Only one player returns from last year's championship club

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FARMINGTON — The Farmington Frackers offense had plenty of muscle in its inaugural season last summer.

The team jumped on foes quickly for multiple double-digit scoring outputs, and it also came through with some clutch runs in later innings. That potent lineup hit 42 home runs and went 36-1 en route to the 2017 Stan Musial World Series title, including 41 combined runs scored in five SMWS games.

That's why coach Jared Holley prioritized replenishing his lineup with more firepower entering the program's second year.

"There's going to be a few balls going out. One through nine, it's going to be a good mix (of power and speed). One through nine, we're going to probably hurt some teams," Holley said.

Alex DeVito, who hit .320 with seven homers and 47 RBIs in his junior year at NCAA Division II California State University-Chico this spring, is the only returning player from the 2017 squad, but there's plenty of new talent from across New Mexico and the western states.

Karl Koerper, a 2017 Centennial (Last Cruces) High School graduate, who didn't have any at-bats during his freshman year at the University of New Mexico, hit .300 with four homers and 52 RBIs during his final two years of high school.

UNM’s Justin Watari, a 2016 graduate of Woodcreek High School in Roseville, California, hit a combined .303 with 37 RBIs and seven stolen bases in his first two years with the Lobos. Watari also hit .436 with 27 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 2016 at Woodcreek.

Eastern New Mexico University recruit Emilio Lovato, hit .418 with five home runs, 56 RBIs and 18 stolen bases during his final two years at Portales High School. Lovato graduated from PHS in 2017.

David Ortega, a 2017 Hobbs graduate, hit .411 with two homers and 14 RBIs his senior year with the Eagles. He then hit .455 as pinch-hitter with five RBIs in 17 games at New Mexico Junior College this spring.

"We definitely have some guys that can swing it," DeVito said, also mentioning there's a greater balance of power and contact hitters.

Luna Community College's Keaton Christy, a 2017 Farmington High grad, is the only San Juan County native on the 2018 roster.

After averaging nearly nine runs a game last year, Holley said his 2018 squad, which opens the new campaign against the Greeley Grays at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Ricketts Park, is capable of scoring 10-plus runs close to every game.

"It's going to be pretty hard to top what we did last year, but anything's possible. Every kid, you can just hear the crack of the bat. That ball's going somewhere," Holley said.

2018 regular-season schedule

Doubleheader vs. Greeley Grays, 5:30 p.m. Friday at Ricketts Park (admission is free)

Doubleheader vs. Greeley Grays, 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Ricketts Park

Single game vs. Farmington Fuel, 7 p.m. June 7 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. Colorado Cutthroats, 5:30 p.m. June 8 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. Colorado Cutthroats, 5:30 p.m. June 9 at Ricketts Park

Single game vs. California Jays, 7 p.m. June 14 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. California Jays, 5:30 p.m. June 15 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. California Jays, 5:30 p.m. June 16 at Ricketts Park

Single game vs. Strike Zone All Stars, 7 p.m. June 21 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. Colorado Cutthroats, 5:30 p.m. June 22 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. Colorado Cutthroats, 5:30 p.m. June 23 at Ricketts Park

Single game vs. JG Diplomats, 7 p.m. June 28 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. JG Diplomats, 5:30 p.m. June 29 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. JG Diplomats, 5:30 p.m. June 30 at Ricketts Park

Single game vs. LA Easton, 7 p.m. July 5 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. LA Easton, 5:30 p.m. July 6 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. LA Easton, 5:30 p.m. July 7 at Ricketts Park

Single game vs. Nevada Jays, 7 p.m. July 12 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. Nevada Jays, 5:30 p.m. July 13 at Ricketts Park

Doubleheader vs. Nevada Jays, 5:30 p.m. July 14 at Ricketts Park

2018 roster

Robby Campillo (C/3B)

Keaton Christy (INF/RHP)

Parker Depasquale (RPH/OF)

Alex Devito (1B/DH)

Nico Garza (3B/RHP)

Josh Glenn (C)

Marquise Glenn (INF/OF)

David Herrera (RHP)

Tye Holliday (RHP/OF)

Karl Koerper (1B/LHP)

Emilio Lovato (RHP/INF)

Sergio Lucero (LHP)

Drew Marrufo (C/RHP)

Max McCay (C)

David Ortega (RHP/OF)

Ryan Sandberg (OF/C/2B)

Justin Watari (INF)

Jackson Weller (RHP)

Austin Wendt (LHP)

Jack White (RHP)

Ritchie Zapata (RHP)

Dylan Zavala (RHP/INF)

Head coach — Jared Holley

Assistant coaches — Shilo McCall and Carson Snider

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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