Athletes of the Week: Weaver, Smolinski and Fruita Monument Baseball

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:52 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Fruita Monument Wildcats Baseball Team has been as good as it gets during the start of their season, winning all of their first six games.

During that six-game stretch the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 63-9.

“‘We’ve always wanted to come out hot start hitting good. We’ve hit really well to start the year, and we’ve pitched exceptionally well, and so when those two click together, it’s pretty good to start the year, especially going into some better competition,” Junior Infielder and Pitcher Lucas Weaver said.

“Going into the season, obviously, we’re pretty young team. We didn’t know as far as like what kind of success we’d have,” Junior Infielder and Pitcher Hunter Smolinski said.

During this winning streak the Wildcats have been dominant on both sides of the ball. So much so that the players we were able to speak to often went back and forth when asked which side has contributed more to their recent success.

“At the start of the season, we would have all definitely thought we’d be better on the offensive side. But we’ve had a lot of pitchers kind of step up and take that role,” Smolinski said, “Lucas Weaver obviously throwing a no hitter early in the season. That was huge.”

“I feel like our pitching has been more dominant or at least allowed us to have the confidence that we need because whenever we’re pitching and allowing less than five runs every game, it really gives our hitters the comfortability to hit the ball and have an approach going to the play,” Weaver said.

The Wildcats do have a serious stretch of their season coming up, including multiple trips to the Front Range against some of the top teams in Colorado.

“There next few games that we go to Denver, it’s definitely a big chance for us to prove ourselves and prove that, you know, we can compete with those guys because I mean, a lot of the I guess Colorado baseball coverage is focused around the Denver area and the schools around there but I think definitely if we win some games down there we’ll get a little recognition you know,” Smolinski said.

“We usually get looked down upon since nobody really pays attention to us so if we can go and compete with them it represents us well and shows what the western slope is a good baseball place and not to be underestimated,” Weaver said.