GREAT FALLS — Last season, the Great Falls Voyagers had a tough start to their 2021 campaign starting 0-10. This year though on the diamond a much different and much better beginning giving them one of the best records in the Pioneer League.
Second year man with the Voyagers, Riley Jepson, attributes the strong start to the healthy team dynamic with much of their core from last year returning. All that adds up to the Voyagers winning seven of their last ten games sitting only half a game behind Idaho Falls.
“Obviously super nice when you can get that big core group back with you and I know there’s some guys that we finished the year with that helped build that team chemistry from the start,” Jepson said. “We’re not really feeling each other out we kind of already know each other.”
While it has been a group effort including pitcher Pablo Arevalo, who has a league leading three wins already, the Canada native currently owns the second best batting average in the league batting .460 through 15 games; a feat that is accomplished through the team’s leadership and Jepson’s own mental approach.
“Just controlling my mindset from practice to games, I think that’s been huge change for me. having those older guys. I think that’s been huge just having those influential dudes in the locker room for me.”
On the physical side is where it gets tricky for Jepson who spends his long offseason back home in British Columbia where the winter months are harsh which make it difficult to practice.
“I think I got outside like twice before I came here so you just don’t have those options. Staying consistent in the offseason and even when it’s bad weather and it’s cold you just go outside and do it.”
That kind of grind it out mentality puts the Voyagers 11-4 on the year and looking to endure the long season and continue their upward trajectory. They won the Pioneer League in 2018.