052421-Andrew Morris 2-CPT

Andrew Morris, who was 18-2 with a 3.23 ERA and 215 strikeouts in two-plus seasons at Colorado Mesa, announced Wednesday he is transferring to Texas Tech.

Christopher Tomlinson/ The Daily Sentinel

Andrew Morris has pitched his final game for Colorado Mesa University.

The RMAC and South Central Region pitcher of the year announced Wednesday on his Twitter account that he is transferring to Texas Tech University.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with the people (at CMU) and the staff and the team. I love this team so much and I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done for me,” Morris said Wednesday evening in a phone interview. “I don’t know where I would be if Coach (Chris) Hanks hadn’t seen me that one day (playing an American Legion game against Gene Taylor’s). It’s all those little things that I’m so grateful for how it’s worked out.”

Morris, who signed with CMU as a 16-year-old high school graduate out of Monarch High School in Boulder, is expected to be selected in the early rounds of the draft this summer. He said going in the first three rounds would have him seriously considering signing a pro contract.

If his draft stock slips, Morris, who went 18-2 with 215 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.23 in his two-plus seasons for the Mavericks, will transfer to play for the Red Raiders, who are ranked No. 7 in the nation in the USA Today coaches poll. Texas Tech faces Stanford in the super regionals this weekend for a spot in the College World Series.

“If I don’t get paid this year, if I don’t get what I’m looking for (in the Major League Baseball amateur draft), then I can come back and get it next year. It’s a way to get more leverage and also just better myself as a baseball player,” Morris said. “I feel like I need a new challenge.”

Texas Tech is coached by Tim Tadlock, who led Grayson College to back-to-back Alpine Bank Junior College World Series titles in 1999 and 2000. Morris said once he entered the transfer portal, he was contacted by about 50 schools.

With the new NCAA transfer rules, Morris can transfer without having to sit out a year and has two years of eligibility remaining. He said after the Mavericks lost in the South Central Regional tournament he started thinking about his future, both at the college and pro level. He had a workout for the Houston Astros and has another one scheduled with Baltimore before he reports to the Appalachian League later this month.

“There were a few days there that we weren’t doing much of anything so there’s a lot of time to think,” he said. “After ’19, when we lost (in the Division II World Series) I was so excited to come back and was really, really ready to get to work and come back and try for a national championship. I didn’t really get that feeling this time. … I started to think this is possibly something I could do, so I started doing a little research and figured out there are exceptions this year for transfers. I thought that would be the next step if I don’t get drafted this year.”

He said it was a hard decision to leave CMU, but he had to think about what was the best move for his future.

“It’s worked out exactly how it’s supposed to, but then you know, it’s hard to move on,” he said. “I just had to trust it. It was a tough choice, for sure.”