Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Big schools baseball capsules

By Kevin Carmody kevin.carmody@gazette.com - Published: March 11, 2014

5A METRO

Doherty

Coach: Chris Solarek

2013 season: 8-11, 4-6 CSML

Key players: Nick Chavez, sr., OF/RHP; Cory Ewald, sr., C; Mitch Gemigani, sr., INF/RHP; Lalo Porras, sr., INF/RHP; Will Reynolds, sr., LHP/INF

Outlook: The Spartans, who fell out of the playoff chase late last season, are focused on getting into the postseason in 2014. Solarek said the returning players "have a chip on their shoulders." Offensively, Ewald leads five returning starters after batting .370 with 18 RBIs, both team bests, while on the mound, Reynolds went 5-0 with a 3.05 ERA.

 

Fountain-Fort Carson

Coach: Jay Sevier

2013 season: 11-8, 5-5 CSML

Key players: Joe Belarde, sr., CF; Brandon Salazar, sr., SS; Austin Powell, sr., 2B; Cooper Harris, sr., P/C; Josh Sanchez, sr., OF/P; Michael Hollingsworth, sr., C; Logan Kramer, sr., OF/P.

Outlook: The Trojans return plenty of experience with seven seniors ready to take the next step and qualify for the 5A playoffs. Salazar batted .381 last season, while Powell had a .333 average with 19 RBIs, tops among returning players.

 

Liberty

Coach: David Schmidt

2013 season: 7-12, 2-8 CSML

Key players: Zach Estes, sr., 2B; Kyle Simon, sr., 1B; Mike Love, sr., RF; Tony Rice, so., SS

Outlook: Schmidt, the former assistant and interim coach after the sudden departure of Scott Cooper in late July, starts his first season calling the shots. The Lancers stand to improve off last season's mark with a strong senior class, led by Estes (12 RBIs in 2013) and Simon (0.64 ERA in 11 innings). Rice impressed as a freshman, batting .347.

 

Palmer

Coach: Mike Hagen

2013 season:7-12, 4-6 CSML

Key players: Alexis Enriquez, jr., P/SS; Luke Demolli, jr., P/INF; Isaac Morse, jr., INF; Jacob Briggs, jr., C; Waseem Quereshi, sr., OF; Michael Montague, sr., P/3B

Outlook: After graduating seven seniors, the Terrors will sport a mostly inexperienced lineup but should be set for a bright future. Enriquez, a second-team all-league pitcher last year, could be on the verge of a breakout season after going 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA as a sophomore.

 

Pine Creek

Coach: Glenn Millhauser

2013 season: 16-5, 9-1 CSML (lost in district playoffs)

Key players: Evan Maecker, sr., OF; Ben Underhill, sr., 1B; Scott Savage, sr., OF; Tucker Kincaid, jr., C; Matt Lasley, jr., SS

Outlook: The Eagles won the league title for a fourth straight season in 2013 but failed to advance to the state tournament, snapping a three-year streak. This season, Millhauser fields a team with only three seniors with varsity experience. Maecker batted .391 as a junior and is the most experienced member of the team's pitching staff with 13 innings last season.

 

No report: Rampart

 

4A METRO

Mesa Ridge

Coach: Cory Monroe

2013 season: 12-6, 7-3 CSML

Key players: Jake Grotelueschen, sr., P/INF; Desi DesBouillons, sr., P/INF; Ben Ryberg, sr., P/INF; Logan Beatty, jr., P/INF; Tyler Tyrell, sr., INF/OF

Outlook: The Grizzlies had a five-game improvement in Monroe's first season, barely missing the 4A playoffs after a second-place finish in the Metro League. Beatty hit .464 and led the league with 29 RBIs, while Grotelueschen batted .431 with 17 stolen bases, a league high, to go with a solid 2.58 ERA.

 

Mitchell

Coach: Alan Earing

2013 season:10-9, 3-4 CSML

Key players: Johnathon Lieberman, sr., P/1B; Reyez Martinez, jr., P/SS; Cole Evans, so., P/C/INF

Outlook: The Marauders in 2013 enjoyed their first winning season in more than a decade and hope to keep it going despite the loss of seven seniors. Evans batted .333 and made the only start by a non-senior, so he'll be counted on heavily to provide leadership from both sides.

 

No report: Coronado, Harrison, Sierra, Widefield, Woodland Park

 

4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conferenec

Air Academy

Coach: Bernie Moncallo

2013 season: 14-7, 12-2 PPAC

Key players: Jeremy Hockmuth, sr., 1B/P; Gehrig Ensor, sr., P; Zach Pape, sr., P; Noah McConnell, jr., P/SS

Outlook: The Kadets won the league title last season but were unable to duplicate the success from 2012, when they advanced all the way to the state final before falling to Broomfield. Hockmuth is considered one of the area's best players after a junior season in which he batted .517 with four home runs and 27 RBIs, striking out only twice in 72 plate appearances. Pape went 3-1 and struck out 22 batters in 232/3 innings.

 

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Mark Swope

2013 season: 13-8, 9-5 PPAC (lost in district final)

Key players: Nic Lacayo, jr., C; Chris Garcia, sr., 1B; Cody McCurry, sr., 3B/RHP; Jordan Bieber, sr., OF/RHP; Matt Reynolds, sr., OF/RHP; Jeff Kohl, sr., SS

Outlook: Plenty of experience returns from last year's squad that knocked defending 4A state champion Broomfield out of the playoffs. Lacayo batted .343 with four home runs and 20 RBIs and threw out 12 of 20 runners trying to steal. McCurry struck out 36 batters in 392/3 innings, while Bieber fanned 23 in 222/3.

 

Discovery Canyon

Coach: Mike Barbato

2013 season: 10-9, 5-9 PPAC

Key players: Cody Alhgrimm, sr., SS/RHP; Andrew Hall, jr., CF; Jacob Hein, jr., OF/RHP

Outlook: Hall, who Barbato calls "the most athletic player in the conference," had a team-high 24 RBIs last season and hit three home runs, tied for the team lead. Alhgrimm also had three home runs, and the four-year starter added 21 RBIs and also recorded two wins. Hein started six games and finished with a 3-1 record.

 

Falcon

Coach: Don Thompson

2013 season: 12-8, 9-5 PPAC (lost in district playoffs)

Key players: Wyatt Aaberg, jr., 3B; Bailey Flores, sr., SS; Jeff Vela, jr., P; Ben McDowell, jr., P

Outlook: Even with the departure of 10 seniors and the return of only four letter-winners, the Falcons believe their chemistry couldn't be better and plan on challenging for their first league title in school history. Aaberg had a monster sophomore season, batting .481 with four home runs and 20 RBIs, and McDowell added two home runs and 13 RBIs and a .464 average. Flores was among the PPAC's pitching leaders last season with a 4-0 record and 2.62 ERA.

 

Lewis-Palmer

Coach: Tom McCabe

2013 season: 8-11, 6-8 PPAC

Key players: PJ Underwood, sr., C/P; Carson Haws, sr., P; Ben Stinson, jr., SS; Conner Weeth, jr., OF/C; Hank Kunzelman, jr., 1B

Outlook: Underclass pitchers accounted for all eight of the Rangers' wins last year and most are back, highlighted by Underwood, who had two victories and a 1.00 ERA in 21 innings. Stinson had a team-high six doubles last season, but as a team, the offense will have to be better after batting just .288 in 2013.

 

Palmer Ridge

Coach: Steve Whiting

2013 season: 11-9, 11-3 PPAC (lost in district playoffs

Key players: Carter Thorne, sr., OF; Jake Weems, sr., P; Billy Schulze, sr., C; Cole Hurford, jr., OF; Cassen Minarick, sr.

Outlook: The Bears finished second to Air Academy in the PPAC and earned home-field advantage in the district playoffs, but ran into a stout Mountain View team that eventually won the 4A state championship. In 2014, Whiting will start six underclassmen, led by Hurford, who batted .476 last season. Thorne had an outstanding season as well with a .424 average, two home runs and 27 RBIs.

 

Sand Creek

Coach: Brett Humphrey

2013 season: 8-11, 4-10 PPAC

Key players: Keenan Morgan, sr., P/3B; John Mackey, sr., P/DH; Zach Keaton, sr., C/INF; Hayden Eastburn, sr., P/1B; Tyler Meyers, jr., P/2B/OF; Joe Tino, jr., SS; Fernando Hernandez, jr., 2B/P/OF

Outlook: The majority of the Scorpions' offensive production came from seniors in 2013, so it'll be time for this year's seniors, such as Morgan (.367, 13 RBIs and three wins in 2013) and Keaton (.310) to fill some big shoes. Pitching was Sand Creek's downfall last season with a 7.42 team ERA.

 

No report: Vista Ridge

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