Senior Josh Pritchard fields a ground ball at third base during Moffat County practice this week. Pritchard is one of nine seniors on the team, which has started the season 3-4.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Senior Josh Pritchard fields a ground ball at third base during Moffat County practice this week. Pritchard is one of nine seniors on the team, which has started the season 3-4.

Moffat County baseball looking for banner year in 3A

Remaining baseball schedule

March 30 at Gunnison, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

April 13 vs. Cedaredge, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

April 16 vs. Steamboat Springs, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

April 20 at Basalt, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

April 27 vs. Coal Ridge, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

May 4 at Roaring Fork, 11 a.m and 1 p.m.

Home games at Craig Middle School baseball fields

— The Moffat County baseball team, off to a 3-4 start to the season, has a lot of returning talent from last season and has moved to Class 3A. While those factors haven’t combined to bring immediate success to the program, the return of spring weather and a huge number of players bode well for the team’s future.

As such, head coach Justin Folley expects marked improvement as the weather and field conditions improve. And with more players out this year than in any of his previous six years as coach, Folley sees great things ahead.

“It’s a good thing” to have the numbers, Folley said. “We’ll be able to build a JV squad again, and build their knowledge of the game.”

Senior Bubba Ivers agreed it will be positive to have so many players available, especially for the future.

“It’s taken some getting used to, having so many guys,” Ivers said. “But it helps the program out quite a bit. Now we’ve got young guys who don’t have to play right away if they aren’t ready. And they can learn and compete with the older guys, and it just makes everybody better.”

Part of team’s troubles early in the season have resulted from a lack of consistency. The Bulldogs have had great pitching one game, then fallen back in that area the next. Even in the midst of a game, their offense has gone from explosive to complacent, costing them wins.

Folley thinks part of the defensive inconsistency will be cured by getting more time outdoors and getting the practice pitching, fielding and throwing every day on an actual baseball diamond. But the real key, he said, will be a strong work ethic from the players going forward.

“Most of it for us is going to be hard work,” he said. “The competition for starting positions is up. We’ve got a lot of guys that will do anything to get on the field, so hopefully that will be good for us. I think we’ve got a lot of kids that will be ballplayers, but they’ve got to put the time in.”

Ivers sees the talent on the team, as well. Despite the middling start, he believes the Bulldogs will be competitive by the end of the season.

“I think we shoot for the stars and go for state,” Ivers said. “If you set your goals short, you’ll just come up short. So that will be hard, but we’ve got the tools to get there.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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