Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Countdown: No. 29 Lakewood


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: Lakewood
Preseason Rank:
2015 Record:
CHSAA Class:
Head Coach:
Derrick Peterson
Playoff Run: Lost to Mullen 9-1 in Class 5A District 1 Playoffs
2014 Final Rank: 45

Returning Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers:


Braden Smith, OF, No. 81 2016
Luke Klatke, LHP, No. 139 2016 (Regis University)
Chase Powell, RHP, No. 89 2016 (Regis University)
Mike Vessa, MIF/OF, No. 108 2016
Ben Schechter, MIF/OF, No. 83 2016
Marcelo Sanchez, 3B, RHP, No. 131 2016
Casey Thompson, RHP, INF, No. 104 2016
Jimmy Garcia, RHP, No. 121 2016
Casey O'Neil, C, 2017 

Trevor Wilson, 1B, 2016

If the Tigers learn how to win the close games they lost in 2015 they will find themselves at the top of the Jeffco League with a chance to be a host site for the 5A District Playoffs.  

Danny Collins: Graduated

The Tigers had 5 losses in 2015 by 2 runs or less. 3 losses were by 1 run against 5A Final 8 qualifiers Pine Creek, 5A Semifinalist Mountain Vista, and a Ralston Valley Team who went 13-7. If they would have found a way to win all three of those games they would have been a host site for the 5A Districts.


Lakewood was one of the surprise teams in 2015. After coming off a 5-14 campaign in 2014, the Tigers had their first winning season since 2008, and almost won the Jeffco League. The Tigers bring back the majority of their athletic team back for 2016. 2016 Infielders Ben Schechter and Marcelo Sanchez both hit over .300 last year, and both can give quality innings on the mound when called upon. 2016 infielder Mike Vessa can play plus defense at  2B, SS, and 3B. 2016 pitchers Chase Powell, Jimmy Garcia, Luke Klatke and Casey Thompson were a combined 7 and 3 in 2015. They struck out 66 batters in 72 innings combined. Garcia carried a 1.47 ERA, and Thompson a 2.07 ERA. 2016 OF Braden Smith is one of the most athletic outfielders in the state. Smith runs a sub 6.8 60, provides speed on the bases, and could add some power potential in 2016.  2017 C Casey O'Neil hit over .300 in 2015 and adds some pop to the lineup as well. If The Tigers can build off their 2015 experience they will be favorites to win the Jeffco League, especially if they can learn to win the close games they lost against quality opponents in 2015 

Related Material

CO 12.01.15
Preseason Countdown: No. 50 Bear Creek
Bears fall just short of 2015 playoffs, look to regroup in 2016...>>

CO 12.03.15
Preseason Countdown: No.49 Arapahoe

Look for Warriors to rebound and secure a 2016 playoff spot...>>

CO 12.09.15
Preseason Countdown: No. 48 Broomfield

Look for Broomfield to rebound in 2016 after first year at 5A...>>

CO 12.10.15
Preseason Countdown: No. 47 Hotchkiss

Look for Hotchkiss to compete for 2A State Championship Title...>>

CO 12.17.15
Preseason Countdown: No.46 Resurrection Christian

Cougars look to rebound from heartbreaking loss in 2015 2A State Championship...>>

CO 1.05.16
Preseason Countdown: No.45 Smoky Hill

The Buffalos can't be overlooked in 2016. ...>>

CO 1.11.16
Preseason Countdown: No.44 University

The Bulldogs will be a favorite to return to the 3A Semifinals...>>

CO 1.14.16
Preseason Countdown No. 43 Horizon

Hawks look to build on the playoff run from last year...>>

CO 1.19.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 42 Grand Junction

Look for Tigers to continue winning ways, need offensive production to go far...>>

CO 1.20.16
Preseason Countdown: No.41 Bayfield

Bayfield will be a favorite to capture 3A Crown...>>

CO 1.26.16
Preseason Countdown: No 40 Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch has a young but talented team to compete in 2016...>>

CO 2.05.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 39 Grand Junction Central

The Warriors always have talent..but have to replace 7 starters from 2015...>>

CO 2.10.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 38 Valor Christian

After first losing season in program history, look for the Eagles to rebound...>>

CO 2.18.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 37 Pueblo East

Eagles have a lot of talent returning in 2016, could be year they break through...>>

CO 2.19.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 36 Dakota Ridge

After dissapointing 2015, don't sleep on the Eagles...>>

CO 2.22.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 35 Columbine

Rebels bring talent back from dissapointing 2015 season...>>

CO 2.23.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 34 Lamar

Lamar reloads with some young talent to improve on solid 2015 season...>>

CO 2.29.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 33 ThunderRidge

Grizzlies need to find way to take pressure off talented pitching staff...>>

CO 3.01.16
Preseason Countdown: No.32 Longmont

Longmont returns 7 starters with expectations to make deep playoff run...>>

CO 3.02.16
Preseason Countdown: No.31 Douglas County

The Huskies have enough talent coming back to have success...>>

CO 3.03.16
Preseason Countdown: No. 30 Ralston Valley

The Mustangs could be primed for a long 5A playoff run...>>