Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Range Riders set for first Pioneer League game

Daily Inter Lake | May 22, 2022 10:45 PM

The Glacier Range Riders will be really riding the range to start their inaugural season, but just wait until mid-June.

And then, mid-July.

For now they’re on the road, starting with a game in Colorado Springs — weather permitting — Monday against the Rocky Mountain Vibe. The Range Riders stay in Colorado for May, then will be in Billings June to continue a 16-game road trip.

Manager Nick Hogan wanted a team that catches the ball and has speed — pretty much a given for a guy who was a hard-nosed leadoff man at Georgia State.

The Pioneer League received a list of 24 players: the list doesn’t include Griffin Keller, the 2021 NAIA Player of the Year, or Cole Warken. They would help any PL offense, but Hogan noted their work visas are delayed.

Pitching is set, though there will be a lot of “piggy-backing”: Vanwey will pitch the opener, but Hogan won’t count on him for more than three innings. Same with Tuesday’s starter, Andrew Stout, and Wednesday’s, Pierce Smith.

“Hopefully we come back for that home opener on the right side of .500,” Hogan said.

June 14 is the opener, and starts a set of three, 3-game series against Billings, MIssoula and Great Falls.

But from July 11-31, the Range Riders will play 16 of 19 games at home and then – after a four-game trip to Billings – they’ll have a 14-game home stand at Flathead Field.

Information about being a host family and a printable schedule can be found at gorangeriders.com. The season is upon us.

“It’s been challenging but it's been a lot of fun,” Hogan said. “I think the Flathead community is going to really appreciate what we have to offer: A team to call their own, so they don’t have to make that two-hour drive to Missoula.”

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