Spring Sports Preview: Baseball

Raymond McCaskey pitches and plays center field for the Mustangs.

The Manitou Springs High School baseball team is preparing for what they hope will be a good season; the team seems to have big aspirations for this season and think that due to all seniors being tied and bonded to one another, it will give them a leg up on the other teams as they have better “chemistry, said senior team leader Raymond McCaskey.

The team lost two seniors, Caden Harris and Thor Flett, from the class of 2021. “Players like them are certainly difficult to replace on any team at any level. As much as they contributed to us on the field, their greatest impact was made in their leadership. So losing them is definitely difficult,” Brandon DeMatto, head baseball coach, said. “However, I believe that the pieces we have coming up to fill those voids are very talented and extremely committed to improving the program. With a roster of seven seniors, I believe we are in as good of a position as possible to make up for the losses of the two seniors from last season.”

We have five seniors now that have played together since freshman year. So we have really gotten to know each other and we have a lot of good chemistry.”

— Raymond McCaskey (12)

McCaskey feels that the team is ready for a strong season as well. “We have five seniors now that have played together since freshman year. So we have really gotten to know each other and we have a lot of good chemistry. And I think we have a lot of good youth that can swing and pitch and be vital for this season,” McCaskey said, concerning the team’s current status.

As for the effect of COVID-19, the team doesn’t seem to be too worried about it as COVID has become sort of a “normal thing,” Davis Mack (12) said. 

“After not having a season in 2020 and then having a shortened 25-day season in which we played 15 total games, it’s understandable that some of the development we were looking forward to out of our program hasn’t happened in the way we had hoped,” DeMatto said. “At the end of the day, I’m happy we were able to use last season as an opportunity to get our players an opportunity to get out and compete together once again. Despite a shortened season, the benefits of playing last year will definitely help us moving into this year.”

Those that follow the 2022 Mustangs should be excited to watch a group of guys that have played together for a long period of time, put it all together, and represent Manitou Springs High School very well.”

— Brandon DeMatto

The team has high expectations for this season. “I think we can expect some pretty good things,” McCaskey said. “I think Mr. DeMatto tried a lot of new things with how we’ve structured practice and how we’re going to run games. So we have a lot of new pitchers that would like to help us out and relieve our arms.” 

DeMatto also has high expectations as they have been training rigorously throughout the pre-season. “Those that follow the 2022 Mustangs should be excited to watch a group of guys that have played together for a long period of time, put it all together, and represent Manitou Springs High School very well,” DeMatto said. “I believe if we can play the game for the right reasons (for each other) and not be focused on who gets the credit, this team can be a difficult team to compete with night-in and night-out. I would expect to see a lot of speed in the lineup each game and a group of players ready to create chaos for their opponents.”