The Red Devils baseball team is gearing up for their first season as a 3A contender, and, according to the team’s coaching staff, they are looking strong. The squad is coming off a stellar season in 2017 that landed them in the USHAA 2A championship where they fell to Gunnison 9-4.
The 2018 Red Devils team is stacked with seven seniors starting this year, five of whom have been playing since their freshman year at Grand County High School. “Bruin Meador is our returning all-state second baseman,” said head coach Jared Meador, speaking about his son. “Bruin led the team in runs scored and triples last season.”
As is common with Red Devil sports programs, many athletes will be hopping from one sport to the next as the seasons change. The baseball team will see a few standout performers from the basketball squad, fresh off an outstanding 3A debut. Senior Alec Williams will be one of the hardwood stars bringing his talents to the diamond.
“Williams is returning at shortstop and will pitch this year. Alec led the team in hits last season,” Meador noted.
Williams will be joined by two of his hoops teammates, seniors Brayden Shultz and Masen Ward, who Meador said are key performers to keep an eye on this season.
“Schultz returns as our all-state catcher and will pitch this year ... he led the team in stolen bases, walks and overall offensive production,” Meador said. “Ward was an all-state pitcher last season and will play multiple spots on defense this year. Masen only struck out two times in the entire season last year, and was second on the team in doubles.”
Basketball isn’t the only sport bleeding into baseball this year, however, as one of the wrestling team’s biggest stars, Gage Hansen, returns to the diamond for Grand County.
“Hansen will take over at first base this year. Gage was an all-state lineman for the football team, and should add power to an already loaded lineup,” Meador said.
Meador also added that Josh Jones will be returning as Grand County’s all-state center fielder and pitcher. Jones led the team in RBIs last season. Power-hitter Nick Downard will also be returning to his position as an outfielder. Downard led the Devils in doubles and home runs in 2017.
“We don’t quite know what to expect jumping up to 3A this year, but our job is to outwork everyone in the state,” Meador said. “If we outwork everyone in practice, we will be just fine in the games.”