Preseason Countdown: No 27 Lewis Palmer



By John Cackowski
State Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. The top 50 teams are picked from all classifications, and are not divided up by class level. To see the entire list click here

Team: Lewis Palmer
Preseason Rank: 27
2014 Record: 17-4
Conference: 4A Pikes Peak
CHSAA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Tom McCabe
Playoff Run: Lost to Evergreen 7-4 in District Championship Game
2014 Final Rank: 30
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 4

TOP PLAYERS:
Paul Tillotson, No. 4 2016, RHP/OF (Nebraska Commit)
Colin Cicere, 2015, RHP, OF
Ben Stinson, 2015, MIF
Conner Weeth, 2015, C (Kansas Wesleyan Commit)
Hank Kuntzelman, 2015, 1B/3B
CJ Spivey, 2015, RHP, 1B
Bradley Kugler, 2015, P
Billy Cook, 2017, OF
Kevin Tims, 2017, MIF

X-FACTOR:
A No. 3 Pitcher: Tillotson and Cicere are as good as any 1-2 combination in the state. But everyone knows to win that state championship you need a No. 3 to get through the playoffs. Who will that person be?

NEW PLAYER TO WATCH:
2017 OF Billy Cook and 2017 MIF Kevin Tims both have a chance to start and contribute in 2015.

KEY PLAYERS LOST:
Carson Haws: Pratt C.C.

STAT RAT:
94 of the 134 innings pitched in 2014 came from Tillotson and Cicere. (Refer to X-Factor)

BOTTOM LINE:
Lewis Palmer lost a tough game against a good Evergreen to advance to the 4A Final 8 in 2014, and we are sure the the teams that made the Final 8 at the 4A level did not have any problems with that. Lewis Palmer is good. They return all starters at all key positions plus a 1-2 tandem that could get a 5A program to the Final 8 as well. When talking about the Rangers you need to start with RHP/OF and current No. 4 2016 Paul Tillotson, and RHP/OF Colln Cicere. Combined on the mound in 2014 they were 15-1, with 149 strikeouts in 94 innings pitched while only giving up 90 hits and had a ridiculous combined E.R.A of 1.19 (Cicere was 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA). Tillotson recently threw 91 mph at the Preseason All-State on 3/1/15. Both players can also rake. Tillotson led his team in every major offensive category (.613 BA, 30 Runs, 23 RBI's, 30 hits, 9 doubles, 4 HR). Cicere hit .456 with 21 RBI's. Also returning is 2015 SS and Captain Ben Stinson. Stinson hit .338 in 2014. The Rangers also return their starting catcher 2015 Connor Weeth, and their starting 1B big 2015  Hank Kuntzelman. Weeth hit an impressive .458 in 2014 with 7 doubles and a HR, and Kuntzelman hit .312 but had 12 RBI's in 42 AB.  Look for 2015 CJ Spivey to contribute on the mound and 6-foot-3, 195 pound Bradley Kugler. Last year 2017 OF Billy Moore as a freshman hit .269 but the gained experience will no doubt pay off in 2015. Also look for newcomer 2017 MIF Kevin Tims  to contribute. If the ball bounces the way it's suppose to there is no reason to think the Rangers won't be in the mix as 4A teams in the conversation to win a 4A Championship. They just need to show there is depth on the mound after Tilloston and Cicere.

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