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4A/5A Colorado Springs Metro South

Canon City Tigers

Coach: Tim Ritter, 22nd season

Last season: 16-7 (6-1 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Garrett Bradley, jr., OF; Andrew Lapp, sr., INF; Seth Newton, sr., P/INF; Dylan O'Rourke, jr., OF; Coletin Renn, jr., OF/P; Cole Simms, sr., C/P

Other top athletes: Brendon Chavez, so., INF/P; Colby Koehn, fr., Util; Brady Miller, so., Util/P; Ezavian Ortega, sr., INF; Gabe Renn, fr., Util; Drake Werthman, jr., INF

Outlook: “We have a good mix of juniors and seniors with sophomores and freshmen. We have been hit hard with injuries this season with six players out at this time,” Ritter said.

Mesa Ridge Grizzlies

Coach: John Bishop, seventh season

Last season: 5-17 (4-5 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Dominick Detri, sr., CF/P; Elico Garcia, sr., RF; Chris Hinkle, jr., P/MIF/OF; Tyler Holland, jr., P/1B/3B; Elijah Jefferson, jr., P/3B; Jayden Martinez, so., P/2B/OF; Kyle Roberts, sr., C/1B/ 3B; Dylan Sayler, sr., LF/MIF; Ryan Tutton, sr., P/SS

Other top athletes: Austin Higgins, fr., C/P/Util

Outlook: Bishop said he is excited for the opportunity to watch the seniors play and compete for a conference title. “The future is bright for Mesa Ridge High School,” he said.

Palmer Terrors

Coach: David Mills, third season

Last season: 1-22 (0-12 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Robert Chandler, jr., 3B/1B/P; Mel Heim, jr., OF; Aidan Nelson, sr., P/1B; Azden Nuefeld, so., SS/ OF/P; Josiah Richardson, sr., P/OF; Jeremy Vasquez. so., 2B/OF; Kody Woods, sr., P/1B

Other top athletes: Dylan Barczak, jr., P/C/3B; Adam Jolicouer, fr., CF/SS/P; Tyler Walker, fr., C

Outlook: “What excites me the most is seeing the resilience these young men have and the eagerness to compete,” Mills said. “I am super excited to see my young squad grow and get better.”

Widefield Gladiators

Coach: John Sanchez, 11th season

Last season: 5-18 (4-5 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Tyler Becker, sr., P/C/INF; Braxton Burrows, sr., INF/P; Kragen Burrows, sr., OF/INF/P; Jake Rush, jr., OF/INF; Nicholas Towell, jr., SS/P/C; Jakob Williams, jr., C/P/INF

Other top athletes: Gabe Maestas, jr., P/OF/1B; Ben Prantl, jr., 1B/P

Outlook: Sanchez is most excited about getting back on the field, the freshman class and the seniors “getting a chance to finish their baseball careers on the field.”

4A Pikes Peak

Air Academy Kadets

Coach: Dustin Matlock, second season

Last season: 13-11 (8-6 4A/5A PPAC)

Returning starters: Bodie Banks, sr., OF; Ryder Banks, so., P/OF/1B; Jack Brady, jr., INF/P; James Wright, jr., SS/C; Airen Honeywood, jr., 2B/SS/P/C; Gunnar Nartker, sr., P/1B; Cody Sheets, so., P/OF; Peter Tassler, jr., C/1B

Other top athletes: Matt Hanson, fr., INF

Outlook: “What excites me most is we are hungry, young, talented and these young men are buying into our program the right way,” Matlock said. “We play like this is our last chance (given last year) and I am excited to watch this team play together.”

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Mark Swope, 27th season

Last season: 22-6 (13-1 4A/5A PPAC)

Returning starters: Brad Helton, sr., 3B/CF/RHP; Denton Damgaard, jr., C; Adam Jackson, sr., SS/2B

Other top athletes: Connor Frickey, jr., 1B; Hays Chaney, jr., OF; Ben Myers, so., 3B/RHP

Outlook: “We graduated 12 seniors last year and had a chance at returning from back-to-back state tournament runs,” Swope said. “We became extremely young and inexperienced heading into the 2021 season, but I'm looking forward to seeing these young talented players start a new chapter.”

Doherty Spartans

Coach: Andy Storm, second season

Last season: 10-13 (7-5 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Travis Box, jr., 2B; Gage Carlton, sr., OF/ P; David Cooper, sr., C; Jake Corsi, jr., SS; Max Diluzio, sr., OF/ UT/ P; Chase Frey, sr., 1B/ P; Hunter Frey, sr., 3B/ P; Cameron Hagan, sr., P/UT; Kyle Neuendorf, sr., 3B/ OF/ P; Noah Schiff, sr., P; Logan Spring, sr., LF; Michael Tapia, jr., UT; Griffin Wells, sr., P/ OF

Outlook: Storm said he is most excited “for the boys to be able to compete and show the league who they have become over the last year.”

Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans

Coach: Andrew Johnson, fifth season

Last season: 14-9 (8-4 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Austin Armstrong; John Case; Anibal Rivera; Elliot Rodriguez; Casey Thibault

Other top athletes: Andrew Bailey; Hayden Stowe

Outlook: “We are returning five starters, and three of our four starting pitchers from last year. I am looking forward to some veteran players making a difference this year,” Johnson said. “Most of all, I am excited for the players and coaches to have baseball again.”

Lewis-Palmer Rangers

Coach: Brett Lester, sixth season

Last season: 15-9 (10-4 4A/5A PPAC)

Returning starters: Cooper Ciesielski, jr., C/OF; Braden Coe, sr., OF; Justin Hudson, sr., INF/P; Daulton Johnson, jr., INF; Mick Kazlausky, sr., INF; Josh Murphy, sr., P/OF; Caleb Ralph, sr., P/INF

Other top athletes: KJ Acevedo, sr., OF/P

Outlook: “We have a strong senior class and younger guys that want to compete,” Lester said. “The chemistry is solid and the kids know what hard work is.”

Notes: Paul Tillotson, 2016 Colorado baseball Gatorade Player of the Year, will return to his alma mater to join the Lewis-Palmer coaching staff this year.

Rampart Rams

Coach: Jake Huard, fourth season

Last season: 9-14 (3-9 5A/4A CMSL)

Returning starters: Benji Carrington, jr., CF; Sam Culp, jr., 3B; Jaysen Komrofske, sr., OF/1B; Mason Sermersheim, sr., P/INF; Josh White, jr., SS

Other top athletes: Taylor Duhlaney, jr., INF/P; Roman Valdez, OF

Outlook: “I am excited to have an opportunity to play a season this year after losing our season last spring. I am also excited that we are also joining a new league (PPAC) this year which will provide us with a chance to play competitive teams we don’t usually play,” Huard said. “We also have a young team that I am really looking forward to seeing what they can do this year.”

Vista Ridge Wolves

Coach: Carter Gerber, fifth season

Last season: 5-17 (4-10 4A/5A PPAC)

Returning starters: Nick Baba, sr.; Denny Densen, sr.; Daniel Pacheco, sr.; Luke Singleton, jr.; Zach Stallings, sr.

Other top athletes: Owen Glasgow, so.; Charlie Marcental, so.; Zach Pace, so.

Outlook: Gerber is most excited about the team’s pitching depth.

4A/3A Colorado Springs Metro North

Elizabeth Cardinals

Coach: Andrew Melton, fourth season

Last season: 13-10 (6-2 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Sage Ferguson, sr., r P/ INF; Dylan Madsen, sr., OF; Jace Perez, jr., OF/ P; Tyler Robinson, jr., 2B; Nick Spidel, sr., P/ OF; Zach Tyler, so., UTIL; Tristan Walker, jr., 1B/ P; Jason Weber, so., INF/ C

Other top athletes: Will Lane, sr., P/ UTIL; Jayden Lawrence, jr., 1B; Joe Saunders, jr., UTIL; Damon Strobel, so., C

Outlook: “This sounds cliché, but I am excited we get to play baseball,” Melton said. “More importantly I'm excited to see our seniors rise to become leaders on and off the field. I am excited for our pitching and team speed.”

Falcon Falcons

Coach: Brandon Stegman, second season

Last season: 7-16 (4-10 4A/5A PPAC)

Returning starters: Nolan Adamski, jr., LHP/1B; AJ Castro, sr., RHP/OF; Nolan Faverau, sr., C/OF; Mason Hamlin, jr., SS; Zach McCulloch, jr., OF; Nate Moorehead, sr., RHP/SS; Lane Potts, sr., 3B/OF; Clay Sanger, sr., LHP/OF; Strydor Sartor, sr., OF; Gaven Schmidt, sr., RHP/2B

Other top athletes: Zach Howe, jr., C/3B; Uriah Maestes, fr., LHP/OF; Isaiah Sadorus, fr., LHP/1B/OF; Carter Thorp, fr., C/OF

Outlook: “We have a great group of seniors,” Stegman said. “We have four left-handed arms total on varsity, which makes it very tough to run on us, and we have a strong middle infield with Hamlin and Schmidt. Great group of very talented sophomores and freshmen that are going to play into the mix as well. Very excited to see these guys play and put it all together.”

Notes: Stegman said Sanger and Schmidt both throw an 88 mph fastball. Moorehead throws 86.

Sand Creek Scorpions

Coach: Ed Nelson, eighth season

Last season: 5-17 (0-14 4A/5A PPAC)

Returning starters: Nate Blume, sr., SS; Adam Brock, jr., 1B; Kaden Levi, jr., C; Konner Morgan, sr., RHP; Cole Witter, so., 2B

Other top athletes: Blayne Chapman, so., C; Austin Molluan, fr., OF; Ezekiel Nehez, fr., SS

Outlook: “That we get to play baseball this year is the most exciting thing, but having so much younger talent,” Nelson said.

Sierra Stallions

Coach: Andrew Buxton, second season

Last season: 1-13 (0-7 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Kobe Buell, sr., CF/P; Nigel Piper, so., 1B/OF/P

Outlook: “I am most excited to see the growth of our entire team that is made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores,” Buxton said.

The Classical Academy Titans

Coach: Bart Jennings, sixth season

Last season: 16-8 (7-0 4A CSML)

Outlook: Jennings said he is thankful to be playing this season and excited for his team’s senior leadership.

3A/2A Tri-Peaks

Colorado Springs Christian Lions

Coach: Tom Flannery, fifth season

Last season: 10-13 (2-7 3A Tri-Peaks)

Returning starters: Caleb Smith, jr., SS/P; Ben Thompson, jr., 2B/C; Ben Washburn, sr., 3B/P; Joe Washburn, sr., C/2B

Other top athletes: Luke Davies, sr., LF; Nathan Davies, so., 1B; Kyle Johnson, sr., CF

Outlook: Flannery said he is most excited about “player enthusiasm and getting to have a season after what happened last season.”

Manitou Springs Mustangs

Coach: Brandon DeMatto, fourth season

Last season: 11-14 (6-2 3A Tri-Peaks)

Returning starters: Caleb Allen, jr., 3B/SS/P; Ethan Boren, jr., 1B/P;Tate Christian, jr., OF/P; Thor Flett, sr., OF/INF/P/C; Caden Harris, sr., INF/P; Davis Mack, jr., OF/P; Raymond McCaskey, jr., P/OF; Andrew Rhodes, so., SS/P

Other top athletes: Canon Feist, INF/P; Nathan Gentzel, fr., INF/P; Tyler Maloney, so., OF; Jake Thomson, fr., C

Outlook: “We have a great group of kids that have played together for a number of years. We return several important parts to our team and have added some additional depth with some young, talented freshmen and sophomores. Without playing a single game last year due to COVID, I'm excited to get our kids out on the field competing with one another again,” DeMatto said. “The core of this group consists of the same athletes that took our basketball and football teams to the Final Four in their respective seasons this year. I'm looking forward to seeing how that success, coupled with the success our kids had in 2019 (when many of these same kids were freshmen), translates to the baseball field this year.”

Notes: The Manitou Springs football team won the Class 2A semifinals this weekend featuring 12 athletes who play baseball. The baseball team, which has just three players not competing in football, pushed back its season start date to accommodate football playoffs. Many of the same athletes also helped the boys' basketball team to a semifinal appearance in March.

St. Mary’s Pirates

Coach: Bill Percy, 15th season

Last season: 19-8 (8-1 3A Tri-Peaks)

Returning starters: JP Clune, jr., C/P; Anthony Huber, sr., INF; Landon Kane, sr., P/OF; Jeremy Long, sr., P/1B

Other top athletes: Josh DeBakey, OF; Nick Jenness, INF/P

Outlook: “Quite simply, (I’m excited to) have the opportunity to play a regular high school game for the first time in 23 months,” Percy said. “We were fully prepared to defend our 2019 league and regional championships last year before the season was taken away from us. But that’s in the past. As we look forward to 2021 our pitching staff remains strong. We do have some very capable returning players from that successful 2019 campaign. And we have a few newcomers to the program that will eventually help us. If the offense comes alive, we will be a team to contend with.”

2A/1A Black Forest

Peyton Panthers

Coach: Kelly Nickell, 20th season

Last season: 23-1 (6-0 2A District 8)

Returning starters: Brenton Battista, sr., OF/P; Brandon Hussey, sr., OF/C/P; AJ Lashley, jr., INF/P; Brennen Meyers, sr., INF/P

Other top athletes: Chance Claman, jr., INF/P; Bryce Gregg, jr., C/P; Daniel Kramer, sr., INF/P; CJ Lashley OF/P; Stratton Miller, jr., INF/P; Evan Neumaier, jr., 1B/P; Logan Nickell, so., INF/P; Luke Turner, 1B/OF/P

Outlook: “Excited to be playing again. We have a lot of good players back and are looking to make another run,” Nickell said.

Notes: Peyton won the 2019 2A state championship and enters the 2021 season as defending champions following the cancellation of the 2020 season.

1A District 2

Evangelical Christian Academy Eagles

Coach: Bob DeRuiter, 16th season

Last season: 11-9 (5-1 1A District 2)

Returning starters: Jon Bunker, jr., 2B/ SS; Noah Coddington, jr., 3B/1B

Other top athletes: Pavel Bernlohr, sr., P/ INF; Daniel Counts, fr., C; Michael Kim, so., INF/OF; Vito Yacovoni, jr., INF/OF

Outlook: “This will be a year of learning for us. Last year we graduated eight seniors who did not get their senior season, this included seven starters. This year will be a whole new team with only three total returning players,” DeRuiter said. “We will have to see how quickly our new kids acclimate and how quickly they progress.”

NOTE: Teams not listed did not report