Mesa baseball team picked to win RMAC
The Colorado Mesa University baseball team remains the team to beat.
The No. 20 Mavericks received all seven first-place votes and are picked to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title this season by the RMAC coaches.
Colorado Mesa senior pitcher Nolan Snell is the preseason pitcher of the year. The right-hander earned first team All-RMAC status for a second consecutive year last season after going 9-1 and leading the RMAC with 105 strikeouts. He was an All-Region selection by three different groups.
All-American shortstop Braden Box, catcher Colton Schoelkopf, third baseman Colton Little and outfielder Austin Kaiser were selected to the preseason All-RMAC team. Box led the NCAA Central Region in stolen bases and was second on the Mavericks with a .395 batting average.
New Mexico Highlands was picked to win the Plains Division and was second behind Mesa with 16 points. The Cowboys received the only other first-place vote.
Coaches cannot vote for their own team or players.
Regis was picked to finish second in the Mountain Division and third overall followed by CSU-Pueblo, Colorado Mines and Metro State. Adams State will join the RMAC and compete in baseball for the first time since 1976.
CSU-Pueblo second baseman Chase Lacomb was selected as the preseason player of the year.
Colorado Mesa opens the season with a three-game series Feb. 1 at No. 23 UC-San Diego.
Colorado Mesa is picked to finish sixth in the RMAC preseason poll under first-year coach Candace Abrams.
Roughly half the team returns from last season, but several of those players either redshirted or didn’t get a lot of playing time. The Mavericks return the middle infield of Lisa Pille and Taylor Gross, as well as Meagan Smith behind the plate.
The entire outfield is gone, though, and only one pitcher, junior Ashley Pulido, returns.
Defending RMAC champion Colorado School of Mines received eight first-place votes and is picked to win the RMAC again behind preseason pitcher of the year Kelly Unkrich.
Colorado Christian is picked second, Fort Lewis third, Metro State fourth and CSU-Pueblo fifth.
Adams State senior outfielder Katelyn Lovato is the RMAC preseason player of the year.
Colorado Mesa opens the season Feb. 15 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Ariz.