May 10, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorNew Riverton Raiders baseball manager Brady Beers is putting his American Legion squad through the drills for a 46-game schedule this summer on the diamond.
Beers completed his playing days for the Raiders last summer. He takes over from Jeremy McCormick, who stepped down last year.
The season starts Saturday for a two-day and a three-game tournament in Green River.
"I believe 46 games is a good number," Beers said. "In the past, we have played as many as 65 games. The 46 games will be a good number to work these guys into baseball."
The Raiders are playing in the American Legiona Class A league this year. Riverton has been grouped in the Southwest division with Green River and Evanston.
Riverton is one of 12 teams in the A division.
The Northeast has Douglas, Gillette Rustlers and the Casper Drillers. The Southeast is Torrington, Laramie and Rawlins.
Cody, Powell and Lovell make up the Northwest division.
"The biggest thing that we can do this year is work more as a team," Beers said. "In the past couple of years, there has been some disconnect with the team as far as the team getting along."
Riverton has a range of 14-year-olds to 18-year-olds on the roster.
"The second thing is that I'm trying to help the younger kids grow their confidence level," Beers said. "The younger kids that we have the talent that they need to be in legion, but I just want to know that within themselves."
Cody Beers is the assistant coach.
The two 18-years-old are on the Riverton roster this year are Rusty Davis and Sam Plush.
Davis is slated to play left field this year.
He attends Shoshoni High School.
"Rusty brings a lot of character," Beers said. "He has an attitude that is always on the up."
Plush is going to play right field.
"He has improved over the last two years," Beers said.
Beers said Riverton will be pitching by committee this year.
"We don't have anybody that will strike a lot of people out. We are going to try to work low in the zone."
Lander Valley High School sophomore Andrew Von Rein is playing for Riverton this summer. He is the only Lander player on the roster.
Von Rein was the quarterback in the fall for LVHS. He also won a Class 3-A state wrestling championship two years ago.
On the baseball diamond, Von Rein is going to play third base.
"Andrew has stepped up to the plate and is doing well," Beers said. "Andrew is one of the most dedicated kids on the team."
Riverton opens the season at 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Evanston. The Raiders play in 7 p.m. with Green River.
Riverton plays Rawlins Sunday morning.
The Evanston and Rawlins games won't count in the conference standings.
Left-hander Leif Krumland gets the start in the season opener.
"The biggest thing for Leif as long as he throws strikes, he gets out because he knows how to work the ball down in the zone," Beers said.
In the second game, Josh Parker will get the ball on the mound.
Parker and Krumland are two 17-year-olds.
"Josh can shake off anything that bad happens when he is pitching," Beers said.
Riverton opens the home season Saturday, May 18, against the Casper Drillers at Roy Peck Field.
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