Jags grind 4A diamond into 5A play

Posted 4/10/10

Being the only Class 4A team in a 5A league, Rock Canyon High School baseball tries to bring an attitude to the field for every game. In the process, …

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Jags grind 4A diamond into 5A play


Being the only Class 4A team in a 5A league, Rock Canyon High School baseball tries to bring an attitude to the field for every game.

In the process, the team has created an identity for itself of being able to grind back from a deficit and adjust to an opponent’s offense. One recent example being Continental League action against Mountain Vista April 9 at Vista in Highlands Ranch. The Golden Eagles led the Jaguars in its early innings 5-0, but Canyon fought back to keep Vista from posting another run and scoring three of there own in the process.

“We always have tried to come out with an attitude and try not to be this little dog in a big-dog world,” said Gary Davis, who pitched all seven innings against Vista. “We try to be the big dog in everything. We try to be the bigger team.

“We always try to generally adjust, but sometimes it doesn’t always go our way early. We always want to come out 100 percent, but sometimes we come out laggish, like we did [against Vista]. I think we adjusted and kept our composure. I think everyone stepped up and finally made some D.”

Last season, Rock Canyon finished with a 12-9 overall record, 6-6 in the league. The Jags made an appearance in the Class 4A state championship Sweet 16 but lost to the eventual title winners Cheyenne Mountain in an 8-inning 8-7 finale.

Under the coaching of Tyler Munro, this third season at Rock Canyon and 10th year head-coaching overall, the Jaguars return, along with Davis, Tanner Krietemeier, Reid Carter, Erik Wetzel, Drew Sandlin and Steve Rodriguez, all of whom are seniors and most of whom are three-years starters with the team.

Krietemeier, a starting pitcher and center fielder, received an all-conference nod last season. He has signed a letter of intent to continue his career after high school at the NCAA Division I level with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Carter was a second-team all-conference selection in 2008. He is also a starting pitcher and outfielder and is headed to the Division II level to play for University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Wetzel returns as the team’s shortstop and signed a commitment to play D-II for the University of West Florida, while Davis, also a pitcher and outfielder, signed to play NAIA for Briar Cliff University in Iowa.

Sandlin covers third base for the Jags and will play football for Fort Lewis College after graduation, while Rodriguez, a two-year starter, keeps his eyes open in the outfield.

Munro said seniors Bubba Campbell, Charlie Newton and Austin Enterline should also have a say on the success of the season this year, leaving Rock Canyon the ability to have a senior start in every position.

One benefit for Canyon playing in a 5A league is learning over the past few years to compete at a 5A level itself; something they’d like every opponent to see.

“We come out and compete,” Davis said. “At least that’s what I hope they see. Everyone has their opinion that their team is the best, but I hope they say we came out and competed.”

As the Jags continue to find their footing in league play so far this season, carrying an 0-2 record (8-2 overall) after the losses to Highlands Ranch and Vista, finding strength in their batting lineup from top to bottom is a priority.

“We seem to be hitting well 1-5. We really need to try and step it up after that. I’m not saying there aren’t good hitters there, but it needs to be better during big-time game situations,” Davis said. “But that’s something we all need to do. We all need to step up and be the hero when it’s time to be a hero.”


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