CMU junior Garrett ball used to wear No. 21. Now he wears 17 in honor of his late friend and teammate Ryan Teixeira.
"We decided that I’d wear it,” Ball says. “I plan on wearing it for the duration of my career here."
Garrett and Ryan have known each other since middle school.
"Growing up it was really nice to have that solid friendship, that solid best friend to always come to with everything,” Ball says.
Ryan passed away earlier this month after a six-month fight with leukemia. Garrett dedicated this season to his best friend.
"I think that with any deep friendship, this is a special way to honor his best friend," head coach Chris Hanks says.
Garrett is honoring him the best way he knows how. He's hitting over 400 and was tied for a team-high four RBI's in the game following Ryan’s death.
“I think that as long as we go out and play hard and compete I think that's going to be honoring Ryan in the way he would've wanted," Ball says.
Following that game the Mavs were ranked 17th in the polls; certainly no coincidence.
"It's funny. This is the 71st baseball team at mesa. 71 flip-flopped is 17. It's 2017. Its crazy things are lining up," Ball says.
There's one more goal Garrett is striving for.
"A national championship, that's what set out to do from the beginning,” Ball says. “We're going to fight until we can make that a reality."