Area baseball is heating up, but it really depends on where the game is held as last week some teams not only battled wind, rain, and snow, but also fire. Spring is crazy on the plains of southeastern Colorado and you never know what to expect.
Since their March 29th league double header split with McClave the Wiley Panthers baseball team has gone on a six-game winning streak including wins over John Mall, La Veta, Florence, and Dolores Huerta Prep. The newly formed Wiley program is currently sitting with a 7-2 overall record and 2-0 in league as April begins to warm up.
It seems early for softball but not for the local softball players who comprise this year’s 16U Rivals softball team. These players, from Eads, McClave, Lamar and Wiley were raring to start the season and put in six full games at their first tournament in Loveland on the first weekend in April.
The Cheyenne Wells Tigers, assisted by some good players from Kit Carson, have started their 2023 baseball campaign in fine fashion as they find themselves perfect in the early season with a 6-0 record.
The Kiowa Klassic Invitational Track Meet held in Limon was perhaps the largest meet the local track athletes will see this year sans the state championships. The meet featured 40 schools who brought girls and boys teams resulting in some impressive performances.
The first track meet of the season is annually the Lamar Invitational held on the last Saturday in March. Of course, an annual date like that could mean anything from 80 degree weather, to a tornado, to a blizzard.
The McClave Cardinals Baseball team already have four games under their belt in the very early part of the season where many teams haven’t even gotten on the field yet. After a number of years of playing in the 2A division because of their combined coop with Wiley known as the County Line Rivals, the Cardinals are now on their own and in the 1A division.
Last week the Cheyenne Wells Baseball team, with more than 20 players on the roster including 7 from Kit Carson, enjoyed an impressive sweep of McClave in the home opener in scores of 6-4 and 10-5. Those wins were then followed by another housecleaning event when they defeated Baca County, a team consisting of players from Springfield, Walsh, Vilas, Pritchett, and Campo in big scores of 12-2 and 12-2.
The Eads Girls’ and Boys’ Track & Field teams will feature a small handful of strong athletes who should make some noise on the 1A scene. They will be led by senior Maggie Haase, a two-time state high jump champion as well as finding great success in the triple jump and hurdles.
It’s really shocking to think about but Eads will not field a baseball team this year. According to the book Kiowa County, a local history book written in 1976, Eads Baseball originally began in 1920 and was played in the high school each year except for 1959-1963.
With Holly down 3-1 in the 2022 state championship baseball game, then junior Andre Salgado belted a strong triple with one aboard that the speedster extended into a homerun tying the game against Merino in the top of the 7th inning, 3-3. The two teams went toe-to-toe for three more innings before the Rams finally got one across in the bottom of the 10th inning winning the state championship and ending Holly’s hope of a back-2-back title.
The Cheyenne Wells Tigers had a very strong season a year ago where they advanced to the state quarterfinals and just missed a Final Four berth, losing 3-2 to Haxtun. They were second in the very tough District 4 with a 10-3 record and a 16-5 overall season record.