Eight area baseball players receive Western Slope League honors
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Jake Kinney did it all for the Roaring Fork baseball team this season. He was the team’s No. 1 pitcher and more. When he wasn’t on the mound, he was a star center fielder who frequently robbed hitters with his diving grabs.Offensively, Kinney was even more dangerous. He hit .531, smacked four home runs, hit two doubles, two triples, knocked in 13 RBIs and even swiped six bases. As one of three seniors on the squad, Kinney also served as the team’s leader.So, at the Class 3A Western Slope League meeting on Monday night, it wasn’t any surprise that Kinney was named as the WSL Utility Player of the Year as well as a player on the Western Slope All-League first team. Kinney was the only Ram to be honored.Coal Ridge, which had a monumental season with team firsts that included first win to first postseason appearance, had three players receive honorable mention in senior Titans Darren Matthews and Zach Lyon as well as junior Josh Alsop. Matthews was one of Coal Ridge’s top pitchers and threw a no-hitter in the Titans’ first-ever win. Lyon helped the Titans with his flashy glove at second base as well as his speed that turned bunts and ground balls into singles. Alsop was the Titans’ best power hitter as the catcher slugged two home runs during the season as well as numerous base hits. Cedaredge dominated the WSL team, just as it dominated the WSL teams in the regular season where the Bruins went 14-0. Eight Bruins were either named to the first team or received honorable mention including WSL Player of the Year Bo Baker. Cedaredge head coach Randy Brown was named the top coach in the WSL.Three Bears, one Demon honored in 4A WSLThree Rifle seniors and another from Glenwood Springs were selected to the Class 4A Western Slope All-League team.Third baseman Asa Fix, designated hitter/shortstop Zach Whitmore and ace pitcher Kyle Bond represent the Bears on the first team. Fix finished the year with a .444 batting average, a .714 slugging percentage, a .610 on-base percentage, 23 runs scored, 23 RBIs and 10 doubles. Whitmore, a former pitcher who was forced off the mound because of shoulder surgery in the offseason, hit .407 in his senior campaign, had a slugging percentage of .593, an on-base percentage of .614 and 16 stolen bases. He also set a Rifle school record for most triples in a season with three. Bond was a double threat for Rifle as its No. 1 pitcher and one of its best hitters. On the mound, the senior had a 3.01 ERA with 58 strikeouts. At the plate, he hit .393, had a .500 slugging percentage, a .563 on-base percentage, 14 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.For Glenwood, catcher Chad Sommers was the only Demon to make the first team. Sommers, who was Glenwood’s leader on the field, hit .391 on the season with 20 runs scored, 21 RBIs, nine extra-base hits and six stolen bases. Palisade, the WSL Champion, took home the league’s top honors. Steve Moore was named WSL Coach of the Year, and Travis Del Moral was dubbed WSL Player of the Year.
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.