Prep Baseball Report

Colorado Midseason Check-In: Teams Flying Under the Radar

By John Cackowski
State Director

Yesterday we took a look at some Players with Standout Performances that are off to good starts this year at the half-way mark of the season. The Day before we posted Teams on the Rise. Today we focus on some teams who are flying under the radar in 2016. Below are some teams that are currently playing very well, and were at the bottom half of our Preseason Top-50 Countdown, or were not listed in it at all. These also hovered around .500 or had losing records in 2015.

Preaseason Top 50 Countdown Rank: N/A
Current Rank: No. 9 in 5A RPI
Current Record: 8-1
2015 Record: 9-10
Quality Wins: Wins on the road against Bear Creek, and a home win against Fort Collins

What's Working:
Legacy is another team in 2016 that did not make the playoffs in 2015, but right now could be in position to host a 5A District Site. Right now they are starting to show up on people's radar as a team to be reckoned with. One of the reasons is because of 2018 Ryan Overboe who we wrote about as a player who is standing out this spring. The sophomore is having no problems with 5A pitching. Overboe is leading 5A with a .734 OBA, and is tied for the 5A lead in batting average at .636. Overboe also has been strong on the mound going 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 17 innings pitched. What is a good sign for the Lightning is their two seniors 1B Paul Thompson (Metropolitan State), and OF/RHP Jordan Luthi have gotten off to slow starts. When they get hot this team will be extremely tough to beat down the stretch

Highlands Ranch
Preaseason Top 50 Countdown Rank: 40
Current Rank: No. 32 in 5A RPI
Current Record: 6-5
2015 Record: 12-8
Quality Wins: Home win vs. Regis Jesuit

What's Working:
The Falcons are flying under the radar because they started the year off slow, but have come on strong as of late winning 5 of their last 8 games, one of which was a walk-off come from behind win at home against Regis which puts the Falcons at 2-1 in the Continental Leauge. The Falcons are benefiting from the ability to win close games. They are 4-2 in one-run games. The Falcons young pitching staff has been the key. They are getting quality innings from 2017 RHP Payton McFadden, and 2018 RHP Josh Thompson. 2018 C/RHP Jordan Medina is tied for the 5A state lead in RBI's, and 2016 SS Aaron Dammel is hitting .361 and is tied for the 5A State lead with 17 runs scored.

Fountain-Fort Carson
Preseason Top 50 Countdown: N/A
Current Rank: No. 20 in 5A RPI
Current Record: 7-3
2015 Record: 5-13
Quality Wins: Home win against Loveland. Road win at Ponderosa

What's Working:
The Trojans are coming off a 5-13 2015 record, but are starting to put it all together in 2016. Having won 5 of their last 6 games, the Trojans are getting some very solid production from 4 seniors. 2016 2B Nate Downs is hitting .419 with 7 doubles and is 2nd in 5A with 18 RBI's. 2016 OF Paul Giaquinto is hitting .481 and is providing speed on the bases swiping 7 bags. 2016 C Dilan Diagneault is hitting .444, and 2016 P Ricky Marshall is 4-1 on the season. In 34 innings pitched Marshall has struck out 41 batters and is carrying a 1.85 E.R.A. 

Denver North
Preseason Top 50 Countdown: N/A.
Current Rank: No. 1 in 4A RPI
Current Record: 10-1
2015 Record: 11-9

What's Working:
A lot of times the Denver Prep Schools get overlooked, but the Vikings are taking care of their league in a dominating fashion. They have outscored their opponents 105 to 35. Their one loss came to the hands of a good Pueblo West team 9-0. The real test for the Vikings will be late season league games against Denver East and Thomas Jefferson. As of now, they are getting solid production from 2017 INF Judah Wilbur. Wilbur is leading 4A with a .688 batting average, and his OBA is .692. Wilbur also has 8 doubles on the season. The Vikings also currently have a team E.R.A. of 2.38 that have come from a balanced rotation of 5 different arms. 

The Academy
Preaseason Top 50 Countdown: N/A
Current Rank: No. 4 in 3A RPI
Current Record: 8-1
2015 Record: 10-9

What's Working:
The Academy Wildcats have moved themselves into the 3A conversation of teams to be considered for a long playoff run after not making the playoffs last year. The Wildcats have only given up 17 runs in 8 games this year which is good for a 1.80 ERA. 2016 C Christian Johnsonf is leading 3A with a .731 batting average, 1.384 slugging average, and .788 OBA. 2018 P Trenton Miller is 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA. He has thrown 24 innings and has only given up 7 hits striking out 39 batters.