Program Spotlight: Golden Spikes


Brett Harrison
Nevada Scouting Director

This year, in addition to the Scout Day Showcases, we are also going to spotlighting programs as a whole with an interview with each participating teams head coach providing insight into their expectations for Spring 2021, key players, incoming players, players expected to have breakout seasons, how they have navigated the past year and much more. Next, we spotlight a gritty program in the Nevada Golden Spikes that has established themselves as tough match up anytime they step between the lines. 

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Golden Spikes SPOTLIGHT
Head Coach, Garrett Smith

What are your expectations for your program for the 2021 Spring Season?

Our expectations are always to win. I think every team has that expectation.  Whether our guys have an opportunity to play for a state championship, or if COVID continues to limit us to local games and out of state tournaments, winning is what we are trying to do each time we step on the field.  Our expectations don’t begin or end there, it's everything in between.  That we develop players, that players play the game the right way, that education and their grades come first, that they are good people on and off the field, that they compete.  We have a great group of guys that really gel and push each other.  Should be a fun spring.

Who are the top returning players you have coming back this Spring? Expectations of those players?

Our top returning players continue to be the guys at the top of our batting order and pitching rotation. Austin Cates, 2021 P/3B (University of Hawaii-Hilo commit) is coming off a great fall both offensively and on the mound. Ian Roemer, 2021 P, finished the fall with a 1.67 ERA in 6 starts. Jordan Writer, 2021 P with mid 80’s FB and plus secondary pitches.  Offensively Reed Pippin, 2021 CF led the team with a .386 BA in the fall. Jarrett Kenyon, 2021 SS/P led the team in OBP for the fall and remains a top uncommitted player for 21’class. Chris Cascardo, 2021 1B continues to be a lefty power threat in the middle of the order. Caden Denning, 2021 OF/C rounds out the top players for 2021 with a sub 6.80 60 yard dash and 4.0 GPA.

Parker Vint, Dallin Smith (fall RBI leader), Sebastian Lopez, Kyle Kiernan and Mason McCormack round out a strong 2022 class that has high expectations for this season and next. 

Who on your roster do you expect to have a breakout season in 2021? (1-2 players in each class, 2021-2024)

2021 – Ian Roemer & Chris Cascardo

2022 – Sebastian Lopez & Kyle Kiernan

2023 – Owen Watkins & AJ Victoravich

2024 – Evan Festa & Jackson Thomsen

How does your program differentiate from others? What does your program do in the Summer and Fall Seasons?  

We play a lot of baseball.  Even in a COVID year, we still managed to play 50+ games between Aug-Nov.  We’re always looking to play and have players and parents that are committed to the program.  I would say that we’re different in that we don’t have 1 or 2 superstars.  We really have a great balance of hard-nosed talented players that love playing and competing. 

How are you preparing for the Spring?

Weekly cage work, conditioning and field work.  Fields are limited so we do the best we can with the resources we have.  We play in a winter league with many of the local high school teams.  We’ll be playing some out of state tournaments this spring and summer to round out the next several months. 

What has your program done to combat the restricted ability to play baseball over the past year? 

Like many teams, we’ve jumped through hoops to play.  We have played in Phoenix (AZ), Kingman (AZ), Mesquite (NV), St. George (UT), Salt Lake City (UT), etc.  Anywhere we can get games, within a reasonable distance, we have gone.

Do you have any college commits within the program?

Austin Cates, University of Hawaii-Hilo.  Many of our players are in talks with JUCO, D1, D2 and NAIA schools as we speak.  COVID has been tough on the 2021 and 2022 class.  We expect a handful of our guys to sign with schools coming out of the winter and into the spring.  Many of our guys in the 2021, 2022 and younger classes will go on to play college baseball.

Besides a State Championship, what do you try to accomplish within your program every year?

1. That any of our guys that want to play beyond high school baseball, have every opportunity and exposure to do that.

2. Quality players, students and even more quality people.

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DIRECTOR NOTES
PBR Nevada Director of Scouting, Brett Harrison

The Golden Spikes, lead by head coach Garrett Smith, have quickly become a team that poses a tough challenge to anyone they take the field against. A pitching staff lead by Uncommitted 2021 right hander, Ian Roemer, who has a four pitch mix that can keep hitters off balance. An interesting newcomer into their rotation is 2020 Junior Future Game attendee, Evan Festa, a lefty with improving velocity who can locate his fastball, curveball and changeup mix. The offensive side of the ball is where the Golden Spikes standout with Area Code ID Series standout, Sebastian Lopez, using his added physical strength to become a consistent threat at the plate. Uncommitted 2021 first baseman, Chis Cascardo, took full advantage of the Covid restricted time period by improving his physical condition in which his game has paralleled that strength gains, especially his power potential at the plate. #3 ranked 2022 backstop, Dallin Smith, can swing it from both sides of the plate and is another bat in their lineup to keep an eye on. This group has established themselves among the top programs in Southern Nevada and we will be looking forward to this group making some noise this Spring. 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Golden Spikes Scout Day NV 02/04 Heritage Park
NSA Scout Day NV 02/09 Heritage Park
Las Vegas Rams Scout Days NV 02/16 Heritage Park
Nevada Athletics Scout Day NV 02/17 Doc Romeo Park
Las Vegas Aces Scout Day (Session 1) NV 02/18 Heritage Park
Rawlings Tigers Scout Day NV 02/22 Rainbow Family Park
Las Vegas Aces Scout Day (Session 2) NV 02/23 Heritage Park
Sierra Vista Scout Day NV 02/25 Heritage Park
Bishop Manogue Scout Day NV 02/27 Bishop Manogue High School
Reno Knights Scout Day NV 02/27 Bishop Manogue High School
McQueen Lancers Scout Day NV 02/28 Bishop Manogue High School
Northern Nevada Open Scout Day NV 02/28 Bishop Manogue High School
Sparks Blue Sox Scout Day  NV 02/28 Bishop Manogue High School
Bases Loaded Elite Scout Day  NV 03/03 Doc Romeo Park
Bishop Gorman Scout Day NV 03/04 Heritage Park
The Meadows Scout Day NV 03/07 The Meadows
Southern Nevada Open Scout Day NV 03/13 Faith Lutheran High School

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