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Raiders open baseball season Saturday
May 1, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
The American Legion team travels to Rock Springs to face three teams in a round-robin tournament format.
The Riverton Raiders are preparing to embark on a 47-game American Legion baseball schedule this spring and summer.
Riverton has 21 players on the roster. At practice, the coaches have seen 16 -17 players consistently at Roy Peck Field.
"The only time that it doesn't work is when the soccer kids are gone for the game," Riverton manager Brady Beers said. "The guys are here working hard."
Riverton begins the season Saturday in Rock Springs. Riverton plays Rawlins, Torrington and Rock Springs in a round-robin tournament .
The age range on the team is 13 to 18.
"We want to be competitive this weekend
from our standpoint," Beers said. "If we show up in Rock Springs like we have been practicing then we will be competitive in all three games."
Cody Beers is the assistant coach for the Raiders.
Players out for the team are T.J. Paulsen, Reed Axthelm, Tyler Landis, Andrew Von Rein, Austin Locker, Brayden Draper, Ridge McCoy, Bailey Myers, Steven Reinig, Ryan Axthelm, Baylor Beers, Jarron Draper, Caden Bloomquist, Wyatt Wichelhaus, Matthew Reinig, Rusty Davis, Josiah Washington, Sean Hughes, David Gard, Anthony Allen and Nick Stover.
"We grew up age-wise a little bit this year," Beers said. "As a result of that, the kids want to win more."
Every day in practice, the Raiders work on taking ground ball after ground ball.
"Error-free baseball is a must for us this year," Beers said. "We need to make the routine plays. The guys are excited for the season. They are pushing each other. The are working hard. That is what matters."
The Raiders practiced indoors for at least a couple of months to get into baseball shape, using the Rendezvous School gym. The players had a batting cage and a full-length pitching distance at their disposal.
"We were able to hit off live balls thrown by a live arm," Beers said.
"The indoor practice time has been really helpful to the kids that have been showing up for it."
The Raiders are juggling time with Riverton High School soccer and track practice. Players doing soccer and baseball are Steven Reinig, Ryan Axthelm, Baylor Beers, Matthew Reinig, Reed Axthlem, and T.J. Paulsen.
Ridge McCoy is running middle school track and also is on the Riverton Babe Ruth traveling team. Brayden and Jarron Draper are both in track.
"We are a pretty solid hitting team this year," Beers said. "We have been working hard that our defense is all over the place and not giving up too many easy runs."
Starting pitchers for the Raiders are projected as Steven Reinig, Ryan Axthelm, Baylor Beers and Brayden Draper.
"Pitching is bit of a mystery for us," Beers said. "Those four are going to be the main workhorses for us," Beers said. "We have an additional six or seven guys that can throw strikes for us for an inning or two if we need them to."
The catchers are Reining, Beers and Josiah Washington.
"They will be able to anchor the defense from the catching position," Beers said.
The starting lineup is still a question mark for the Raiders.
"We have main guys in mind, but everybody is getting work playing in the infield no matter what," Beers said.