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The Western Slope League consists of 7 high schools that all compete at the 4A classification. All schools are located in Western Colorado on the west side of the Colorado Rockies.

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Battle Mtn. HS 
Huskies (955)

Coach: Harrison Stevens - 3rd season


Returning starters: 7 

2021 Record: 10-6


2021 Srs playing at the next level: None


Players to watch: Elijah Morales (SR) C/OF - committed to Cochise JC, Tanner Roberts (SR) SS/P, Vincent Nowicki (SR) OF, Cooper Irwin (JR) 3B/P, Grady Devins (SO) INF 


2022 Outlook: The Huskies fell just short of the playoffs a year ago but still posted their best season in school history, finishing 2nd in the Western Slope League with a 7-5 conference record. This season their sites are set on post season play and competing for a league title. They return 7 bats to their starting lineup, led by COBSBL Preseason MVP and 2021 Western Slope Player of the Year Elijah Morales (SR) who tore through opponents pitching last season. However, this team is not a one trick pony as Tanner Roberts (SR), Vincent Nowicki (SR), and Grady Devins (SO) also return to a potent offensive attack. On the mound the Huskies return the majority of their arms including T. Roberts, Cooper Irwin (JR), Finn Sullivan (SO), and Morales who all combined 82 innings in 2021. Irwin had a standout year, posting a 2.24 ERA and a perfect 3-0 record on the mound. Focus, hard work, and dedication will be the keys to success for the 2022 Huskies.

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Eagle Valley HS 
Devils (931)

Coach: Bret Moyer - 4th season


Returning starters: 2   

2021 Record: 6-10

2021 Srs playing at the next level: None

Players to watch: None committed - Peter D'Agostino (SR) SS, Jack Joseph (JR) C, Patrick Reno (JR) 3B/P

2022 Outlook: Returning only 2 starters from a year ago Coach Moyer's squad will be one of the youngest in the Western Slope this season. However, Moyer is confident in the 2 guys he has back and with solid leadership this team has lots of potential. Both Pete D'Agostino (SR) and Jack Jospeh (JR) will need to be a consistent presence in the lineup and also provide leadership in the clubhouse. Both are expected to hit in the middle of the lineup while Patrick Reno (JR) will play a big role in the pitching rotation. P. Reno logged the 2nd most IP a season ago and should expect that to increase in 2022. Sophomores Jacob Loupe (SO) and Elias Peña (SO) have little to no varsity experience but that will change with playing time in the outfield and pitching rotation. PJ Lombardo (JR) should step into a role as the starting 1B and contribute both offensively and defensively. With a youth movement in the program the future looks good for the Devils but whether they produce in 2022 is yet to be seen.

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Glenwood Springs HS 
Demons (947)

Coach: Eric Nieslanik - 18th season


Returning starters: 4  

2021 Record: 6-9

2021 Srs playing at the next level: None

Players to watch: None committed - Cooper Luetke (SR) ,Evan Heyl (SR) 1B/P, Avner Mangeot (JR) SS


2022 Outlook: The Demons look to bounce back after missing the playoffs for the 1st time in 3 years. For that to happen the chemistry from several proven upper classmen and some young players is critical. Cooper Luetke (SR), Avner Mangeot (JR), Blake Nieslanik (SR) and Braxton Mims (SR) all have varsity experience and will anchor the middle of the lineup. It is unknown who will complete the remainder of the lineup but there will be opportunities for both unproven returning varsity guys and younger inexperienced players to fill those spots. Evan Heyl (SR) and Jordan Meraz (SR) take over as the #1 and #2 pitchers in the rotation in 2022. E. Heyl had a solid season on the mound a year ago and looks to build on those numbers. Coach Nieslanik's believes if the team can work on competing every day and every game improvement will occur and they will be playing their best baseball at the end of the season when it matters most. 

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Palisade HS 
Bulldogs (1051)

Coach: Nate Porter - 4th season


Returning starters: 8  

2021 Record: 14-3


2021 Srs playing at the next level: None


Players to watch: None committed - Aidan Bevan (SR) 3B, Melesio Perez (SR) SS/P,  Ryder Mancuso (SR), CF/P, Brett Rozman (JR) C, Josh Zotto (JR) 2B/P


2022 Outlook: The Bulldogs rolled to their 4th league championship in a row last season, and there is no reason to believe they can't make it 5 in a row. Palisade's strength will be at the plate where they return 5 guys that hit over .400 and 3 of those guys hit over .500. Melesio Perez (SR), Ryder Mancuso (SR) and Brett Rozman (JR) all finished the 2021 season in the top 5 of almost all offensive categories in league and 3 of the top 4A hitters in the state. As good as the Bulldogs are offensively Coach Porter believes this is the most well rounded team of recent years. Josh Zotto (JR), R. Mancuso and Ryker Harsha (JR) will all contribute on the mound this season. J. Zotto and R. Mancuso both pitched plus innings last season and collected 6 wins and 59 K's between the two. With all the success the struggle has been the post season, not advancing past the 2nd round in over 15 years. Coach Porter believes this could be the year and it is also the teams goal to make it happen. A team with a purpose.

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Rifle HS 
Bears  (759)

Coach: Troy Phillips - 27th season


Returning starters: 9  

2021 Record: 7-9

2021 Srs playing at the next level: None

Players to watch: None committed - Broc Caldwell (SR) 3B/OF, Connor Abbott (SR) OF, Easton Phillips (SR) SS/RHP, Gavin Peterson (SR) CF/P, Trey Caldwell (SR) 1B/P, Austin Bowlan (JR) INF/OF/P, Kade Street (JR) C/P, Logan Gross (SO) INF/LHP 


2022 Outlook: An experienced team that welcomes back all 9 starters is hungry to make an impact in 2022. The Bears have high expectations for the upcoming season and understand it will be tough to unseat Palisade as the perennial league champs but if there is a year Rifle is primed to do it, this would be it. Rifle will be strong at the plate and on the base paths led by Connor Abbott (SR), Easton Phillips (SR), Gavin Peterson(SR) and Austin Bowlan (JR). All hit over .350 last season while running wild on the bases. The Bears return an entire pitching staff that includes Trey Caldwell (SR), Logan Gross (SO), G. Peterson and A. Bowlan. Trey Caldwell led the team in innings pitched with 30+ while only walking 5 and L. Gross had a great freshman year striking out a team leading 43 guys in 27 innings pitched. As good as this staff could be in 2022 Coach Phillips believes they will determine how far the team goes. With another year of experience he expects they will be better but how much better is still undetermined. With 9 returning starters Coach Phillips is excited about what the 2022 season holds.

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Steamboat Springs HS 
Sailors (829)

Coach: George Ibarra - 2nd season


Returning starters: 7  
2021 Record: 1-15


2021 Srs playing at next level: None


Players to watch: None committed - Ben Bogan P, James Hamric SS


2022 Outlook: It was a tough debut for first year head-coach George Ibarra at Steamboat, as the Sailors picked up just 1 victory on the final game of the year. On a positive note the team returns 7 starters with a year of varsity baseball under their belt going into the new season. Top hitters Walker Ripley (SR) and Ben Bogan (SR) both hit over .400 in 2021 with B. Bogan belting the teams only 2 HR's. A pitching staff that struggled returns 2 of their 4 top arms along with players that will be asked to contribute more this season. To compete in 2022 B. Bogan and Jake Hamric (SR) must improve a staff that posted an 8.66 ERA a year ago. With the 2022 season just around the corner the Sailors should be an improved team from a year ago. 

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Summit HS 
Tigers (978)

Coach: Patrick Stehler - 5th season


Returning starters - 7  

2021 Record: 7-9

2021 Srs playing at the next level: None


Players to watch: None committed - Cassius Bradford (JR), Will Koll (JR), Zach Willms (JR)


2022 Outlook: The Tigers have not qualified for post season play in 4 years and will lean on 7 returning starters in hopes of changing that this season. To make it back to the playoffs Will Koll (JR), Cassius Bradford (JR) and Zach Willms (JR) all need to improve on solid sophomore seasons. W. Koll and C. Bradford will provide the offense and Z. Willms on the mound. W. Koll was the Tigers top hitter in 2021 and Z. Willms recorded the most K's on the mound, both as sophomores. Summit does have a talented junior class which is encouraging for the next few seasons but for them to compete in 2022 Coach Stehler will be looking for a few more guys to plug into the lineup around them. 

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Special Thanks 
to all the High School coaches that helped make this publication happen by providing league, school and player information to assist with the most accurate and comprehensive Colorado 
High School Baseball publication.
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