A Look Ahead at Baseball Season


Porter Hamilton, Student Writer

 With all the spring sports comes another season of Erie Tiger Baseball. This year’s team is highlighted by star Shortstop Holden Pantier and Ace Ethan Dillinger. Pantier, the Wichita State commit, is coming off a Junior season where he batted .471 with 4 home runs, 9 doubles, 5 triples, and stole 11 bases. Dillinger the Air Force commit is coming off a season with a 2.93 ERA 87 strikeouts and 9 wins. Some other players to watch out for are second baseman Colin Carlson, catcher Varek Van Aelstyn, third baseman Brooks Barber, and outfielder Chris Lundeen.


The Tigers finished last season 19-9 and 15-3 in the league. Despite struggles early in the year and having a regular season that didn’t live up to expectations the Tigers were able to put together an immaculate playoff run making it all the way to their semi-finals before dropping to Ponderosa who later went on to win the State Championship. 


“I think we have a team that can have a great regular season and rally in the playoffs and make a deep run,” Preston Miller, a sophomore on the team says. They are now entering coach Dustin Conley’s second season as head coach and he will be tested as the Tigers make the leap from 4A to 5A and play in a very tough league including rank four Broomfield, five Legacy, sixth place Fossil Ridge, 1th Rocky Mountain, and 19th Brighton. 


The team sits right in the middle of these teams in 16th place according to PBR Colorado. They also play the number 31 team in Arizona Tucson High Magnet School. This is a big year for Coach Conley to prove himself as the level of competition is definitely there as he tries to prove himself as well as his young team.


The Tigers just played their first game against a very under the radar Castle View team. Erie pulled out the 12-10 in extra innings lead by a two for two day out of Holden as he homered on the first pitch he’s seen this season followed by a single and two walks and three steals. Other players with exceptional games were Chris Lundeen with a three for five day with a triple and a stolen base and Colton Rowan with a two for four day with a double. 


Miller reflects on how the season will go saying, “It will be a good challenge”, and, “we will find a way to succeed.”  This sums up what will be a great season to prove why the Erie team shouldn’t be taken lightly. With moving up to 5A, playing in one of the toughest leagues in the state, and having immense talent in their newcomers the Tigers have a lot to prove but as we’ve seen they aren’t going to back down to a challenge.