Rocky Mountain Vibes’ Baseball Season Officially Kicks Off at Home

Pioneer League Team Sports New Players and Management

Trevor Phipps


Excitement filled the air earlier this month when the Rocky Mountain Vibes started practice and geared up for their 2024 season.

During the Vibes’ media day, the team was energetic and running through practice drills like they were ready to battle on the diamond.

One big question, though, hovers over the area’s popular baseball diamond: Can this excitement translate to wins and a replica of the end of the 2023 season, when the Vibes actually snagged a playoff spot. This thrilled area baseball fans, who hadn’t seen a minor league team in the region strike playoff gold for years.


The Colorado Springs Pioneer League team officially started play last week with the Vibes finding themselves on the road in matches against the Yolo High Wheelers. The team makes their grand debut at their home field this Tuesday, with the first pitch of their home opener against the Oakland Ballers happening at 6:35 p.m.

The Vibes have big shoes to fill this season as last year they made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They lost out in the first round, but Vibes’ fans were thrilled to see postseason action at UC Health Field for the first time in years.


This year, the Vibes play even more games as their Pioneer League added two more teams coming from the San Francisco Bay area. In fact, the Vibes start their season playing a series against each of the league newest California teams: the Yolo High Wheelers and the Oakland Ballers.


Therefore, the Vibes definitely face big challenges in a bid to make it back to the playoffs, with more games to play and two new teams in contention for post-season action. To add to the challenge, the Vibes will be out on the diamond with basically a new team, as many of their star players from last year got picked up by Triple-A, Major League franchises.


According to Les Lancaster, the team’s manager (the sole member of the team’s top management returning from last season), there are only five players on the roster for 2024 that played on the team last year. He said that during the offseason he was forced to rebuild most of the team’s offense after many of their star hitters moved onto bigger and better opportunities.

Last season, the team sported good fielding and hitting, but they struggled when it came to pitching.

This year Lancaster said that the team will look similar than it has in the past. He cited fielding and hitting as their major strengths. At the same time, the manager added some new pitchers to his bullpen that hopefully will give the team new energy.  At the start of last year, the Vibes faced major woes on the mound.


Top Players to Watch


Out of the five returning players, much attention could focus on centerfielder Brett Carson who suffered an injury last season. Now, he is back and healthy, and he is expected to emerge as one of the Vibes’ top hitters.


Returning pitcher Zach Ottinger is back on the field this season after earning a 4.95 ERA (earned run average) and a 5-0 record last season. Pitcher Christian Day returns from last year after picking up an  8-6 record.


A new addition this year is Christian Day’s younger brother, second baseman Josh Day, who was picked up during the offseason. He will be on the field this season looking to improve the Vibes’ roster. The younger Day previously played for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, as a member of their Double A team.


First baseman Dane Tofteland hails from Canada and was a player brought on during offseason that added some size to the Vibes. Sporting a six-foot-4-inch, 230 lbs. stature, Tofteland also has previous experience playing for minor league organizations. His big claim to fame was when he hit three homeruns in one game with two of them being grand slams while he was playing at the college level.

Pitcher Trey Morrill is one of the team’s newest additions. Like Tofteland, he adds to the team’s large size and bulk, as he is six-foot-7 inches tall  and weighs 225 lbs. Morrill joins the Vibes after playing for the enemy Pioneer League team, the Grand Junction Jackalopes last season, where he earned an 8.90 ERA and a 4-10 record.


Festivities for the 2024 Season


This year, the Vibes come with almost an entirely new upper management staff that has big plans for the upcoming season. The season is packed with special themed games and there is a special promotion everyday depending on what day of the week a game is played.


For opening day, the game will be offering “Feed Your Face Tuesdays” where free samples of food from local eateries like Jimmy Johns, Tucanos Brazilian Grill, and Noodles & Company will be offered until the end of the second inning. On games that fall on “Winning Wednesdays” tickets will cost only $2 and if the Vibes win, everyone at the game will receive a free ticket to watch the team play during any Sunday game this season.


“Thank You and Thirsty Thursdays” will be games where members of the military get in free, and there are drink specials. On “Fireworks Fridays,” there will be a fireworks show after every game.


On “Unique Saturdays,” the stadium will feature a different giveaway or theme for every game that falls on a Saturday. Sundays are coined “Family Fun Sundays” as anyone who brings in two canned food items can get in for free, and there will be post-game base running for the little ones.


On May 28, the first 1,000 fans will get a free magnet schedule. During the home game on June 1 the first 1,000 fans will get a bucket hat. Then on June 2, the team celebrates their mascot Toasty’s birthday with a post-game marshmallow fight.