Aspen Baseball Makes a Comeback

The Aspen Baseball team made an impressive comeback as the team closed up their 2016 season with their best record in the past couple of years.  The team ended the season with 6 wins out of the 17 games played, and were in the running for a playoff spot until the very end of the season.  As one of the most committed teams, seeing that each player must drive down to Basalt for every practice and the team’s mini bus acquired 1700 miles just this season driving down and back up from practice and to games less than two hours away, each mile on the mini bus paid off.  The head coach Dave Fuentes is thrilled with how the season went overall.

“Great improvement from the last couple of years,” Fuentes said.  “This was the best season that, what can best be described in recent memory, of the baseball team in terms of wins”.  

The players this season came in with a new and improved attitude, leading them to their victorious season.  The team knew this year was going to be different going into each game.  

“The main thing is that we had an expectation that we could win.  I think that was the big change in mindset.  We thought, “yes we can win, and we can expect to win, and even if we play a team that is more skilled than us, we still expected to be able to be competitive.  It was a real turning point with everybody’s attitude,” Fuentes said.

One of this year’s main attributes to the winning season was the senior and sophomore class.  Senior Tristan Niskanen and sophomore Jamison Fuentes were named All Conference first team on May 16th.  AHS junior Harry Kahn also received honorable mention during the All Conference meeting.  With two of these players returning next year, Dave Fuentes is hoping to use them to help build on the team’s momentum.

For senior Tristan Niskanen, it was a bittersweet season, as it was his last before he heads to the University of Miami.  

“The season was so amazing.  I love baseball so much so it is always fun.  It was bittersweet having it be my last high school sports season,” Niskanen said.  “It felt great to end my last season with the best record in about a decade. It shows the progress the team has made and will continue to make. It’s an upward trend. Aspen baseball is finally becoming a hit again.”

Another AHS senior Andy Vernier  participated on the team his sophomore, junior, and senior year, and loved playing the sport.  He is also excited to have ended his last season on such a good note.

“This season felt very productive.  I mean this as a senior in the sense that the Aspen Baseball program took a big step this year in earning lots of respect,” Vernier said.  “This year was very different because we had a lot more confidence, which made the season a lot more fun.  We finally had the confidence we needed and that carried on throughout the season.”

Jamison Fuentes, who is the coach’s son, has high expectations for the team going into next year.  Fuentes will be returning as a junior for the 2017 season.  

“I think even though we will be losing a lot of the talent on the team, if we keep up the hard work and the effort, making playoffs and even winning the conference is possible,” Jamison Fuentes said.  

Though the games are on Basalt turf, everyone should try and get down to a home game next year and support the Aspen Baseball team as they continue to grow as a team and in their skill sets.  The team is bound to continue upward and hopefully is headed for another exciting baseball season in the school year of 2017.