Mavs still trying to find their way on the diamond
For five years, the Mesa State College baseball team has been the lead dog in the RMAC.
“This year we don’t have to be the lead dog from the start,” coach Chris Hanks said. “We can nip at their heels, but we’ve just gotta keep nipping.”
Don’t get him wrong, Hanks has no trouble leading the pack year in and year out, but with so many roster changes and the finicky weather, the Mavericks (6-8, 2-4 RMAC) are still trying to figure out lineups and rotations.
“I told the coaches, the first three series of league we have to play like nonleague because we’ve got to find out who can do what,” Hanks said Wednesday as the Mavericks prepared for a weekend home series against Colorado Christian.
“We haven’t done as well as we’d like overall, I think we’ve given two or three games away from the bullpen standpoint, but we’re still in a position that’s not irreparable.”
The Mavericks open the series with Scott Bachman (1-1, 6.33 ERA) at 6 p.m. on Friday at Suplizio Field. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m., with Kyle Davis (2-0, 0.90 ERA) and Chris Shea (1-2, 6.60 ERA) getting starts.
Mesa State is three games behind New Mexico Highlands in the Mountain Division of the RMAC with eight weeks of conference play left.
“A lot of things will happen,” Hanks said. “We’ve got to hold our ground and not give too much up and then make a little move.”
What Hanks wants to see is consistency. The Mavericks have gone 1-2 in their two conference series so far, then won the fourth game of the series, which did not count in the RMAC standings. He wants to see that trend stop.
“These guys, some days they played well and put everything together,” Hanks said. “The trouble is with the maturity of, ‘Oh, yeah, we played great.’ That game’s over, you’ve gotta come back and play the next game.”
Mesa State’s doubleheader Wednesday against Fort Lewis was snowed out. The teams planned to play in Farmington, N.M., but it received four inches of snow overnight, so the Mavericks (3-5, 1-5 RMAC), who traveled to Durango on Tuesday, headed home to prepare for this weekend’s RMAC series against the University of Nebraska-Kearney (3-5, 2-2 RMAC).
“Their field is still frozen,” Mort said of the Skyhawks’ field in Durango. “They plowed the snow off the field and put it outside the fence and the snow is six feet high. The field is a clearing in a six-foot drift of snow. The girls saw it was clear and said ‘we can play on this,’ and then got off the bus. It was so cold, it was like being in an icebox freezer.
“They might not play a game at home all season.”
The Lopers have also been plagued by weather, and last week had to move their home series against Fort Lewis to Hays, Kan., because their field wasn’t playable.
Saturday’s doubleheader at Bergman Field begins at noon, with Sunday’s first pitch at 11 a.m.
Track & Field
Sophomore Alexis Skarda runs in her first national indoor championships this weekend. She’s seeded third in her heat and sixth overall with a qualifying time of 4 minutes, 53.73 seconds in the 800 meters.
Skarda, the only Maverick to qualify for the national indoor meet, will be running in familiar company, with three Adams State runners in her heat.
The top three finishers in each of two heats in Friday’s prelims, plus the next three fastest times, advance to Saturday’s finals in Albuquerque, N.M.