Sailors baseball expects to see strong season

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2009 SSHS baseball schedule

- 11 a.m. Saturday at Denver East (DH)

- TBA, March 12 to 14 at Hotchkiss Tournament

- 11 a.m. March 21 at Glenwood (DH)

- TBA, March 28 at Delta (DH)

- 2 p.m. April 1 at Eagle Valley (DH)

- 11 a.m. April 4 at Palisade at Canyon View High School

- TBA, April 7 vs. Moffat County

- TBA, April 11 at Rifle (DH)

- 3 p.m. April 16 at Eagle Valley

- TBA, April 18 vs. Battle Mountain (DH)

- TBA, April 21 at Moffat County

— Pitching depth and consistent offensive production could be the keys for a Steamboat Springs High School baseball team looking to establish itself as a contender in the Western Slope League.

Add in a defense that should be markedly better, and Sailors manager Dave Roy thinks finishing near the top of the league is an absolute possibility.

"I know we're going to be better this year," Roy said. "Reaching .500 is very, very reachable. We'll see how it all plays out. You have to do it out there on the field, but I like the looks of things. I like the goals they have set."

The Sailors' depth on the mound could carry the team, particularly in a league where teams play multiple double-headers and more games in a shorter amount of time.

Roy said he expects strong contributions on the mound from seniors Lars Johnson, Alex Wood and Ryan Tibbetts. Add in juniors Alex Estes, Cody Miles and Matt Watwood, along with underclassmen Alan Capistron, Carson Becker and Tommy Lyon.

Roy also said the Sailors appear to have the makings of a deep unit.

"I think we finally have some experience coming through the program," said Wood, who was an All-League selection as a pitcher last year. "At least in our pitching staff, I've seen a lot of improvement."

"We have nine or 10 guys who can throw strikes," Roy said. "It's always nice to come into a season with that."

Although the lineup isn't set, Roy said he knows he has strong bats in leadoff hitter Isiah Forsyth and a middle of the lineup order of Johnson, Wood and Capistron. He said where the Sailors will lack in hitting, they'll make up for on the bases with several guys who are athletic and fast.

"I think we've got a strong six or seven guys who can really move the ball," Roy said. "We made some noise last year and scared some people. ... With that kind of strength off the mound, if we can get some defense and score some runs, we'll be good."

The team's first game is at 11 a.m. Saturday at Denver East.

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