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Battle Mountain baseball opens in DeBeque

EAGLE-VAIL ” There’s about 3-4 feet of snow on Battle Mountain baseball’s diamond, which of course, means that opening day is upon us.

The Huskies will head west in search of dry field to DeBeque for its season-opening tournament Friday and Saturday. Originally scheduled to take place in Basalt, the Huskies will take on the “host” Longhorns, Ignacio and Lake County.

And with the Colorado Rockies making the World Series last year, it’s been a good offseason for Huskies baseball.

“That’s definitely something which has carried over,” Huskies skipper Jason Spannagel said. “That sure didn’t hurt. We’ve got more kids coming out for the team and we’re looking to schedule some JV games, something that hasn’t happened in several years. Our numbers are good and we have a good vibe in practice. We’re definitely moving in the right direction.”

While everyone in the state hasn’t lost a game yet and hopes are high, Battle mountain is realistic. Playing baseball at 7,800 feet is difficult. The Huskies won’t see anything resembling grass until they play actual games, and the end result is often understandably full of miscues.

That having been said, the Huskies finally got off their three-year skid with a 9-3 win against Lake County at the end of last season.

“I think that win kind of got some people excited,” said senior Jeremy Windham, who plays shortstop and pitches. “We’re excited now. We have a ton of [people out and the kids seem really excited to play.”

The lineup

Battle Mountain has 23 players out for baseball, up from 14 last year. R.D. Cordova is likely going to do most of the catching duties, backed up by Mike Jones and Mason Babcock. At first, it’s freshman Daniel Westerberg with Lucas Brown behind him.

Up the middle, look for Windham with Joe Webb at second. Chris Schmidt, a returning veteran, is at the hot corner. Cameron Brown and Jackson Salamunovich will also see time at assorted infield positions.

From left to right in the outfield, it’s Dustin Martin, Daniel Rascon and Nick VanDyke, though Spannagel can also call on Salamunovich, Cordova, Rudy Ybarra, John Simpson and Trevor Robbins.

Windham and Rascon lead the pitching staff. Brown, Schmidt and Martin will also be dealing from the mound.

Not only will Windham and Rascon led the staff, but as the team’s only two seniors, they’ll have a big role this season.

“First of all, we have to lead by example,” Windham said. “We have to show how much we love the game so that the younger kids will keep with the program and become seniors. That way, we can build a foundation for this team.”

The Huskies hope to have their home opener April 5 with a twinbill against Rifle.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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