2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Palmer baseball has plenty to look forward to

Published: May 2, 2014, 1:26 am, by Scott Kaniewski

The Palmer baseball team won’t be partaking in next week’s district tournaments.

Next season could be a different story. 

A team built with mostly juniors (only four seniors graduate), Palmer should have plenty returning in 2015, led by ace Alexis Enriquez. 

Enriquez and his teammates showed what they are capable of when they took an 8-3 lead on league champ Pine Creek on Tuesday, and then did it again with an 8-1 lead after three innings on Thursday. Unfortunately for the Terrors, they gave both those leads back and were swept in the series. 

But Thursday’s loss might be more indicative of what the Terrors have to look forward to. That 8-1 lead came after three innings with Enriquez on the mound. He surrendered three hits and one run — retiring the side in order in the second inning — before leaving because he was hit on the knee while at the plate. 

“That kid (Enriquez) on the mound is good,” said Pine Creek coach Glenn Millhauser, who has 11 juniors of his own this season. “He’s one of those guys keeps everyone off-balance. … This is a really good club. They’ve got a lot of guys coming back, lot of good pitching coming back. Palmer’s a good squad, they’re really good.” 

The team struggled after that, seeing their ace get hobbled. Enriquez was hoping to shake off the injury, but it was too painful. But he, like the rest of the Terrors, were already eager to talk about next season. 

“It’s really exciting because we have most everybody returning,” he said. “I felt there was a lot of pressure on us for some reason, so we didn’t perform. But I think we’ll come out next year as seniors and just have fun and relax, work more as a team, more chemistry.” 

Palmer dropped its last four games to the two best teams in the conference — Doherty and Pine Creek. But the Terrors scored a combined 18 runs against the Eagles and went 5-1 against Fountain-Fort Carson, Rampart and Liberty. It’s those kinds of numbers that could have the Terrors in the league hunt next season. 

“I’m super excited,” Terrors coach Mike Hagen said. “We’re excited the majority of our team’s juniors, and they’re eager to play. I think we’re going to do something special.”