MOSES LAKE — The Riverdogs 15U team prepares for a trip to the Babe Ruth World Series next week in Bismarck after a string of wins last weekend. The Riverdogs has hit their stride, winning 11 of their last 14 games over the past three weeks.
The Riverdogs team will play in three games this weekend against an assortment of the 18U Riverdogs team, beginning Friday evening, with a double header on Saturday. The games will help raise money for the team’s trip next week, while offering the chance for pitchers and players to stay loose and focused.
Assistant coach Brock Lybbert said it was a unanimous feeling of pride between all the coaches of what this team has been able accomplish so far this summer. Coming into this summer, Lybbert said a lot of the attention was on a the senior Riverdogs team, with many of the players starters on the Moses Lake High School state champion team.
“I think this team may have been overlooked a little bit,” Lybbert said. “I think we were all just really proud to see their progress this summer and see them accomplish something that most of them had never done before.”
The 15U team defeated Glacier 7-1 in the regional final game in Camas on Saturday afternoon to advance to the World Series in Bismarck. While the Riverdogs have been on tier lately, the team took some knocks early on the year, taking part in a handful of tournaments against 18U teams.
Lybbert said the losses early could have broken the team’s confidence, but the group never gave in.
“They’ve always kept fighting,” he said.
Lybbert believes the driving force of the team’s recent surge is their aggressiveness offensively. Being able to execute well at the plate, while staying aggressive on the bases has turned the Riverdogs into a tough matchup.
“At the 15U level, that can be really difficult for teams to defend and match that intensity, when someone is just always attacking on the bases,” Lybbert said.
When the pitchers are able to come out and compete and let their defense come in and work behind them, Lybbert said they are a successful ball club.
While the team has strung together a lot of wins over the past few weeks, there have been games where the Riverdogs were forced to fight. Faced with big moments under pressure has helped the squad continue to learn to compete, and finish, Lybbert said.
Moving into the World Series next week, Lybbert said he sees no reason why they can’t walk away on top.
“It’s all because of the character and mentality that they have learned, whether it’s learning it from the older boys, or learning it from things we talked about and taught them this summer,” Lybbert said.
The 13-15 World Series kicks off next week, going from Aug. 8 through the 15.