Let's face it: The Colorado Springs Christian School baseball team is going to struggle this season.
But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
With six freshmen, the Lions are a team of the future. Those words come from second-year coach Tom Flannery, who's already facing the consequences of a young, inexperienced squad. So far, CSCS is 0-2 before Wednesday's Class 3A Tri-Peaks League opener against Manitou Springs.
The Lions have been outscored 48-2. Both losses ended via the mercy rule.
"As you can tell by the score," Flannery said, "it's kind of how this is going."
The Lions lost four seniors from last season in Justin Johnston, Quinn Stowell, Luke Smith and Daniel Burton, and they all were all-conference selections.
This season, they boast only two seniors on an 11-man roster. Some of the freshmen arrived with no club baseball experience, and Flannery said that some of his pitchers aren't at the ideal arm strength just yet.
That doesn't mean the Lions are ready to give up. Far from it.
"They've got a good attitude," Flannery said, "and they know they have a lot to learn and they're eager to learn it."
He added that after each loss his players have responded “positively.”
CSCS returned three starters from last season's 3-16 team, including juniors Ben Wester and Matt Johnson and senior Kade Allen. Freshmen expected to make an impact are Hunter McWilliams, Joe Washburn, Ben Washburn and Brian Youn.
Those players look to be part of a rebuilding effort for the Lions, whose last winning season was in 2016, when they finished 13-7 and advanced to the Class 3A District 7 championship only to lose 4-3 to St. Mary’s.
“We're doing a lessons-learned approach,” Flannery said. “They improved a great deal from the first game to the second one because of the lessons-learned approach and we're hoping that continues to the point where they're a lot more competitive and playing at a varsity level.”
In the season opener, they lost 33-1 to Lutheran. Then, they fell 15-1 to Front Range Christian.
Ultimately, the Lions are ready for a challenging season.