Legion set for regional tournament

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Corbin Ovist is a key member of the Rock County River Monsters.

BELOIT - The Rock County River Monsters are locked and loaded, well-prepared for the AAA Legion Baseball Regionals.

At least, that's the view of coach Rich Raisbeck, who believes his 19-9 squad is ready to make a run.

The River Monsters will open the regional tournament, held at Janesville's Riverside Park, Friday against Lake Geneva at 8 p.m.

The double elimination tournament also includes Madison, Racine and Mukwonago.

Raisbeck's team closed the regular season with a second-place finish at a very competitive tournament in Plover and a 5-0 loss to Lake Geneva Tuesday night.

"I think we are in a great place mentally as a team," Raisbeck said. "We had a long layoff at the beginning of the month and since then, we've built ourselves back up, working towards the goal of winning this regional. I think we've done a very good job. Our game Tuesday against Lake Geneva wasn't indicative of how far we've come. We'll be a different team Friday then we were. These middle of the week games, like a lot of teams, our rosters are a little anemic. We put guys in spots that can be a little outside their comfort zones, and that makes it a little tough.

"But we'll got into this tournament with a full roster. This team isn't afraid, and they will go out there and compete. The rest will play itself out."

There will be a pair of games on Friday before a full slate of contests Saturday. The tournament will either wrap up Sunday afternoon or Monday evening.

While Raisbeck is comfortable with the roster he has, he's bringing up a few players from the Beloit 17U roster.

"The more bodies you have in a tournament like this, the better," Raisbeck said. "We've got Drew Ries who is day-to-day with an injury as well. Drew is a huge part of our team, both on the mound and at the plate, so I hope he's available but we aren't sure yet. So it's good to have some coverage behind him."

Raisbeck said the regional field is full of solid teams.

"Everyone comes into this tournament really hungry," Raisbeck said. "You can forget everything about the regular season, because now everyone is here to play ball. We can't afford to overlook anybody. Madison is going to be a good team, and Lake Geneva just beat us. We are going to have to show up every game and be ready to play ball."

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