Spring is in the air and prep baseball races in Class 3A-1A are beginning to tighten up. This week should be plenty exciting and here’s a Player Prop and a sample of games to keep an eye on.

Player Props: Ben Simons, Jr., Coal Ridge. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder has been stellar on the mound for the Titans. Coal Ridge, which is in the 3A ranks, improved to 10-0 on the season after sweeping Basalt on Saturday and Simons was a star in Game 1 – a 9-3 victory. Simons threw a complete game, allowing just four hits and striking out 15 batters. That extended his streak to five appearances in a row where he has fanned at least six batters. Since his freshman year, Simons has a 22-0 record on the mound with a 1.29 ERA, including a 5-0 record this season with a 1.08 ERA. For good measure, he’s batting .588 with 22 RBIs.

Class 3A

Berthoud (13-0) at Eaton (12-0), 4 p.m., Monday

This is a battle of two legitimate state championship contenders. Berthoud has won 13 games in a row, including a 22-2 decision over Liberty Common (4-9) on Tuesday. Berthoud is a talented squad led by junior Adam Hayes (.556), senior Jack McCrea (.526) and senior Connor Jorissen (.477). Eaton always seems to be in the mix to capture state championship glory. Eaton will counter with Gunnar Duncan (.588), Garrett Garrison (.500) and Joey Blaskowski (.500). Senior Lucas Stone has been strong un mound, posting a 4-0 record, fanning 42 batters in 19 innings of work.

Eaton has quite the busy week as it will host highly ranked Resurrection Christian (12-1) at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday and then visit a Top-5 team in University (9-2) at 4 p.m., Friday. This will be a true test to see if perennial power Eaton can keep its perfect season intact.

Class 2A

Fowler (7-4) at Dolores Huerta Prep (6-8), 4 p.m., Wednesday

Fowler keeps sneaking up in the mix as a solid 2A team. After getting swept in a doubleheader by a stout Las Animas team on April 6, losing both games 3-1, Fowler bounced back by thumping Calhan (24-0), and McClave (10-0). Fowler is a known girls volleyball state championship power, but the Grizzlies has had some highlights on the diamond in the past, including being the home of former University of Tennessee and Kansas City Royals star pitcher Luke Hochevar.

This year’s Fowler squad doesn’t have a Hochevar – but it has plenty of talent led by juniors Hagen McCuistion (.472) and Isaiah Montoya (.471). Following this non-league game against DHPH, Fowler has a Santa Fe League doubleheader at 10 a.m. Saturday against Walsenburg (0-5), setting the stage for a huge game at powerhouse Limon (13-0) at 4:30 p.m. Monday. DHPH will try and play spoiler with an offense paced by seniors Cameron Stringfellow (.556) and Cristo Esquibel (.472).

Class 1A

Merino (10-4) at Akron (10-1), 3 p.m., Wednesday

This is certainly the game of the week in 1A with Akron and Merino ranked in the top three in the state in the power rankings. Akron had three wins last week over Wiggins (15-0) and a doubleheader sweep of Caliche (14-4, and 14-1). The Rams lone loss was to Holyoke 5-4 on March 30. Akron is led offensively by junior Anderson Filla (.541), who has a team-best 20 hits, and Brandon Hellyer (.412). Merino is coming off a tough loss to Haxtun (9-6) in the second game of a doubleheader on April 13 and now it will have to regroup against Akron. For Merino to get back on the winning track and get a statement win its going to need big games at the plate from senior Tyler Miller (.526), junior Coen Schmidt (.415) and freshman Isaac Poe (.415).