Front Range League
Teams: Brighton, Broomfield, Boulder, Erie, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Horizon, Legacy, Loveland, Monarch, Mountain Range, Northglenn, Poudre, Prairie View and Rocky Mountain.
Coach: John Whitehead
Last year’s result: 11-12
Spotlight player: Senior SS/P Danny Balderas-Lujan serves as a double threat after batting .448 with 26 hits, 14 runs and 11 RBIs and striking out 21 batters from the mound as a junior.
Notable: The Panthers are looking to a new flock of talent to step up and will have Balderas-Lujan, senior P/INF David Kimberly, senior OF Chase Lewis and junior P Doug Holleman to lean on. “This group was able to sit behind a talented senior group from last year and learn from them as we worked our way through the season,” Whitehead said. “They are hungry and ready to step in and prove themselves throughout the season.”
Coach: Kale Gilmore
Last year’s result: Class 5A state champions; 21-9 record
Spotlight player: Junior third baseman Dane Most returns as the top plate producer for the Eagles, having batted .451 with 37 hits, 43 runs and 23 RBIs his sophomore year.
Notable: The Eagles return to action on top of the 5A world after defeating nearby rival Legacy, 7-6, in the state title game a year ago. Gilmore will look to a strong core of returners to help guide the team toward victory, led by Most, senior RHP/SS Noah Scott, senior P/1B Jacob Rice, junior P/UTIL Bailey Smith and senior 1B/P Luke Blackmon. “We are confident we can compete again at a high level if we trust the process and go day by day,” Gilmore said.
Coach: Dustin Conley
Last year’s result: The Tigers made it to the semifinals of the Class 4A state playoffs, finishing with a 19-9 record.
Spotlight player: Senior SS Holden Pantier returns as the Tigers’ top hitter after averaging .471 with 48 hits, 39 runs and 35 RBIs his junior year.
Notable: The Tigers enter the season with high confidence under their second-year head coach, who looks to build upon last year’s success behind Pantier, sophomore C/UTIL Varek Van Aelstyn, senior LHP Ethan Dillinger, senior RHP Darian Burnett and junior RHP Kaveh Meredith. “Being my second year at the head of the program, it is exciting to be able to get to work with many familiar faces and start this season ahead of where we were last year at this time,” Conley said.
Coach: David Castillo
Last year’s result: 6-16
Spotlight player: Senior INF/OF/P Elliot Goldman returns as the top batter with a .296 average, 16 hits, 11 runs and five RBIs as a junior.
Notable: The Knights will look to improve with their core set of players: Goldman, senior OF/P Aiden Scott, sophomore C/IF Jack Espiritu-Niswonger, junior P Anton Keith and sophomore C/IB Ryder Villarreal. “We are very confident in our young talented team,” Castillo said. “They have put a lot of work in the offseason to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Coach: Ty Giordano
Last year’s result: Class 5A runner-up, 27-4 record.
Spotlight player: Senior SS/2B Brandon Sanchez comes back as the Lightning’s top batsman after averaging .523 with 56 hits, 42 RBIs and 51 runs.
Notable: The Lightning are loaded again this year with seniors like Sanchez, OF Marcus Romero, C Derek Olsen, OF Ethan Pagenkopp, P/DH Wes Barnett, P/1B/3B Quinn Walker, P Jaidon D’Ambrosio and P Senan Heys. “We are excited for the challenges this season will present. Everyone needs coaching,” Giordano said. “The day you stop learning is the day you start failing. That goes for any aspect of your life.”
Coach: James Thompson
Last year’s result: 10-13
Spotlight player: Junior OF Christian Mittleman is a returning all-conference player who led the Coyotes at the plate with a .435 batting average, 30 hits, 29 runs and 16 RBIs.
Notable: The Coyotes return a lot of varsity experience with Mittleman and his senior core: UTL/P Michael Osswald, OF/P Ethan Carter, INF/P Justin Mosakowski, INF/P Max Mueller and C Tyler Rock. “Scale of 1-10, I’m a 7.5682 right now,” Thompson said. “Our offense looks to be our strength early in the season based off of scrimmages and intra-squads. Right now our bats look ready for games and have the ability to put runs on the board early and often.”
Northern Colorado Athletic Conference
Teams: Centaurus, Greeley Central, Greeley West, Holy Family, Longmont, Mead, Silver Creek and Windsor.
Coach: Douglas Kinney
Last year’s result: 6-17
Spotlight player: Senior INF/P Jacob Amador returns as the Warriors’ top hurler, having pitched 38.2 innings his junior year for a 6.16 ERA and 55 strikeouts.
Notable: The Warriors will look toward its senior leadership, behind Amador, to lead the team into the future. He’ll be joined by senior OF/P Zeke Hirsh, senior INF/P Brandon Korn, junior OF/P Zak White, junior C/P Jaiden Treasure and sophomore OF/P Zach Young. “Our pitching staff seems to be gaining momentum as we enter the season,” Kinney said. “We have a number of younger players that are anxious to play varsity this year.”
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Marc Cowell
Last year’s result: 13-10
Spotlight player: Senior P/INF Jake Syverson returns as the Tigers’ top hurler, throwing 33 innings with 68 strikeouts, 18 walks and 12 earned runs allowed as a junior.
Notable: The Tigers expect to improve from the 2022 season behind their leading man on the mound, as well as senior P Jack Krueger, senior SS/CF/P Catcher Gladysh, junior OF Rylan Cooney and junior SS/P Cole Kuszak. “The team had a positive and productive offseason,” Cowell said. “Pitching depth will be our strength. If we improve our run production, we expect to experience some good success this season.”
Coach: Tom Fobes
Last year’s result: 12-11
Spotlight player: Senior P/3B Jacob Moats returns as the Trojans’ leader on the mound with a 2.68 ERA from his junior season as well as 53 strikeouts to just 16 walks.
Notable: While the Trojans graduated seven seniors, they return a strong core of leaders that Fobes believed made big strides in the offseason, led by Moats, senior CF Jack O’Brien, senior C/1B Griffin Taylor and senior OF/P Brayden Tate. “I have full confidence in these guys and their willingness to do what it takes to help the team be successful,” Fobes said. “They all have great desire to improve every day and I know we will compete.”
Coach: Joe McKenzie
Last year’s result: 12-11
Spotlight player: Junior pitcher Austin Miller comes back as the top plate producer for the Mavericks with a .388 batting average, 26 hits, 20 runs and 16 RBIs
Notable: The Mavericks return six seniors and a large amount of club talent and will be led by Miller, senior P/INF Taylon Adler, senior P/INF Christian Ayers, senior P/INF Brenner Downey, senior P/OF Drew Perigo and junior C Tyler Reyburn. “It should be a season to look forward to now that we actually have been able to get outside and practice and get some games under our belt,” McKenzie said.
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Bradley Steward
Last year’s result: 10-13
Spotlight player: Senior P/INF Will Schleper comes back as the Raptors’ top plate producer after batting .361 with 26 hits, 22 runs and 14 RBIs as a junior.
Notable: The Raptors will look a bit different after graduating 12 seniors, but will lean on Schleper, junior P/INF Ian Wicht, junior P/OF Zander Storz and sophomore P/OF Connor Lopez to lead them early. “We hope to compete in an always-tough NCAC conference and look to lean on those guys with varsity experience,” Steward said. “Our hope is to be playing our best baseball in late May.”
Longs Peak League
Teams: Fort Morgan, Frederick, Mountain View, Niwot, Northridge, Riverdale Ridge, Roosevelt, Severance, Skyline and Thompson Valley.
Frederick Golden Eagles
Coach: Colin York
Last year’s result: 6-17
Spotlight player: After minimal reps on the mound last year, senior P/1B/OF Sam Fisher put in the work over the summer to step up as the Golden Eagles’ ace in 2023.
Notable: The Golden Eagles will look a bit different after graduating seven pitchers, instead looking to newer faces like Fisher to step up. Senior 1B/P Tanner Rosati, senior 3B/P Joey Villani and senior C Cruz Zamudio will join him as leaders. “I am excited for the team we have put together this year,” York said. “We have always had talent in the program but this year’s team has a well-rounded talent level throughout the lineup and are working together to achieve our shared goals.”
Coach: Ken Rosales
Last year’s result: 5-18
Spotlight player: Senior SS Jed Kilpatrick led the Cougars at the plate in 2022, averaging .458 with 33 hits, 25 runs and 18 RBIs.
Notable: Rosales added hitting and pitching coaches to his staff and hopes that will help his guys, led by Kilpatrick, junior P/OF Brock Rothstein and senior C Diego Castro, level up this year. “I am very excited about the team this year,” Rosales said. “The team is young and very enthusiastic. We seem to have them on the right track at this time.”
Coach: Travis Schlagel
Last year’s result: 12-11
Spotlight player: Senior RF/P Connor Ormsby comes back as the Falcons’ top hitter, averaging .389 with 28 hits, 22 runs and 18 RBIs as a junior.
Notable: The Falcons bring back an experienced varsity squad behind Ormsby, senior SS/P Collin Wright, senior P/OF Evan Gail and senior 2B/C Breaden Hufford, to name a few. “We posted a winning record in a tough league last year and are excited to be a part of the Longs Peak League this year,” Schlagel said. “We are confident in our ability to score runs and confident in our guys on the mound.”
Teams: Colorado Academy, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, Kent Denver, Manual, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge and The Academy.
Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Gino Carbajal
Last year’s result: 13-12
Spotlight player: Senior OF Devan Bagley returns as the Jaguars’ top batsman, averaging .429 at the plate with 15 hits, 12 RBIs and 19 runs.
Notable: Bagley will lead a group of younger players alongside senior P/1B Mason Larkin and sophomore P/SS Austen Bauer as the Jaguars look to build on their two consecutive American Legion (summer ball) championships. “We are a young team but that is a positive,” Carbajal said. “They’re a great group of young men. I love these guys.”
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Matthew Castilleja
Last year’s result: 13-11
Spotlight player: Senior Brady Bowman returns as a double threat on the mound and at the plate, having secured a 4.46 ERA through 14 appearances and balancing that out with a .425 batting average as a junior.
Notable: The Pumas have high confidence going into the new year with a young but experienced squad that teems with chemistry. Bowman will be joined on the field by senior P/LF Logan Hughes, junior SS/P Eddie Castilleja, junior 2B/P Charlie Custard and junior OF Charlie Kasic. Said coach Castilleja: “We are three seasons removed from our last Metro League baseball championship and we are looking forward to returning back to that form.”
Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Mark Knudsen
Last year’s result: 10-14
Spotlight player: Sophomore SS/RHP Zeke Bote can do a little bit of everything, but excels most at the plate after averaging .400 with 28 hits, 29 runs and 14 RBIs as a freshman.
Notable: The Miners will “learn to walk before they run” with a young squad, but Knudsen is looking forward to what Bote, sophomore IF/RHP Liam Schilling, junior OF/RHP Ethan Free and junior OF/LHP Kyle Kreder can help this team achieve. “We’ll start two juniors and the rest sophomores and freshmen, so it’s going to be a learning year for our team,” Knudsen said. “Our young players have talent, they just lack high school experience.”
Mile High League
Teams: Clear Creek, Dawson, Dayspring Christian, Denver Academy, Denver Christian, Estes Park, Front Range Christian, Gilpin County, Lyons, Machebeuf and SkyView Academy.
Coach: Troy Siegler
Last year’s result: Made second round of 2A regionals, 13-7
Spotlight player: Senior SS Ashtin Gilio played as a man among boys last year, leading the nation in OPS (2.420) and SLG (1.618) last season.
Notable: The Mustangs return with all the right molecules, lending toward some great chemistry on the field. Gilio, the nucleus of the team, will be joined by sophomore P/1B Dawson Kusel, freshman UTIL Shelton Johnson, senior C/2B Tyler Burridge, junior P/OF/INF Charlie Heathwood and senior OF Cayden Fisher. “I am beyond excited about our team this season,” Siegler said. “We only graduated one senior last season, so we have a lot of depth and returning players. I expect us to compete in our league and make a run in the state tournament.”
Coach: Kale Olson
Last year’s result: 18-7, played into the second round of the 2A regionals
Spotlight player: Junior P/SS Wyatt Waters steps into the ace role after pitching 31.2 innings last year, yielding 48 strikeouts, 30 walks and 27 earned runs.
Notable: The Lions look to build on the foundation they laid in 2022 behind Waters, junior CF Davis Abernathy and freshman SS/P Jake Lacrosse. “We have a young team full of speedy athletes,” Olson said. “We have depth in the infield, and gaps to fill that were left with our graduated senior class. We have around 100 innings to fill at the pitcher position.”
Teams: Denver Jewish, Flatirons Academy, Gilpin County, Longmont Christian, Mile High Academy and Rocky Mountain Lutheran.
Longmont Christian Warriors
Coach: RK Hancock IV
Last year’s result: N/A.
Spotlight player: Senior SS/P Trevor Munz.
Notable: For the first time in four years, the Warriors are fielding a varsity team behind the diamond stylings of Munz and junior P/OF Brandon Guildner. “This season I am confident that we will be competitive against every team in our league and that we will be the most improved team in the league by the end of the year,” Hancock said. “I am very excited to work with this team as they are very willing to learn more about this great game of baseball.”