trong baseball season leads to increased numbers at skills and hitting camp for Mavs
Several boys and girls around Grand Junction know all about the Mesa State College baseball team’s accomplishments this season.
As a result, more than 50 boys and a few girls ages 8-12 were eager to learn from the Mavericks this week in a skills and hitting camp. The Mesa State camp concludes today at Bergman Field.
“My dad said the coaches here are really good,” 10-year-old Cade Oxford of Fruita said.
“They were number one in the nation in hitting. I’m trying to get better.”
The Mavericks (44-15), who are ranked fifth in the final Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll released this week, reached the NCAA Division II World Series for the first time. They were one victory away from reaching the semifinals.
National champion Lynn (Fla.) University (46-16) is first, in the national poll followed by national runner-up Emporia State (Kan.) University (49-15). UC-San Diego (41-15) is third, Southern Arkansas (52-11) is fourth and Belmont Abbey (N.C.) College (40-26) tied for fifth with Mesa.
The hitting camp was moved from last week to this week because Mesa State wasn’t back from the World Series yet. The skills camp took place in the morning, with hitting camp in the evening.
“It’s been awesome,” Mesa senior outfielder Craig Lanzarotta said. “A couple of kids said they saw a lot of games. That’s awesome to see them support us. This group of kids is a fun bunch to work with and be around.
“I decided to live in Junction for the summer. It’s perfect for me. This is the way I love to spend my summer.”
Lanzarotta hopes to finish his undergraduate work in the fall semester. He is studying exercise science.
He was one of a handful of players who helped the coaches with the camp. Many of the players have already left town to join summer collegiate league teams.
Landen Gomez, 11, of Grand Junction was thrilled to learn from the Mavericks.
“I came out to learn how to do this camp,” Gomez said. “It helps me with hitting. I’m learning how to hold the bat, swing the bat and grip the ball.
“They are teaching us how to hit line drives instead of uppers (fly balls).”