This year's Bozeman Bucks squad has three college freshmen who just completed their first season of collegiate ball; Jake Ekstrom, Nate Lamberty, and Chad Mackay.
"They bring just exponential value and experience,” said catcher Nate Lamberty. “I mean they've been there and done this before. Ek is a great arm for us and Chad is a great value who adds a lot of value and worth for us behind the plate. So they just mean a whole lot to this program."
The trio serves as team leaders, and they do so with their play on the field.
Pitcher Jake Ekstrom just completed his first season at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona where he gained valuable experience.
And just last weekend that experience paid off when he pitched a complete game shutout, giving up just two hits en route to the win.
"I definitely learned a lot. I had really good coaches down there,” Ekstrom said. “The competition and the skill level down there is much higher. So coming back, I feel like I'm a little more experienced now. So I can just use that as confidence to keep going."
Getting that year of college baseball under their belts has been big for the three this summer, and they'll keep learning from each other.
"I've learned a lot from both Jake Ekstrom and Nate Lamberty, who both went off to college,” said Chad Mackay, a catcher on the team. “Just learned some things about hitting and catching. Some fun baseball things too, like what they did, some chants they did, stuff like that. So it's been good."
The Bucks will go as far as their veterans take them.
But for the younger players, they really have a group to look up to.
"I know the younger kids are looking for a leader out there, and looking to us older guys who have been there and done that,” said Mackay. “It also depends on those younger guys making the plays when they need to, just like the older kids do."