Davis gets call in title game for Mavericks
CARY, N.C. — Colorado Mesa and Southern Indiana took a similar road to reach the NCAA Division II national championship baseball game tonight.
Both teams, who shared the same hotel the past week, went 2-0 through their half of the bracket, only to lose to a team that survived through the losers’ bracket. The Mavericks and Screaming Eagles both rallied Friday to avenge their loss to play for the national title.
Both teams are coached by men who grew up in Colorado. CMU coach Chris Hanks, who turned 46 on Friday, is from Carbondale. USI coach Tracy Archuleta is from Illiff, near Sterling, and played for Metro State from 1993-96.
Fourth-ranked Colorado Mesa (47-12) is playing for its first national title in its second Division II World Series appearance.
Sixth-ranked Southern Indiana (48-13) is playing for its second national title in three World Series appearances.
Hanks has several arms available to pitch tonight in the national championship game.
Matt Delay, who has been the No. 1 starter all season for the fourth-ranked Mavericks (47-12), is available on five days’ rest, and could pitch tonight in relief.
Hanks is going with sixth-year senior Kyle Davis as his starter.
“Kyle handled the emotions of things a little better,” Hanks said. “I hope to get Kyle through five (innings). I would even take four solid. I’ll probably pass it off to Delay. We could use a transition guy in there. We have some guys ready to go.”
Davis was the winning pitcher in the Mavericks’ victory over Seton Hill (Pennsylvania) on Tuesday. He’ll be pitching on three days’ rest.
“He says he can do it,” Hanks said. “What I’m looking for from Kyle is for us to get off to a good start. If he can give us three to five, it shortens the game. We can go to Delay and we still have (Matt) Allen.”
Sixth-ranked Southern Indiana (48-13) also has several arms available, including No. 1 starter Ben Wright (7-3, 2.19 ERA). He pitched in the Screaming Eagles’ victory over Tampa (Florida) last Saturday.
Hanks, though, believes the Screaming Eagles will go with No. 2 starter Jonathon Wandling. The senior right-hander is 10-1 with a 2.90 ERA. Wandling threw Monday in the Screaming Eagles victory against Lander (South Carolina).