Nieslanik’s hot bat nearly wins POY award |

Nieslanik’s hot bat nearly wins POY award

Jon Mitchell
Roaring Fork High School's Tanner Nieslanik throws a ball to first during the Class 4A/3A Western Slope League All-Star Game held at Deerfeild Park in Rifle on May 27. Nieslanik, who was named to the Class 3A all-WSL team, finished the season as one of the state's top hitters.
Christopher Mullen / Post Independent |


Player of the Year: Trent Walker, Sr., Cedaredge.

Coach of the Year: Tom Percival, Gunnison.


INFIELD: Brady Wilson, Sr., Olathe; Tanner Nieslanik, Sr., Roaring Fork; Brievin Book, Soph., Gunnison; Noah Schoenberger, Jr., Basalt; Jacob Mazza, Soph., Olathe; Colton Yost, Sr., Moffat County; Calvin Corey, Jr. Olathe.

OUTFIELD: Peter Williamson, Sr., Cedaredge; Tylor Beach, Jr., Cedaredge; Taylor Miller, Sr., Gunnison; Jake Wallin, Jr., Gunnison; Tim Johnson, Sr., Basalt; Max Marlox, Sr., Aspen.

CATCHER: Travis Quinn, Jr., Gunnison; Tristan Waddell, Soph., Cedaredge; Mrio Hightower, Jr., Olathe.

PITCHER: Trent Walker, Sr., Cedaredge; Nick Romano, Sr., Gunnison; Nick Calabro, Sr., Basalt; Richie Winkler, Sr., Basalt.

UTILITY: Aaron Henrie, Cedaredge; Tucker Jenkins, Basalt; Greyson Keener, Coal Ridge.

HONORABLE MENTION: Alex Fisher, Sr., Roaring Fork.

Tanner Nieslanik of Roaring Fork High School and Richie Winkler of Coal Ridge were among seven players who received all-state nominations when the Class 3A Western Slope League all-league team was named by the league’s coaches at the conclusion of the regular season earlier this month.

Nieslanik, a senior for the Rams, was far and away the best hitter in the 3A WSL. He finished the year with a .643 batting average (36-for-56), including two home runs and 33 RBIs in 70 plate appearances this past season. He had at least two hits in all but five of the Rams’ 19 games this season. Roaring Fork finished the season with a 5-14 overall record.

The best game of Nieslanik’s season came in his final game with the Rams on May 3. He finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs, two triples and four runs scored in Roaring Fork’s 22-10 victory over Moffat County.

Nieslanik’s numbers, according to statistics provided by, ranked him fourth in all Colorado classifications in batting average behind Devan Rupe of Hotchkiss (.701), Billy Clark of Steamboat Springs (.694) and Chris Eggebrecht of Cornerstone Christian (.651). He also, through Wednesday, ranked 14th in the nation in batting average, according to MaxPreps.

Winkler, also a senior, was the Titans’ top starting pitcher this season. He went 4-2 in nine appearances, compiling a 4.29 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 31 walks in 45 2/3 innings pitched. Twenty-eight of the 45 runs he allowed were earned runs.

Winkler wasn’t too bad at the plate either. His .541 batting average was second on the team to team leader Greyson Keener, who hit .583.

Nieslanik finished second overall in the coach’s voting for the 3A WSL Player of the Year. Cedaredge senior Trent Walker won that award, and Gunnison coach Tom Percival took home Coach of the Year honors after leading the Cowboys to a share of the league title with Cedaredge.

Also winning first-team, all-league honors was Keener, who earned the award as a utility player. Keener helped the Titans to a fifth-place finish in the league standings and the team’s first state playoff appearance since the 2008 season.

Earning an honorable mention on the all-league team was Roaring Fork senior Alex Fisher.

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