Mavs add 21 student-athletes in baseball

By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
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The Mesa State College baseball program added 21 student-athletes for the 2009-2010 school year, coach Chris Hanks told The Daily Sentinel on Monday.

“We needed numbers for competition,” he said. “Competition makes competitors better and exposes those who are not as good of competitors.

“We obviously need more people, but we wanted to make sure we distributed our recruits in different classes.”

Mesa State lost 16 players to graduation, including seven pitchers from its Division II World Series team. The Mavericks (44-15) reached the Division II World Series for the first time in school history less than three months ago.

Nine of the 21 recruits are freshmen, including Fruita Monument High School pitcher Rex Clemons.

“We have a good mix of good arms,” Hanks said. “Clemons is a good prospect. He had a good summer season. If he does things right, he can help us right away.”

Six of the nine pitchers have at least one year of college experience, which will come in handy with the loss of seven pitchers to graduation.

Two of them were at Division I programs.

Sophomore left-hander Tim Moore originally signed a letter of intent with the University of Hawaii out of high school and redshirted. He transferred to Salt Lake (Utah) Community College. He was 0-0 with a 5.71 ERA with one start in 14 appearances.
Derek Riley transferred to Mesa after one year at Arkansas State. The right-hander was Garden City (Kan.) Community College’s ace for two years, Hanks said.

“We wanted some experience and some youth,” said Hanks of pitchers. “I think we have a good distribution. It enables us to stay out of a mass exodus.”

Hanks brought in two catchers, three midfielders, five outfielders and two utility players. Five of them are incoming freshmen.

“We have a good group of returning guys, but we’ll see how it goes,” said Hanks of a freshman starting right away next season. “I like their talent and skill level. We got some good athletes.”

One of the utility players is Grand Junction High School graduate Erik Nordine.

The junior transfer from South Mountain (Ariz.) Community College has played nearly every position on the field except catcher and pitcher.


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