Shortened season means more pitching emphasis

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Fort Lupton’s second-year coach – and first year with a team – thinks the coming season will be interesting in more ways than one. 
Cory Miller took the job a year ago, then had to sit out last season because of the ongoing pandemic. 
“We play six or seven games (of a 16-game season) in the first 11 days of the season,” Miller said. “We’re going to get going right away. Usually, you can get away with two or three pitchers. This year, we’re looking at needing four or five pitchers. We may be calling on people we wouldn’t expect to be calling on.” 
The schedule drives the desire to find pitchers. Another is the state’s mandatory pitch count. Pitchers who throw between 86-110 pitches have to avoid pitching for three days, as an example. 
“It’s a five-week season, so a three-day break is a long time,” Miller said. “The pitch count is the No. 1 challenge for coaches. The kids are going to have to work harder. They are going to get some opportunities to get better that they might not normally get.” 
FLHS was part of a 10-game spring season, so Miller had a chance to get a feel for what his upper-classmen-laden team can do. 
“We can hit, and we can be aggressive on the basepaths,” he said. “The kids are ready. I just wish we could have that same mindset in the field. The pitchers are in the zone. We just need to make a couple of plays behind them.” 
Fort Lupton opens the season at home against Englewood at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 4. The first road game is at The Academy in Westminster at noon Saturday, May 8. 
“If some of those kids can step up for us, we’re going to have a great season,” Miller said. “If not, it could be a long season. I feel sorry for the seniors who didn’t get to play their junior year and have a shortened senior season. But they get to play. So overall, it’s a good thing.” 

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