Dorothy drives in all-league honors
Vail CO, Colorado
GYPSUM ” There are a few ways to get noticed as a baseball player.
This past season, Eagle Valley’s Alex Dorothy used his bat to draw some attention from opponents.
Dorothy, who finished the season batting above .500, was recently named to the 4A Western Slope all-league team. Devils’ Pitcher Dan McKiernan was honorable mention.
“It was a pretty cool deal that you are recognized by other coaches in the league,” said Dorothy, who along with Bear Barkman were the only seniors on the squad.
Dorothy embraced his leadership role with Eagle Valley, much like during football season where he was all-league honorable mention.
“I’ve definitely matured a lot since I was younger,” he said. “If you strike out, you have to show (underclassmen) that it happens and you can’t be crying when you come back to the dugout. You have to take things in stride.”
Most of the time when Dorothy came back to the dugout, however, it was after touching a few bases. Hitting from the third spot, Dorothy had a .519 batting average.
“He had the most hits and led our team in on-base percentage, too,” said Devils’ manager Ken Reagan.
“I really worked hard at it,” Dorothy said. “I knew I had to do something special to get (noticed) ” the Western Slope is a really good league.”
Early in the season, Dorothy decided to give switch hitting a try.
“I’ve always kind of toyed with the idea since I was 12,” said Dorothy, who normally bats from the right side of the plate. “I’d just mess around swinging left-handed. This year was the year I actually went up.”
Dorothy shocked his teammates with an early-season homer from the left side of the plate.
“That was my second lefty at-bat of the year,” he said. “They didn’t think much of my swinging batting lefty, but I went up and knocked one out.”
From both sides of the plate, Dorothy took a more aggressive approach to hitting this season. Dorothy said his best performance came against Paonia’s C.J. Cannell, who went 10-1 with a 1.02 ERA and was named to the All-Colorado First-team for 2A.
“He was throwing mid- to low 80’s, and I had two doubles off him,” Dorothy said. “That was a big confidence booster.”
At second base, Dorothy anchored a strong infield. Later in the season, Dorothy put in solid innings from the mound.
“I didn’t start using him until the end, and he stepped up, and did a good job in relief,” Reagan said. “He’s a good baseball player.”
“I enjoyed going in and pitching,” Dorothy said, adding, “I didn’t mind not pitching because when Hunter (Blevins) and Dan were throwing gems, it was great seeing them do well.”
Dorothy is currently playing summer baseball and will attend Mesa State in the fall, where he hopes to make the squad as a walk-on.
In his first year of high school baseball, McKiernan proved to be a great addition to the Devils’ rotation. The tall southpaw, McKiernan mixed his fastball in with a curve to record 67 strikeouts.
“This year I talked him into playing,” Reagan said of his junior pitcher. “He did a great job and started the most games out of anybody.”
Along with a team-high strikeout tally, McKiernan also led the squad with a 2.62 ERA. Against Roaring Fork, McKiernan had a masterful outing, recording a 13-strikeout complete game. Later in the year, McKiernan had a great seven-inning performance against Rifle, surrendering only two hits, fanning eight and allowing no earned runs.
A constant threat from the plate, McKiernan did just about everything in a doubleheader against Steamboat. After the Devils erased a 8-1 deficit in the lidlifter, McKiernan came in to pitch the final three innings, fanning seven and allowing one earned run. With his bat, McKiernan went 3-for-5, batting in four runs.
In the nightcap, McKiernan was back on the mound, and tossed two shutout innings. Late in the game, McKiernan ripped his first career homer, capping off a 3-for-4 performance.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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