Preseason Countdown: No. 20 Brighton

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: Brighton
Preseason Rank: 20
2015 Record: 11-8
Conference: Eastern Metro
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ray Garza
Playoff Run: Lost to Mountain Vista 4-0 in the Class 5A District 6 playoffs
2015 Final Rank: 84
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 5

Liam Eddy, RHP, No. 2 2017 (Wichita State)
Gavin Gifford, 1B/RHP, No 51 2016 (Dodge City CC)
Jacob Demers, MIF, No. 146 2016
Jose Treto, RHP, 2017
Cruz Ramirez, RHP/OF No. 77 2016
Danny Prickett, 3B/C, No. 149 2016
Cole Farmer, C, No. 159 2016
Alex Covarrubias, LHP, 2016

The Bulldogs have the pitching depth to get to the Final 8. The X-Factor will be when it comes down to district day pitchers like Liam Eddy, Gavin Gifford, Jose Treto, Cruz Ramirez, and Alex Covarrubias have to put the team on their shoulders so the Bulldogs can make their first ever Final 8 appearance.

Connor Reynolds: University of Northern Colorado

Flying a little under the radar, the Bulldogs have a 83 and 35 (70% Winning Percentage) record over the last 4 years. A winning percentage any program could be proud of.

The Bulldogs have the talent this year, but can they believe. Last year the Bulldogs competed with some of the best teams in the state at the 5A level, but would come up just short in those games. They lost to Regis 4-2, Mountain Vista 2-0, Legend 10-9, Tied Horizon 1-1, and then lost to Mountain Vista again 4-0 in the District Playoffs. All close games, but that has been the story for the Bulldogs over the last few years. This year they return a pitching staff that any program at the 5A level would want to get through the tough Districts playoff format. Starting with 2017 RHP Liam Eddy (Wichita State), Eddy has probably gained the most physical strides in the state the last year. Now bringing a fastball that touches 90, Eddy has a turned into a legitimate shut down pitcher. Last year Eddy was 3-2 with a 2.31 ERA as a sophomore striking out 41 in 26 innings pitched. Last year 2017 Jose Treto was their No. 2 option and had similar results going 3-0 in 20 innings pitched with a 2.03 ERA striking out 21. Treto also hit .385 in limited at bats.  Look for 1B/RHP 2016 Gavin Gifford (Dodge City) to also see more action on the mound as a third option. Gavin owns an upper 80's fastball, and last year was a force at the plate leading the team with a .469 batting average. 2016 LHP Alex Covarrubius is a crafty lefty out of the pen and carried a 1.03 ERA out of the pen in 20 innings pitched. 2016 MIF Jacob Demers brings steady play up the middle, and hit .333 last year. 2016 3B/C Danny Prickett hit .324, and will spell some innings behind the plate. Also look for 2016 RHP Cruz Ramirez to fly under the radar. Ramirez has a mid 80's fastball, and can add some extra depth. The Bulldogs have the talent. They will be somewhere on District Saturday weather they host or have to travel to another site. Either way they will be a tough out.


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