For most programs, making a run to the last eight teams of the state playoffs is quite the season. As eight starters return for Legacy baseball in 2020, the best for this program under 11-year …
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For most programs, making a run to the last eight teams of the state playoffs is quite the season. As eight starters return for Legacy baseball in 2020, the best for this program under 11-year manager Ty Giordano could still be upcoming.
This season, however, didn’t begin the way the Lightning had hoped. With a 1-6 record and 6-game losing streak, Legacy held a players meeting to try to get on the same page and turn things around.
“I think the slow start was a matter of team chemistry,” Giordano said in a phone interview last week. “We had some guys that we were trying to replace from last year, so we kind of had a new team, and they were trying to feel each other out. We started off really selfish at the beginning of the year. Bottom line is the boys were able to adjust their mentality and became selfless for each other, and that was the major contributor in the change and turn around our season.”
And did they ever.
Winning 12 of their last 16 regular season contests, the co-champions of the Front Range League had all of the momentum on their side. Winning in the opening two rounds of the postseason against Grand Junction (12-1 score) and Douglas County (9-8), Legacy, behind senior ace Dylan Grierson and a hot lineup looked like a team of destiny.
Unfortunately, the following weekend defeats to Grandview, and Rocky Mountain ended the special season for the Lightning group that only mustered up one run in each game.
“We faced two top-notch guys the first weekend with Grand Junction and Douglas County. We faced both of their number ones, and we did a real nice job offensively,” Giordano said. “The second week wasn’t like we saw pitching much better than the weekend before, but we just didn’t have the same type of luck. We hit a lot of balls hard, but they happened to be right at guys. We had some situations arise where we left guys on base and couldn’t come up with key hits. That’s baseball.”
As seven seniors (JD Mari, Aiden Garcia, Blake LaBuda, Noah Anderson, Connor Shelton, Jackson Stapleton, and Grierson) played their last games for the Bolts, their sacrifices and leadership to mold this program to another successful season won’t go unnoticed. Making the Elite 8 two of the past three seasons, Giordano loses his catcher and leader behind in the plate in LaBuda, but the other eight positions will be returning next season.
“Each year, I think the key to our success has been building off of each senior class, creating a pretty good culture. We are certainly excited about next year, but our senior class and every senior class that comes through here has had some special guys in it, and this class is no different,” Giordano said. “We have a hole to fill behind the plate, but we return a lot of starters. Kids are off playing at different places over the summer to get better with that sole of getting back to that Elite 8.”
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