Athletes of the Week: Palisade Baseball on the Playoff Push

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 11:49 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Palisade Bulldogs Baseball Team is scorching hot just in time for state playoffs. After a hot-and-cold start to the season, the Bulldogs snapped bacl to their usual dominant form, going 8-0 in the Western Slope League and rattling off 15 consecutive wins.

“It’s really good because we had a rough start of the season and we kind of just came together and gelled and we’re working on some things,” Senior Catcher Brett Rozman said.

“Feels good. It’s a you know, come out first season wasn’t so hot. Come back and go undefeated these last 15 games is pretty cool,” Senior Pitcher Ryker Harsha said.

“The start of the season. You know, in Arizona, we had a lot of errors, but then coming to junction, we really picked it up and we haven’t had as many errors. Since then. We’ve all just been working as a team,” Senior Centerfielder Nick Campbell said.

Looking ahead to the playoffs, while the Bulldogs Players we spoke to all said they aren’t overlooking early round opponents, another thing on their minds is getting a little payback against potential playoff matchups.

“Cheyenne Mountain would be an interesting game. Well, we lost them in the beginning of season, and we have to scratch the itch with them. Senior Right Fielder Alex Morrall said.

“We played Golden early on in the season, and it was a fun game. Very competitive. Barely last five, four, I think it was maybe a six, five. But I think they’re definitely one of the tougher matchups in in this and then probably Cheyenne Mountain, that we ran into them last year. And they were they were pretty good,” Senior Pitcher Josh Zotto said.

“Golden or Cheyenne Mountain. We played Cheyenne Mountain last year, and I want to play them again. And Golden always has a good program good team. So I want to play them to,” Senior First Baseman Braden Blanck said.

But of course, the ultimate goal for the Bulldogs in the next couple of weeks, is to go all the way and bring a state title back to the Western Slope.

“That would feel amazing, you know, kind of put our name on the map for everybody out there and kind of show everybody what we are, what we do here at Palisade,” Zotto said.

“That would be cool, go out Senior year with a bang. Just the coolest thing ever,” Harsha said.

“I mean that would be amazing way to finish my high school career and just a great memory to look back on I’m sure but I don’t want to look past anybody at this point. And, you know, you always dream of playing the state championship, so it’d be just amazing just to be there,” Blanck said.

The Bulldogs will take on another Western Slope opponent, the Central High School Warriors in the first round of the Playoffs Saturday.