Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 9 Legacy Lightning


John Cackowski and PBR Colorado Staff

 

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Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. 

Like any preseason ranking for any sport, last year our list created a lot of fun conversations, debate, and opinions among players, coaches, and families. To see what we got right, and what we got wrong in 2017 Click Here

What makes our list unique is it combines all classifications (1A through 5A), and leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage.

Factors that are considered when creating the Top 50 List are the following:

- How many current players are returning that are in PBR Colorado rankings
- How many overall players committed or non-committed are returning
- How many starting pitchers are returning
- Success the previous season
- History of success in the program

* We expect the teams in the Top 50 Countdown will compete for at least a district playoff spot in 2018

Team No. 9: Legacy Lightning

2018 Preseason Rank: 9
2017 Preseason Rank: 26
2017 Record: 16-7
Conference: Front Range
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ty Giordano
2017 Playoff Run: Lost to Rock Canyon in the Final 8 Round
2017 Final Rank: 17
Returning Offensive Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 4
Returning Innings on Mound: 58
RBI's returning: 56

 

STAT RAT: 44 steals, when Legacy got runners on base, it was not long before they had them in scoring position.  They will need to do the same thing this year to generate offense.

X-FACTORS: Rebuild or Reload that is the questions for the 2018 team.  We look at them reloading with a new crop of players and making another run.

BOTTOM LINE: The Lighting year in and year out seem to peak at the right time.  They play in a tough Front Range league that quickly gets players up to speed and prepared for the challenges of the season.  Legacy in 2018 seems to be well balanced and will be ready for what comes their way.  They will need to find run production to go with the pitching experience they have coming back, if that happens, they should be in their familiar sport when playoff time rolls around.

 

Josh Kelnhofer RHP / 3B / Legacy, CO / 2018

Kelnhofer is another pitcher who gained expereience in 2017 but will be expected to raise the bar in 2018.  Kelnhofer made 9 appearances for the Lightning last season.  At the plate he had a .339 year with 19 hits, 12 RBI and 6 doubles.

 

 

Ross Smith RHP / OF / Legacy, CO / 2018

Smith is looking for a big senior year that will help to keep Legacy in the mix at the end of the season.  The senior had a fine junior year hitting .356 with 26 hits and 29 RBI.  He added 5 doubles and 3 homeruns on the year for the Lightning.

 

 

Ryan Overboe LHP / 1B / Legacy, CO / 2018

Overboe will get the ball in most big games for Legacy this season.  He racked up 3 wins in 2017 going 25 innings with 28 strikeouts.  Look for the lefty to see his workload go way up as Legacy gets going in 2018.

 

 

Blake Labuda C / OF / Legacy, CO / 2019

A 5-foot-8, 135-pound right hand hitting catcher/2B who ran a 7.6 60.  At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with a short stride on the pitch.  Quick hips fire through the zone and he hits with good extension out front.  Swing path is slightly uphill with a 72 MPH exit velocity.  Behind the plate he sets up low in the zone and shows quick actions and soft hands while blocking pitches.  He has a quick exchange and throws from an over the top arm slot.  Pop-times were 2.06-2.10 with good accuracy to the base.  Arm velocity was 69 MPH.