Cardinals head into league action

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The spring break was probably just what the Elizabeth baseball team needed. It included a trip to Arizona to participate in the Coach Bob Invitational Tournament in Phoenix.

Elizabeth came away with a 2-2 record, 2-1 in the Cardinals pool, and overall, coach Doug Severinson was pleased with the way his players responded. The Cardinals are now 4-3 overall.

“We only have three seniors, so we could be considered young,” said Severinson, now in his third year as the Elizabeth head coach. “However, we have a lot of juniors who have been involved in competitive ball and we have a good pitching staff, four deep.

“Moving into a new league, the Colorado 7, should prove interesting,” Severinson said. “The Arizona trip was a bonding experience for all of us and a good trip for the kids. I think we will have a solid team with our seven returning players. It has been a rough start, as the weather here at home has held us back and we've had a lot of indoor practice. Now, it's on to league action.”

Elizabeth was defeated by Mesa Ridge, 12-2, in the Cardinals' season opener back on March 18. However, they rebounded the next day with a 25-0 victory over Mitchell. And that was a game in which every player on the varsity roster had a least one hit, 23 on the day.

Jeff Stevens came through with four RBI against Mitchell, with Brandon Severinson, the coach's son, also adding four RBI with the help of a pair of doubles and a couple stolen bases. Jace Evans also batted in four runs, while Brady Oliver chipped in with three more batted home.

Elizabeth defeated Strasburg 10-4, then headed off to Arizona. They finished 2-1 in their bracket, 2-2 overall. The Cardinals fell to Douglas High of Juneau, Alaska, 6-5, then were beaten by Apollo of Glendale, Ariz., 13-5. They rebounded with a 6-1 win over Denver Christian, which also made the Arizona trip, then defeated Kalmath Union, Oregon, 4-2.

“Now it's on to league play and we will go after it,” Severinson said. “Just a quick look ahead we see Englewood and Fort Morgan as the stronger teams in the league. We'll just have to see how everything plays out, as this is a new league for us.”

Brandon Severinson is off to a solid start at the plate with an early season .462 average. It's a mark also held by teammate Brody Oliver, who also leads the Cardinals with six RBI. Leading the team in hitting at this point, though, is Cody Stienke with a lofty .556 average and five RBI.

Also hitting above the .300 mark in the early going is Tyler Erzen (.444), Wahlstrom (.333) and Brett Yates (.308).

“The trip was good and finally a chance to spend more days outside,” Brandon Severinson said with a chuckle. “Until we got to Arizona we had only played three games outside and only had three outdoor practices.

“We have to share the gyms with the others playing spring sports and that puts a damper on your practices.

“That first game in Arizona we committed seven errors, but after that we were able to bounce back,” Severinson said. “I'm excited about the season and I really think we have a lot of potential to do well in our league, and talent I hope we don't waste.”