Back

Preseason Countdown: No. 45 Horizon



By John Cackowski
State Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. The top 50 teams are picked from all classifications, and are not divided up by class level:

Team: Horizon
Preseason Rank:
45
2014 Record:
11-10
Conference:
Front Range
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ralph Garcia
Playoff Run: Lost in Regional Championship to ThunderRidge
2014 Final Rank: 40

Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers:
5

TOP PLAYERS:

Ayden Karraker, C/2B,2015
Dominik Castiglione SS, 2015
Hayden Schaffer RHP/3B, 2015
Tanner Nickoloff, RHP/IF, 2015
Tyler Moore, 1B, 2015
Jordan Humphries 3B, 2016
Austin Gussman LHP/OF, 2016


X-FACTOR:
Austin Gussman LHP/OF, 2016 L/L : Had a tough year on the mound in 2014 as a sophomore but gained much needed experience and has stuff to be real tough to hit.

PLAYER TO WATCH: 
Tyler Moore: The 6-1, 155 pound left handed hitting first baseman dominated in the game we saw him. Off three different pitchers he continued to hit hard line drives up the middle and almost hit one out in last at-bat at the spacious Adams State Baseball field. For Horizon, Moore hit over .400 last season. He's a good athlete, also plays basketball for Horizon.

KEY PLAYER LOST:

Isaac Gonzalez: Graduated

STAT RAT: 

8 of Horizon's 10 losses last year came against playoff teams.

BOTTOM LINE:

Horizon returns 5 pitchers who accounted for 89 of the 136 innings pitched for Horizon in 2014. Horizon is also returning 9 players who either started or shared a significant role on the team last spring. The pitching staff should be stronger and well experienced due to most of the staff pitching for their 3rd season on the varsity baseball team. With the middle infield of Ayden Karraker, Dominik Castiglione and Tanner Nickoloff Horizon can turn double plays with efficiency and should provide great depth. The outfield will be anchored by Austin Gussman and Jordan Hill who both cover an immense amount of space. The Corners will be completed by Tyler Mooore, Hayden Schaeffer and Jordan Humphries who have the abilty to hit for power and average and together they hit for 7 homeruns and 10 doubles in 2014. One key factor is the Hawks will have to move Ayden Karraker an all Conference infielder to catcher this year to fill the only hole from a graduated player from 2014. The Hawks had ThunderRidge on the ropes in the District playoffs in 2014. They can be a real force in the Front Range League in 2015.

Related Material