Mavericks bounced from RMAC baseball tournament
The struggle continues for the Mesa State College baseball team.
For the sixth time in the past nine games, the Mavericks were on the losing end.
This time CSU-Pueblo defeated Mesa State 6-3 on Thursday at Rawlings Field in Pueblo. The 22nd-ranked Mavericks (39-13) were eliminated from the RMAC tournament.
“To sum it up, we can’t seem to get a timely hit,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “There are a few different reasons. Number one, What we’re experiencing, to some degree, is the nature of baseball. We haven’t hit a cold point during the season. Each team experiences a cold spell.
Unfortunately, ours is occurring late. Other teams have got hot, maybe hotter than us. Teams come at us with a low risk, high reward. Regis yesterday played with no worries. They could get hot and win the tournament, but I don’t think they were not coming into tournament with the idea of going to regionals. Their mindset was let’s go have fun and get the kids experience.”
CSU-Pueblo starter Dillon Meaney bent, but didn’t break. The junior right-hander (6-1) limited the Mavericks to three runs (all in the ninth) on nine hits and struck out six. Jason Fronczak (8-1) limited the ThunderWolves to three runs on six hits in 41/3 innings. It was the first time Mesa lost this season when Fronczak has started.
Mesa junior Kevin Becker had four of the Mavs’ hits, going 4 for 5 with one RBI, but Mesa left 11 runners on base.
“Their kid was effective, but we didn’t handle him well,” Hanks said. “I gave the team days off last week. I thought we may be tired. I wouldn’t say we played tired, but we seemed to be in a fog. When you get in it, it’s not easy. Guys tend to press. We’re going back to work and will have a hard-nosed practice and sweat it out of us.
“If we can get that timely hit, we’ll be OK.”
Mesa State entered the RMAC tournament ranked first in the NCAA Central Region and is hoping to host the Central Region tournament next week.
“Wayne State (Neb.) can catch us, but we were 6-2 against Highlands and 4-1 Pueblo,” Hanks said. “All conference tournaments mean in our case is two games. The only thing the conference tournament does is provide a spot for the tournament winner. The regional bids go to who has produced through the entire course of a season. That’s us and Wayne State. It wouldn’t surprise me if we’re No. 2, but Wayne didn’t put in a bid to host.”