Mav Baseball bludgeons their way to RMAC Tournament Title
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Colorado Mesa University Maverick Baseball team came into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament as the number one seed, and acted like it all tournament long, outscoring their opponents 49-18 en route to the 2023 Tournament Title.
Heading into the Championship game Saturday against the Regis Rangers, the Mavs had some room for error, as they would need to lose twice to not take home the title, but only needed to only take out the Rangers once to walk away as the champions.
Despite the Rangers taking an early lead, the Mavericks strung together a couple of RBI hits in the second to take a 4-1 lead, then really broke things open when the Palisade High School Alumni, Junior First Baseman Stevenson Reynolds blasted one out to left-center with the bases loaded for a grand slam putting the Mavericks up 8-1.
The CMU bats continued to compile runs from there but the eight runs were enough for the Mav Pitching staff to work with. Combined they would only give up three runs, striking out nine Regis batters while only walking four.
“It gives me just a surge of confidence. I just have a lot of support in the offensive spectrum of this team. So I really can just relax and just throw strikes, let my team play great defense out there as well. So I expect them to make the plays,” Freshman Starting Pitcher Liam Hohenstein said.
The Mavs took down Regis at a final of 21-3 taking their first RMAC tournament title since 2019.
“Yeah, it feels really good. This is the first time for me since 2019. And only other a couple other guys on this team have been able to feel that. We’ve all said that, you know, we’re going be in a regional next week no matter what. But we really determined to win this thing this time, since it’s been a while. And that’s what we did,” Senior Outfielder Conrad Villafuerte said.
“I’m just really honored to be a part of this team that takes home the conference champs, I don’t know what to say. I mean, just it’s incredible experience for everybody around and the team and it’s a great atmosphere to play,” Hohenstein said.
“We like winning everything. So I mean, we just wanted to play well, and yeah, it’s been a couple of years. We’ve been beaten in the tournament, the last two years and you know, it’s nice to get that hardware make that accomplishment. We won the regular season and you just kind of like to finish it off with the tournament championship, which is just one weekend. It’s not the whole year. But, you know, it’s something certainly that we want to do,” CMU Head Coach Chris Hanks said.
Five Mavericks Players, Harrison Rodgers, Julian Boyd, Anthony Durbano, Liam Hohenstein, and Conrad Villafuerte were named to the RMAC All-Tournament Team, Villafuerte took home tournament MVP as well.
“I mean, it all starts with the guys in front of me. With Julian Boyd and Rob Sharrar it felt like they were always on base when I came up so there’s having ducks on the ponds for me. You know, I’ve got Stevenson Reynolds and Harrison Rogers hit behind me. And, I mean, we just have a really, really deep, talented offense. And it was fun playing in different teams. You know, we know we’re gonna get the best punch from everybody. We have a target on our backs every single night we play,” Villafuerte said.
The Mavericks opponents in the upcoming NCAA regionals is to be announced.
“I’m not going to lie. I mean, we’ve been looking around to see if we’ll host to be the number one seed, we’ll probably host for sure. Next week, and hopefully the week after that, but it doesn’t really matter who we play. We’re going to stick to how Mesa plays and that’s the Mesa way,” Villafuerte said.
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