Basalt leads all-league baseball picks
The Aspen Times
The Western Slope League champion Basalt Longhorns reaped the benefits of their record-setting season this week.
The annual All-Western Slope League (3A) Baseball Team, as selected by the conference coaches, was announced.
The Longhorns, celebrating their first conference baseball championship, landed four players on the all-league first team. Three more were named to the honorable-mention team.
“I’m really proud of my all-leaguers. It’s well deserved,” said Basalt head coach Rick Ryan, who was selected the conference coach of the year by his peers.
Senior Spencer Glasener, of the Longhorns, was voted the top pitcher in the conference.
“Spencer was the backbone of our team. You can’t go 9-0 as a pitcher in 3A unless you are a special talent,” Ryan said. “He hit the ball well and is good at first base, as well. What a great all-around season,” Ryan said.
Infielders Nick Calabro and Tucker Jenkins, of the Longhorns, were voted first team all-league along with outfielder Tim Johnson, a junior.
“Nick hit the ball hard for us and had key RBIs all season,” Ryan said. Calabro is a junior.
Ryan, all season, talked about the play of Jenkins, also a junior.
“He’s the best shortstop in the league,” Ryan said. “I knew he was special when we were doing winter workouts, and he proved it with his consistency. His leadership also made him a team captain.”
The Basalt head coach said Johnson was remarkable in his improvement.
“He’s the most improved player I have ever coached,” Ryan said. “He’s a steady fielder, good hitter. He’s super fast, and he always plays with a smile on his face.”
Carlos Leal, Mark Barto and Cody Hoffman, of the Longhorns, were named all league honorable mention for 2013.
“All three of these guys could have easily made first team,” Ryan said. “All three are coming back next year, and I am sure will want to make the first-team list.”
Bubba Ivers, the hard-throwing pitcher/outfielder from Moffat County, was selected the conference player of the year.
Ryan, who led Basalt to a 15-3 record and an appearance in the state playoffs, was voted the coach of the year.
“It’s an honor to be named coach of the year. To me, it’s the ultimate team award,” Ryan said. “It’s a direct reflection of the talent and hard work I had around me every day.”
The Aspen High School baseball team had two players honored among the all-league selections.
All-everything Patrick Martin, a junior, was named to the all-league first team as a pitcher for the Skiers.
Teammate Max Marolt, who was Martin’s catcher for much of the season, was named to the honorable mention all-league team.
The additional all-league infielders included Roaring Fork’s Johnny Nieslanik, Cedaredge’s Chance Hansen, Gunnison’s Tyler Percival, Cedaredge’s Aaron Henrie and Grand Valley’s Jake White.
The all-league outfielders included Cedaredge’s Peter Williamson, Gunnison’s Caleb Wilson, Grand Valley’s Trent Reidle and Olathe’s Bryan Leu.
Top catchers in the league were Roaring Fork’s Tanner Nieslanik, Olathe’s Mario Hightower and Gunnison’s Quinn Travis.
The top utility players for 2013 were Cedaredge’s Tyler Beach, Olathe’s Calvin Corey and Roaring Fork’s Oscar Olivas.
Fully aware he was in the midst of the mountain bike race of his life, Aspen’s John Gaston said he “tried to not think too far ahead” to prevent the magnitude of the moment from getting to him. He eventually finished runner-up in the iconic race.
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