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Collegians start hot this season

Brandon MaesBrandon MaesBY JEFF LETOFSKY

A 3-1 start has Tony Pechek smiling these days. But he's not ready to claim the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League title just yet.

The manager of the Spradley Collegians watched as his team opened the 2018 summer season with a sweep over the Bombers and a split with Prime Academy.

 "I'm happy with this group," Pechek said. "They don't have much power in the lineup but can put the ball on the bat. They do the little things well. We stole a couple of bases and had a couple big home runs in the first couple games."

A roster filled mostly of former Pueblo high school players, Pechek has been impressed with the local baseball talent.

"The Pueblo boys have done everything I have asked them," he said. "We had some late pickups at our position players and they've stepped in and done a good job."

Pechek pointed to Lucas Kaber, Lucas Quimby, Alan Garcia and Brandon Maes as young players who have stepped up.

"I'm impressed with how Kaber has progressed defensively at second base," Pechek said. "And Quimby (at shortstop) is the same kid I remember at Pueblo West. Arguto is green but is doing a good job on the mound and in the outfield.

"Kudos to the high school coaches in Pueblo for getting these kids ready for the next level. I could have never recruited all these guys. Thanks to the coaches who have handed them forward. This team wouldn't be near what it is without these kids from Pueblo moving on."

Pechek noticed a couple things in general about his team after a week of play.

"We have a lot of depth on the mound and we're carrying a lot of two-way guys," he said. "That gives us a lot of flexibility but at the same time I have to give them rest when they pitch. It makes creating a lineup very calculated, knowing when they are going to throw and when they aren't going to throw."

The Collegians have a busy week starting at 5 p.m. tonight with a doubleheader against the Greeley Grays at Hobbs Field. They also play twin-bills on this weekend at Hobbs Field against the Denver Generals at 11 a.m. Saturday and the Fort Collins Bandits at 11 a.m. Sunday.

"Six games in a short period of time," Pechek said. "We're going see if we're as quality as our 3-1 start. Hopefully, we'll continue to put numbers up, get in the driver's seat in the league and get into the (postseason) tournament."