Summit High School baseball team to rely on experience as season gets under way
As mild temperatures and sun-filled skies brings glimpses of spring to Summit County, the weather also brings the promise of the return of spring sports. The Summit High School baseball team is one spring sports team that has begun preparation for the upcoming season.
The Summit Tigers graduated two seniors from last year’s varsity roster, so this year will bring back several seasoned players including senior Jax Boyd, senior K.J. Slaugh and the junior, three-sport athlete Jack Schierholz.
The Tigers finished last season with a record of 7-9 overall and 6-6 in league play under head coach Patrick Stehler. As a team, the Tigers are striving to improve upon their record from last season as well as win the 4A Western Slope league title.
Stehler, who is entering his fifth year as the head coach of the team, hopes that the large amount of returners will lead to more team chemistry and, ultimately, wins.
“I think it will be good, just being a little older and more experienced for us,” Stehler said. “We’ve kind of seen it through the last three, four years now with a younger crew. I think the experience will do a lot for us.”
Stehler said the team is still in the process of figuring out who they will rely on, but he is expecting big in-game performances from Slaugh, Boyd, Cassius Bradford, Will Koll and Jack Taylor.
The Tigers finished fourth in the regular season league rankings last year with a record of 6-6, while Palisade topped the rankings with a record of 11-1. Stehler is hoping that the experience of the team will help them to get a few more wins — especially over competitive, league opponents — this season.
“I think the biggest difference between this season and last season is experience,” Stehler said. “We are a little bit older this year and a little bit bigger, and I think that is going to play a huge role.”
The Tigers will play their first games of the season in a varsity-only tournament in Montrose from March 11-12. Their first game will be play on March 11 at 6 p.m. and their next two games will be played on March 12 at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Tigers will host only host three home games this season. The first occurs May 4.
“We are looking forward to see how everyone comes together and we are excited about next weekend in Montrose for that tournament,” Stehler said. “We are just going to keep working and take it day by day.”
• March 11-12 tournament at Montrose: Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
• March 15 at Palmer, TBA
• March 19 at Rifle, 11 a.m.
• March 22 vs. Elizabeth at Battle Mountain, 12:30 p.m.
• March 26 at Canon City, 11 a.m.
• April 9 at Palisade, TBA
• April 12 at Skyview, 4 p.m.
• April 15 at Glenwood Springs, 2 p.m.
• April 26 at Battle Mountain, 2:30 p.m.
• May 4 vs. Battle Mountain, 2:30 p.m.
• May 7 vs. Eagle Valley, 11 a.m.
• May 10 vs. Basalt, 2:30 p.m.
• May 16 at Steamboat Springs, 3 p.m.
• May 20-21: first round of playoffs
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