Three series into conference play, Mines baseball has shown they can both play big and buckle down to compete against even the toughest teams in the league.
In their first conference match-up, Mines split a close series with Metro State University. Game one was very defensive. Junior Tyler Thomas pitched incredibly, but Metro did as well.
In the end Mines was shut-out with a final score of 0-3. In games two and three, Mines played big and came away with 8-3 and 7-2 victories. Game four was a disappointing 5-1 loss, although Mines’ lone point did come from a home run hit by junior Cody Marvel.
The Colorado Christian University series was more in the Orediggers’ favor. Mines won the first three games soundly. In game four, Mines was down 0-2 in the bottom of the ninth.
Two pinch hitters, John Howard and Caleb Thomas, hit smart singles to start off the inning. Another pinch hitter, A.J. Schillinger, hit to third base in a sacrifice play that allowed Thomas and Howard to move into scoring position. Senior Nate Olinger then stepped up to bat and hit a game winning home run right out of Jim Darden field.
Mines finished the game 3-2. Sophomore Griffin Jones, junior Logan Smith, and Marvel walked away from the weekend with triples. Freshman Jace Selsor also managed a home run in game one.
In the third conference series of the season, Mines traveled to Grand Junction to play nationally 5th ranked Colorado Mesa University. Friday’s game was one of singles, and Mines could not put more than three together. They lost game one (score 4-1), but managed to bounce back and play eleven brutal innings in game two before beating Mesa (score 2-1).
Junior Connor Lambert’s home run in the fourth was the first point of the game, and freshman Joe Popp’s single in the bottom of the eleventh brought Marvel home. Games three and four were both incredible upsets. In game three, the teams were ahead 1-0 until the final inning when Mesa put out two runs to win. In game four, the pattern of Mines having a run in the top of an inning and Mesa following it up with scoring in the bottom of the same broke in the bottom of the ninth when Mesa snuck a runner in to win the game 4-3.
The Orediggers are batting .300 and slugging .412 and are 14-10. They play again at home on April 2nd, 3rd and 4th against New Mexico Highlands.