Rifle’s Bailey Hoffmeister earns share of league’s Player of the Year award
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
CLASS 4A ALL-WSL BASEBALL
Players of the Year: Bailey Hoffmeister, Rifle, and Keaton Reiher, Delta.
Coach of the Year: Marty Rover, Delta.
Bailey Hoffmeister, Rifle; Keaton Reiher, Delta, Travis Edgar, Eagle Valley; Troy Levinson, Palisade, Billy Clark, Steamboat Springs; Isaiah Katherine, Delta; Chase Nieslanik, Glenwood Springs; Zane Abeyta, Palisade; Teig Hauer, Rifle; Chris Sarabia, Glenwood Springs; Mitchell Gray, Summit; Andrew Bowles, Palisade; Harrison Stevens, Eagle Valley; Tass Crow, Palisade; Franklin Reilly, Battle Mountain; Ryan Jeep, Steamboat Springs; Jeremiah Baiher, Delta; Derek Horn, Delta.
Sean Weller, Battle Mountain; Keifer Brocker, Glenwood Springs; Cody Burnes, Eagle Valley; Tristan Brown, Delta; Bobby Desantis, Palisade; Cameron Campbell, Palisade; Jacob Latta, Summit; Duncan Biggin, Summit; Matt Regan, Steamboat Springs; Layton Stutsman, Rifle; Wyatt Robinson, Rifle; Alex Gould, Rifle; Cody Blevins, Eagle Valley; Slater Sabo, Eagle Valley; Wade Ticer, Eagle Valley.
The hard-working kid with the not-so-normal shoulder blades pitched his way to the Player of the Year honors in the Class 4A Western Slope League this season.
Rifle High School senior Bailey Hoffmeister shared the league’s top honor with Delta senior Keaton Reiher, using his stellar performances on the mound to cap a second-consecutive state playoff appearance for the Bears.
The award was the top award given when the All-WSL team was named by the league’s coaches following the end of the regular season. Winning the award as Coach of the Year was Marty Rover, whose Delta squad won the league championship.
Hoffmeister finished the season 7-3 with a 1.96 ERA, allowing 18 walks and 16 earned runs with 39 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. The number of innings he logged was second in Class 4A to Eagle Valley’s Travis Edgar (59) and Longmont’s Brett Sterkel (58.1).
Hoffmeister also finished the season with eight complete games, which ranked tops in all Colorado classifications, along with Mitch Davison of 1A Caliche and Nick Calabro of 3A Basalt.
It’s a tremendous accomplishment, considering that Hoffmeister was born with a flattened glenoid, the part of the scapula which attaches the upper-arm bone, or humerus. That bone structure created bone friction in Hoffmeister’s shoulders whenever he threw a baseball, causing a sharp pain that kept him from playing much of the 2012 season. Physical therapy since then, however, helped him become Rifle’s No. 1 starter and gave him prospects for playing college baseball, which Rifle coach Troy Phillips said Hoffmeister is currently exploring.
Also earning first-team, all-league recognition for Rifle was senior Teig Hauer, the Bears’ No. 2 starter behind Hoffmeister. He helped the Bears reach the 4A state playoffs and finish with a 12-8 overall record.
Chase Nieslanik of Glenwood Springs, a junior who finished right behind Hoffmeister in the number of innings pitched this season (56 2/3), was one of two Glenwood Springs players named to the first team. Demons senior catcher Chris Sarabia was the other.
Earning honorable-mention recognition were three Rifle players: Layton Stutsman, Wyatt Robinson and Alex Gould. Glenwood Springs’ Keifer Brocker was also an honorable mention for the Demons, who finished 10-9 overall this season.
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