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Mavericks look to move past early struggles

The AA Missoula Mavericks are in the midst of defending their state title.

The AA Missoula Mavericks are in the midst of defending their state title. So far, this season has not yet lived up to expectations, but the Mavs are still a confident group.

"I definitely think we can be as good as we were last year," outfielder Sam Bucy said. "We are playing with a target on our back this year which I think we all love."

"This season is not going quite as well as it was last year," said first baseman Dane Fraser. "But I mean we are better than we have been playing."

"Every team has this little slump they get in every year," second baseman James Martin said. "It is just about how hard you work to get out of it and how much you want to do what we did last year."

Missoula enters play this week as losers of five of their last seven contests. On Sunday, the Mavericks were swept by the Kalispell Lakers.

The Mavs have an opportunity to get back on track in their next five games. All of them are within the conference and all of them are home at Lindborg-Cregg Field.

"I definitely think we all have confidence going into these games that we will play well and get some victories," Bucy said.

"What you want to do is win them at home," Martin said. "That way if you do struggle on the road, you still have those games at home that you won to keep you in the conference pretty much and be able to get to the state tournament."

Manger Brent Hathaway told his team to forget about last year's success, but the experience can still have an impact on the current roster.

"No doubt we can beat anybody in this state, but we just need to prove it like we did last year," Martin added. "We struggled last year too, but you know this is the way that we fought out of it and fought back. We knew that we were the best out there so we just need to have that mindset and go into every game knowing that and execute it."

The first chance comes Wednesday night when the Mavericks take on the Billings Royals.

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