It has been a stressful season for the Douglas County High School baseball team.
Armed with eight players who have committed to play college baseball, the Huskies were predicted to be one of Colorado’s top Class 5A teams this season.
However, Douglas County so far has not been as good as expected.
The Huskies lost their fourth straight game on April 17 with a 3-1 Continental League loss to Regis Jesuit at Regis.
“It’s been frustrating this year for sure,” said Douglas County coach Craig Gienger. “We’re going to keep grinding and keep after it and see where we come out.”
In the first 11 games, the Huskies were hitting .277 as a team and left 80 runners on base for an average of 7.3 per game. Douglas County had 41 runs batted in or an average of 3.7 per game which is below the national average.
“When you get the opportunities you have to convert them,” said Gienger. “That’s been the story of our season. We can’t get the key hit when we need it.”
Douglas County had a couple good chances to score runs besides the one run it managed in the sixth inning in the the Regis game.
The Huskies loaded the bases in the first with one out but didn’t score. In the seventh, the Huskies had a walk and two singles but had a runner thrown out at the plate and failed to score.
“The Regis game was frustrating,” added Gienger. “I felt like we had a chance at the end but couldn’t execute.”
Finley Bates, who will play next season at San Diego State, went 3-for-4 against Regis and also pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
Douglas County starter Max Stanley, a BYU commit, pitched five innings, scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs.
“Max Stanley did a fantastic job,” said Gienger. “He keeps us in the games. He did a great job and made pitches when he had to. He threw one slider that got out of here. And Finley Bates coming in too. He did a fantastic job.
“We can still make some noise. We’ll see what we can do.”
Regis’ Andrew Bell, who has an offer to play baseball at Xavier, had two hits including a fourth inning solo home run.
Senior centerfielder Hayden Osburn had one hit in the game against Regis and stated that there is still time to recover.
“It’s been frustrating but we can do better,“ said Osburn. “We can still turn it around. We’ve got the guys.”
The turnaround began when Douglas County started getting elusive timely hits in an April 19 game against Ponderosa with a 17-5 victory that raised the Huskies’ season record to 4-7-1.
Bates had three hits and six RBI in the game while Eli Athanas went 3-for-3 with four RBI.
The Huskies downed Castle Rock rival Castle View, 16-4, on April 21 when the team had 17 hits in the five-inning contest.
Bates had four hits and eight RBI in the game.