Adams State Baseball 2019 Preview

Adams State Baseball 2019 Preview

Erik Hildebrandt

After a rough 2018 season, the Adams State baseball team is looking to become a winning team this upcoming season. The Grizzlies were 3-47 during the 2018 season. The challenge this season will be replacing four starting position players, two starting pitchers, and a handful of bullpen arms. Despite their losing record, the Grizzlies were not an easy victory for other teams. The Grizzlies lost 16 games by three runs or less as well as had the lead going into the 7th inning in 20 games last season. Senior pitcher, Danny Brennan, believes that the Grizzlies can beat anyone who steps in their way. “We can play with the best of them. We put in the work, we have the talent. We just have to continue to prove it to ourselves.”

The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference recently posted the pre-season RMAC standings which saw the Grizzlies finishing in last place. The Grizzlies first test will be in a non-conference matchup against their rivals, CSU-Pueblo. The Thunderwolves finished with a 29-23 record and a 19-16 conference record. Last season, the Grizzlies finished 1-5 against the Thunderwolves. Following the CSU-Pueblo series, the Grizzlies next three series will be against West Texas A&M, University of Southwest, and University of Texas Permian-Basin.

The Grizzlies will look for their speed and defense to steal the show. Returning starters, Nico Nintze, Jake Angelopolus, and Patrick Huffaker, will cover the outfield for the second year in a row. Nintze saw action in 39 games collecting 14 RBI, 24 hits, and a team high 18 walks. Angelopolus played in 29 games for the Grizzlies (13 starts) while collecting 14 hits, 12 runs, and 7 RBI. Huffaker was recently named one of the five team captains for the Grizzlies. He has started in 52 games in the past two seasons for the Grizzlies. The infield is loaded with experience with seniors Dakota Solis, Erik Hildebrandt, Jared Gay, Josh Billingham, Billy Ryan, and Tyler Erzen. The pitching staff will return two of its starters, Brennan and David Maldonado.

The overall morale of the Grizzlies appears to be confident going into the 2019 season.

“I have trust in all of our guys to do their jobs and play with that confidence that has been lacking in recent years. This team just has to continue to work towards and believe in the goals we set out for ourselves and we will be where we want to be when it is all said and done,” said Brennan.

The Grizzlies’ last two seasons have seen disappointing results after their 2016 playoff appearance. Patrick Huffaker has been a part of the Grizzlies’ past two seasons and he believes that the Grizzlies can make some noise in the conference.

“Our team has been working hard all off-season with one goal in mind: To win. In order to do so, we need to trust the process and play as a team. If we can do that, this team will exceed expectations and be a contender in our conference.”

 

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