Bubba Ivers pitches for the American Legion Post 62 baseball team last season at Craig Middle School. Head coach Justin Folley said Ivers, as well as incoming seniors Carlos Maldonado and Ivan Nielson, would be the leaders of a young squad this summer.

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Bubba Ivers pitches for the American Legion Post 62 baseball team last season at Craig Middle School. Head coach Justin Folley said Ivers, as well as incoming seniors Carlos Maldonado and Ivan Nielson, would be the leaders of a young squad this summer.

Craig American Legion baseball team fighting through summer season struggles

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Season at a glance

Season at a glance ...

Remaining schedule for the American Legion Post 62 baseball team:

(Date — location — opponent)

• Saturday — away — Paonia

• July 3 — away — Summit

• July 6 — home — Coal Ridge

• July 9 — away — Glenwood Springs

• July 16 — home — Steamboat

Springs

American Legion Post 62 baseball team’s results thus far:

(Date — opponent — win/loss)

• June 1 — Coal Ridge — loss

• June 4 — Palisade — loss

• June 4 — Palisade — loss

• June 7 — Eagle Valley — loss

• June 7 — Eagle Valley — loss

With a successful season with the Moffat County High School baseball team behind him, head coach Justin Folley has turned his attention to the summer season.

As head coach of the American Legion Post 62 baseball team, Folley said this summer is about getting ready for the next spring.

“I’m not really concerned about the wins and losses in the summer,” he said. “We want to get in repetition and get the younger kids used to our high school program. The eighth-graders who will be in high school next year have been chomping at the bit since we started in the spring to get going.”

Thus far, it has been a rocky start for the team.

The Bulldogs lost June 1 in Coal Ridge, then dropped double headers to Palisade on June 4 and Eagle Valley on June 7 to bring their record to 0-5.

Folley said the team is going through growing pains with young talent.

“We have about five kids who will be freshmen, and we have even had some seventh-graders practice with us,” he said. “We’ve had number issues because guys have been on vacation, so we are just trying to get the younger kids ready for the type of program we run in high school.”

For the younger players, Folley said it is good for them to be a part of the American Legion team so they can see teams they will face during Western Slope League play in the spring.

The Bulldogs will play July 9 in Glenwood Springs and host Steamboat Springs on July 16 at Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave.

“A lot of the competition the guys see in the summer is what they will see in high school,” Folley said. “The earlier they can learn how I like to run the team the better.”

Folley said he receives help in coaching the younger players from Bubba Ivers, Carlos Maldonado and Ivan Nielson.

Maldonado and Nielson will be the only two seniors next year, and Ivers led the MCHS team in batting average last season.

“Bubba has done a great job the last two years as a high school starter, and it is time for him to step into the leadership role,” Folley said. “Carlos and Ivan will have to make the jump into the big role as seniors, and the summer is a great time to help them.”

Folley also receives help from assistant coach Josh Fief.

Having Fief’s help, Folley said, has allowed him to take a step back and help players more individually while giving Fief head coaching experience.

When not playing a game, Folley said the team practices about four times a week and emphasizes fundamentals.

“We want to work on the basics so the younger guys can get on the level of high school players,” Folley said. “We work with them on hitting very early and get them where they need to be there. In high school, it is more about defining their skills, so the summer is the time to teach.”

The Bulldogs’ next game will be Saturday in Paonia.

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