With single tournament left, Niwot Legion D baseball is 5-7
July 14, 2016
Niwot Legion D baseball is wrapping up its summer season, with only an end-of-season Legion Tournament remaining.
The Niwot team, coached by Doug Kenkel, Tom Kleespies and Larry Stokes, has a record of 5-7-0 going in to the tournament. The Legion D team prepares incoming Niwot freshman for playing baseball at the high school level, giving the players and coaches a head start as they move toward the spring season.
On Wendesday, July 6, Niwot Legion D faced off against Fairview, losing both games. Earlier in the season, Niwot played teams such as Yuma, Platte Valley, Brighton and Fort Morgan.
Coach Tom Kleespies said of the team, “[They are] performing very well and competing in every game. Every player has contributed offensively and defensively throughout the season.”
In an attempt to build a versatile team and to allow each player to actively test their strengths, nearly every player on the team has tried their hand at pitching in a game, with the sole exception being a player recovering from a pre-season arm injury.
Niwot Legion D has enjoyed an eventful pitching season, complete with a one-hitter game by pitcher Clay Kleespies and a combined one-run game pitched by Zach Coblentz and Matteau Perry. Coach Kleepsies cited Clay Kleepsies, Will Douthitt and Keith Hemenway as the team’s leaders from the pitching staff.
Continuing the team’s versatility on defense, every player has competed in the outfield and at the corners or middle infield.
“Defensively, we have a very fast outfield led by Izaiah Golden, Christian Garibay, Jaiden Quattlebaum and Matt Bitterman,” Kleespies said. “Felipe Castro has the best hands on the team and can lock down either corner, but the best thing about Felipe is his knowledge of the game and his on-field communication.”
On the offensive side, Niwot Legion D is well-equipped with players of a variety of skills and strengths.
“Offensively,” Kleespies said, “we have a very strong group of table setters with Douthitt and Tim Stokes, followed by the speed demons with extra-base power – Garibay, Golden and Jack Kenkel. Kenkel has been key for us in both driving runs in and scoring runs.”
With their small ball offensive strategy, Kleespies said, “Bitterman, Coblentz, Hemenway and Thomas Mauck are leaders in the sacrifice and hit and run categories. Up and down the lineup, we are capable of executing the small game. Perry, Kleespies and Castro provide the RBIs when the small ball doesn’t get the runners in.”
The team’s final Legion Tournament will take place on July 21 at Eaglecrest High School.
2016 Niwot Legion B baseball roster:
Thomas Mauck 2
Christian Garibay 4
Jack Kenkel 5
Zach Coblentz 7
Clay Kleespies 8
Izaiah Golden 9
Keith Hemenway 14
Matteau Perry 17
Tim Stokes 27
Will Douthit 37
Felipe Castro 44
Matt Bitterman 84
Jaiden Quattlebaum 88