fisher 0-2, Gabe Mergenthaler1-4, Eric Dolence 1-3, C.Davis 2-4, Dawson Dumont 1-3, Trevor Lake 1-4, Keyan Dalbey 0-3, Xavier Fisher 0-3, James Bennett 0-3.
3B Jones. 2B Jones, T.Rostad. RBIs Jones, Spinetta; Mergenthaler, C.Davis 2, Lake. SF Jones, Spinetta. SH Mergenthaler, Bennett. BB Pilketon, T.Rostad, B.Bowman 2; Dolence, Dumont, Dalbey, X.Fisher. (Su07Jul19gm1)
MV A Mariners 12, Missoula A Mavs 1
MV A Mariners (7-11, 18-19)
Missoula 001 00 1 3 2
Mssn Vly 055 2x 12 11 1
Kellan Feeley, (4) Marcus Stobb and Jarek Bodlovic. Xavier Fisher and Izyk Gillingham.
MISSOULA A MAVERICKS Jones 1-2, Palmer 0-3, Kirgan 0-2, Jordan 0-2, Turner McCullough 1-2, Finch 0-2, Peyton Stevens 0-2, Henry Gibbs 1-2, Bodlovic 0-2.
MISSION VALLEY A MARINERS Gillingham 2-3, Gabe Mergenthaler 1-3, Eric Dolence 1-3, Corbin Davis 2-4, Dawson Dumont 0-2, Trevor Lake 2-2, Keyan Dalbey 0-0, Alex Muzquiz 1-1, X.Fisher 0-1, James Bennett 2-2.
2B McCullough; Lake, Bennett. RBIs Gillingham 2, Mergenthaler, Dolence 3, Lake, Muzquiz, Bennett 4. BB Jones; Dumont, Lake, Dalbey 2, X.Fisher 2. HB Gillingham, Mergenthaler, Bennett. ROE Jones, Kirgan, FC Palmer; Dumont, Dolence. (Sa06Jul19gm2)
A Mavericks 6, MV A Mariners 2
MVA Mariners (6-11, 17-19)
Missoula 200 200 2 6 10 0
Mssn Vly 100 100 0 2 6 2
Alex Certal, (7) Henry Black and Cooper Elliot. Gabe Mergenthaler, (7) Espn Fisher and Izyk Gillingham.
MISSOULA A MAVERICKS Adam Jones 0-5, Skye Palmer 1-4, Charlie Kirgan 2-4, Connor Jordan 2-3, Christian Dill 1-3, Ian Finch 2-4, Black 0-3, Marcus Stobb 1-2, Elliot 1-3.
MISSION VALLEY A MARINERS Gillingham 0-2, Mergenthaler 1-3, Keyan Dalbey 0-2, Corbin Davis 3-3, Dawson Dumont 0-2, Xavier Fisher1-3, Trevor Lake 0-3, James Bennett 0-3, Dylan Davis 1-2, Eric Dolence 0-1.
2B Kirgan 2; Davis. RBIs Jordan, Stobb 2; Davis. SH Dumont. BB Jordan, Dill, Black, Stobb; Gillingham, Dalbey. HB Stobb. (Sa06Jul19gm1)
MVA Mariners 19, Loggers 8 (gm2)
MVA Mariners (6-10, 17-18), Libby (6-10, 13-14)
MssnV 533 143 19 15 2
Libby 220 121 8 11 5
James Bennett (5K), (4) Alex Muzquiz and Izyk Gillingham. Cayden Williams, (3) Shane Walker, (5) Zane Brown and catcher. W Bennett.
MISSION VALLEY A MARINERS Gillingham 1-4, Gabe Mergenthaler 2-3, Eric Dolence 4-4, Muzquiz 1-2, Corbin Davis 2-4, Dawson Dumont 2-5, Xavier Fisher 0-2, Trevor Lake 1-3, Espn Fisher 1-3, Bennett 1-3.
LIBBY LOGGERS Tripp Zhang 2-4, Quade Anderson 2-3, Walker 1-2, Williams 2-4, Jeff Offenbecher 0-3, Donovan Fornall 1-3, Tucker Masters 2-2, Roesler-Begalke 0-2, Brown 0-2, Ethan Borden 0-2, Trey Thompson 1-2.
2B Dolence 2, Muzquiz; Zhang 2, Fornall, Anderson, Williams. RBIs Dolence 7, Dumont 3, Davis 2, T.Lake, Muzquiz; Anderson 2, Williams 2, Masters, Zhang 2. BB Gillingham, X.Fisher 3; Walker 2.
Loggers 5, MVA Mariners 1 (gm1)
MssnV 001 000 0 1 6 2
Libby 120 200 0 5 6 2
Eric Dolence (2K), (4) Espn Fisher (2K), (5) Alex Muzquiz and Corbin Davis. Quade Anderson, (6) Jeff Offenbecher and catcher.
MISSION VALLEY A MARINERS Izyk Gillingham 2-3, Gabe Mergenthaler 1-3, Dolence 1-3, E.Fisher 0-1, Davis 1-3, Dawson Dumont 0-3, Xavier Fisher 0-2, Trevor Lake 1-2, Muzquiz 0-2, James Bennett 0-3.
LIBBY LOGGERS Tripp Zhang 1-2, Anderson 0-1, Shane Walker 0-2, Cayden Williams 1-3, Offenbecher 1-4, Trey Thompson 1-3, Moxley Roesler-Begalke 0-2, Tucker Masters 1-2, Alex Svendsbye 1-2.
2B Dolence; Zhang. RBIs Svendsbye, Zhang. BB X.Fisher; Anderson, Walker.