Batter up |

Batter up

Sailors baseball to begin season Saturday with doubleheader at Denver East

2007 Steamboat Springs High School baseball schedule

March 10 at Denver East (doubleheader), 11 a.m.

March 16 at Paonia Tournament vs. Cedaredge, 12:30 p.m.

March 17 at Paonia Tournament vs. Paonia, 10 a.m.

March 17 at Paonia Tournament vs. Roaring Fork, 12:30 p.m.

March 23 at Palisade (doubleheader), 1 p.m.

March 31 at Rifle (doubleheader), 10 a.m.

April 5 vs. Battle Mountain (doubleheader), 4 p.m.

April 7 vs. Glenwood Springs (doubleheader), 11 a.m.

April 10 vs. Moffat County, 4 p.m.

April 14 vs. Delta (doubleheader), 11 a.m.

April 17 at Moffat County, 4 p.m.

April 21 at Eagle Valley (doubleheader), 11 a.m.

May 5 at districts, TBA

May 11 to 12 at regionals, TBA

May 18 to 19 at state, TBA

— Shortstop Brian Aragon has endured some tough seasons as a Steamboat Springs baseball player.

But when the senior looks at the landscape of this year’s team, he sees something different.

“I feel a lot better about this season,” Aragon said. “We have a lot stronger team. There’s been times where we didn’t have enough players. But looking at last year, I think we’re definitely aiming higher than that.”

This year’s Sailors squad features 25 players, including 11 returning lettermen and five starters.

“Our goal is to win eight games,” said Sailors coach Dave Roy, whose team finished 4-14-1 last season. “I think it’s realistic. We’re a better team than last year.”

Roy said this year’s team will be anchored by its hitting and fielding. Led by Elliot Girard, an honorable mention All-League performer last year, Roy thinks his squad has the ability and depth to surprise some people.

“I want to win most of our games and go to the playoffs,” said Girard, who hit .429 last year. “I think we can finish in the top three (in the league) knowing that a lot of the other teams lost a lot.”

One area of concern for the Sailors remains pitching depth. Roy said with most of Steamboat’s games being doubleheaders, the pitching rotation may run a little thin, especially early in the season. The team has a doubleheader against Denver East and a three-game tournament in Paonia in the first two weeks of the season.

“We’re going to find out a lot in these next two weeks,” said Roy, who plans to relegate his pitchers to throwing between 60 and 70 pitches early in the season. “We’re starting off tough, but there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Junior Taylor Anderson is penciled in as the No. 1 starter and should get the ball for the opening game against Denver East on Saturday. While Anderson feels pressure as the No. 1 starter, he said this is the best his arm has felt in the last three years.

“I’m a little bit nervous,” he said. “But I think I should do well. I think we have the chance to do real well.”

Moffat County, who tore through the league with a 12-0 record last year, Delta, Palisade, Rifle and Glenwood Springs are expected to be Steamboat’s toughest competition in league this year.

Nevertheless, Roy said with his contingency of assistant coaches (Kellen Baker and Andy Hogrefe) and the attitudes of the players, he envisions a successful season.

“We’re going to hit well and field well,” Roy said. “We’re going to be very strong emotionally. These kids are really good in that regard.”

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