Preseason Countdown: No.23 Erie



 

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: Erie
Preseason Rank: 23
2015 Record: 18-5
Conference: 4A Tri-Valley
CHSAA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Harold Simmons
Playoff Run: Lost to Lewis Palmer 1-0 in 4A Final Four
2015 Final Rank: 12
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 2

TOP PLAYERS:
Luke Conilogue, 1B, No. 95 2016
Josh Crites, SS, No. 102 2016
Nick Gavit, RHP/1B, 2016
Clint Allen, INF/RHP, 2016
Victor Villa, INF/RHP 2016
Zach Elliston, OF, 2017

X-FACTOR:
The Erie Tigers will have 3 new starters that are Juniors. If they can step in and be ready to go with their returning starters they can return to Final 8

KEY PLAYERS LOST:
Kyle Leahy: Colorado Mesa

STAT RAT:
The Tigers lost 5-4 to Green Mountain and lost 1-0 to Lewis Palmer in the Final 8. Both of those teams made the 4A state championship game.

BOTTOM LINE:
Head coach Harold Reynolds has built a solid and stable program at Erie with expectations to be back to compete for the 4A state championship in 2016. They return 6 starters this year, and one of them was their leading hitter last year, 2016 1B Luke Conilogue. He hit .421 and led the team with 9 double and 17 RBI. He can also spell a few innings on the mound. 2016 SS Josh Crites brings some speed to the team. He hit .342 last year and led the team with 3 triples. He also stole 5 bases. 2016 RHP Victor Villa will start in the infield and also will be one of the Tigers top options on the mound. Last year he threw 21 innings and went 3-1 with 2.58 E.R.A. 2017 OF Zach Elliston showed some potential last year with the bat, and 2016 INF Clint Allen will also return to a starting role. The Tigers are one of the better 4A teams in the state. It will be hard to replace one of the top pitchers in the state last year in Kyle Leahy, however if they get quality innings from the players returning on the mound they will be at the top of the 4A mix.

 

 

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