Mesa State baseball team will play Belmont Abbey on Saturday

Senior outfielder Mike Provencher holds up the winning Central Regional trophy after Mesa State beat Wayne State.

When Mesa State College was a junior college, the baseball team made several World
Series appearances.

Now, as an NCAA Division II school, Mesa is in a World Series again.

The Mavericks qualified Sunday for their first NCAA Division II World Series,  defeating Wayne State (Neb.) College 8-2 in front of 1,178 fans at Suplizio Field to win the NCAA Central Regional title.

The NCAA Division II World Series is May 23-30 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

The 29th-ranked Mavericks (43-13) play Belmont Abbey (N.C.) College (38-24) at 11 a.m. (MDT) Saturday. The unranked Crusaders also are making their first appearance in the Division II World Series.

“First of all, there is a lot of work,” said a water-soaked Mesa State coach Chris Hanks. “I think of all the former players that helped break down the barriers along the way. The 2007 team, the ’05 team, the ’06 team and the guys last year, which unfortunately didn’t get a bid to the regional tournament.

“It all starts with the hard work of Bryan Rooks, Butch Miller, Jamie Hamilton and Tim Foster.

Those administrators make things happen. They find funding for scholarships and for facilities.”

Mesa State made the NCAA regional tournament eight previous times, only to fall short of a regional title and World Series berth.


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