Rifle, Glenwood Springs prepare for 2010 baseball season
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado – With four seniors and a crop of talented freshmen taking the diamond, Rifle baseball coach Troy Phillips isn’t entirely sure what to expect in 2010.
If those freshmen mature quickly, a big season could be in store. If they come along slowly, wins might be tough to come by.
No matter how successful the Bears are this season, Phillips likes the direction his program is headed.
“This is probably the best freshman class we’ve had in seven or eight years,” he said. “We have some good, young players in the program that I think could lead us. I don’t know where we’ll be this year, but in the coming years I think we’ll get back to that success we’ve had in the past.”
Leading the way for the youngsters will be the senior quartet of Michael Cash, Chris Hesselberg, Ricardo Quezada and Matt Barrett.
Cash and Hesselberg are likely in line to serve atop the pitching staff. Both will play first base when not on the mound. Barrett’s an outfielder and Quezada will see time at third base.
Others providing a veteran presence on the varsity roster include outfielder Cody Chick, catcher Luke Buss, and outfielder Tyler Wilson. All are juniors.
A few sophomores to watch are middle infielder Nate Schilt, pitcher/utility man Hunter Finger, infielder Jacob Withee and outfielder Trevor Bartels.
A couple of those freshmen to keep an eye on are Danny Bartels and Tristan Quigley, both middle infielders.
Rifle kicks off its season Tuesday at D’Evelyn. With a snowy home field, the Bears haven’t been outside at all so far this spring.
“It’s going to be scary going into the first game against D’Evelyn,” Phillips said. “We will not have been outside at all before playing them.”
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – With firepower returning, Glenwood Springs could very well be in the mix for a return to the playoffs.
The Demons, who went 11-9 and made the postseason in 2009, will be led by the likes of seniors Austin Page and Garrett Hatch and juniors Luke Jacob, Carlos Hernandez and Mario Gonzalez.
Jacob will anchor the pitching staff. He’ll get help from Page, Hernandez and newcomer Kevin Flohr, a junior who hasn’t played baseball for a few years.
Hatch, a catcher, and Gonzalez, a third baseman, have packed a punch at the plate in recent seasons.
Outside of that core, Glenwood Springs coach Eric Nieslanik says he’ll fill in the gaps with younger players. With no practice time outdoors as of yet, he’s not entirely sure what he has to work with.
“We’re just kind of piecing it together,” the fifth-year coach said. “In another week or so, we’ll probably have a better idea.”
The Demons don’t start their season until a March 19-20 trip to Hotchkiss, where they’ll face Weld Central, Monte Vista and the host Bulldogs in a four-team, round-robin tournament.
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