Mesa St. top dog in RMAC baseball
For the fifth consecutive year, the Mesa State College baseball team is picked to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title.
The Mavericks, ranked No. 27 in the preseason Collegiate Baseball poll, received six first-place votes by the coaches and are expected to win the Mountain Division. Regis and Nebraska-Kearney are picked to win the Plains Division.
“It will be a tough league,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “Regis and Kearney have good clubs. I think Pueblo will rebound with good personnel. Highlands lost a lot of people, but signed some good players.
“We’ve had some good years and have a large group returning. We need to be guarded with our mentality and approach. We need to keep sharp and hungry and not read our press clippings.”
Senior shortstop Mike Provencher is the RMAC preseason player of the year, but could find himself playing several positions this year. He hit .434 with 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 75 RBI last year.
“It’s exciting,” Provencher said. “We’ve got plenty of more guys that can fill that role too.
“We have tremendous depth. I could go 0 for 4 and we’d still win. Guys feed off each other.”
Provencher made the all-conference preseason team along with senior shortstop Matt Bodenchuk, senior third baseman Andrew Martinez, senior outfielder Chris Cassell and senior pitcher Chris Carma.
“I’m looking forward to the season,” Provencher said. “It should be a fun year. We’ve got to right some wrongs.”
Mesa State opens the season Feb. 6 at Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University. No. 7 Cal State-Chico visits the Mavericks for their home opener at 3 p.m. on Feb. 12 at Suplizio Field.