Mesa State baseball, softball teams left looking out windows

It’s fitting that Chris Hanks and Kris Mort have offices next to one another upstairs in the Maverick Center.

Their windows look out at Bergman Field, and Friday morning, they were commiserating with one another.

Mesa State Athletic Director Butch Miller stopped by at one point, asking, “How are the spring coaches today?”

He didn’t get a cheery answer — both the Mesa State baseball and softball coach were alternately glancing out the window, scowling at the snow, and checking weather forecasts.

“It looks like the sun’s trying to come out,” Mort said, perhaps wishing it to be so. A couple of minutes later, the gray skies opened up and snow was flying.

Neither coach wanted to make the call to wipe out this weekend’s games, but both finally had to face the fact the weather just wasn’t going to cooperate, and canceled their home openers.

Mort, who was supposed to be in Kearney, Neb., this weekend to play against Northern Sun Conference teams in the second RMAC/NSIC Crossover tournament, made the decision first, scrubbing her three-team round-robin tournament early Friday afternoon.

After the tournament in Kearney was wiped out Monday, Mort called CU-Colorado Springs coach Scott Peterson, who agreed to make the trip. After talks with CSU-Pueblo didn’t go anywhere — both coaches wanted to play at home — Mort called Adams State coach Dervin Taylor. The Grizzlies, who were supposed to play in the Crossover, jumped at the chance to get outside.

Within a few hours, she had six games scheduled, only to have to call them Friday with a “never mind.”

“It didn’t take me long,” she said of scheduling the games, hiring umpires and arranging for hotels and meals for the teams. “Now the forecast has changed 12 times since Tuesday. Every six hours it changes.”

Hanks, who had shuffled the weekend schedule and opponent, called off his weekend series against Colorado School of Mines a couple of hours later.

The Mavericks were originally scheduled to play the University of Mary (N.D.) in a four-game series, but the Marauders canceled, citing poor travel conditions. Hanks had made a contingency plan with the Orediggers, whose series in Emporia, Kan., was canceled, early in the week in case Mary balked at the trip.

Not only has the weather been a challenge to play games, it’s been tough to even practice on the muddy, wet diamonds.

“Finally we went to Stocker. People had been playing flag football on it so the snow was broken up,” Hanks said. “One Saturday we went over there just to take some ground balls.

“We’re dodging a flag football game and a Little League practice, and nobody got mad at each other because we all just wanted to play. We’re taking ground balls and somebody’s running through the drill catching a pass. It was comical.”


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