Mesa’s Box, Robertson make All-America team

Colorado Mesa senior Braden Box gave up his position this past season for sophomore Nate Robertson, and both baseball players were rewarded for it.

Box and Robertson were selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-America team, the ABCA announced Tuesday.

“It’s very well-deserved for both of them,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “They certainly put their time in.”

Box, who was an All-American shortstop last year as a junior, made the first team. The senior second baseman led the 19th-ranked Mavericks (45-11) with a .407 batting average. He had 11 doubles, 42 RBI, 24 stolen bases and a .453 on-base percentage.

“It’s a testament to (Box),” Hanks said. “We needed to move him off shortstop to make way for Nate, not only for the past year but for the upcoming years. He was willing to do anything for the betterment of the team.”

Box was selected to the Daktronics All-America third team last week. Members of the NCAA Division II College Sports Information Directors of America select the All-America teams sponsored by Daktronics.

He made the 2012 Daktronics All-America second team as a shortstop, when he hit .395 with 23 RBI and 30 stolen bases. He finished his career with a Mesa school record 75 stolen bases.

Box is the third Mesa player to be a two-time All-American in school history, joining former outfielder Sean VanElderen (2005, 2006) and shortstop Matt Bodenchuk (2007, 2009).

Robertson, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference player of the year, made the third team. The sophomore from Montrose earned the starting shortstop position before the season started and proved he was ready to make a difference,  hitting .381 with a team-leading 47 RBI. He had 13 doubles, five home runs, 24 stolen bases and a .951 fielding percentage.

“Nate did a lot of growing up,” Hanks said. “He hit his stride and became a highly consistent player. That comes from the way both of them prepared. They developed a daily routine that led to a high level of consistency.

“There’s still quite a bit of untapped ground for Nate moving forward.”

The Mavericks reached the NCAA Division II tournament for the fifth consecutive season, but they were eliminated in the South Central Regional.


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