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The final showdown of the semester between rivals Colorado and Colorado State will take place on the diamond.
The Buffs will play an exhausting, back-to-back double header this weekend. Saturday’s games will be played at Colorado’s home field at Nelson Farm Park in Johnstown, while Sunday’s games will be played at Scott Carpenter Park in Boulder. The task is even tougher because CSU is ranked No. 1 in the National Club Baseball Association.
“We definitely want to show that we can compete with the best team in the nation, to show that our team has moved up to the upper tier,” said senior second baseman and head coach Garrett Smith.
Colorado comes into the game with an overall record of 15-10, going 5-6 in the West region of the Mid-American conference. They took 3-of-4 games from Northern Colorado in their last series, and look to carry that momentum into this weekend.
“We always come out strong that first game,” said freshman designated hitter Nolan Wilkins. “Usually the first game on Sunday we really struggle coming out and hitting.”
With a chance to beat the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, the Buffs say they have strong motivation going into the weekend. The team’s main concern is keeping focused on the task at hand.
“We play our best baseball when everyone’s head is in the game,” said freshman third baseman David Brewster. “We just really have to work on playing our best baseball.”
The last time CU and CSU met was another back-to-back double header series on April 4 and 5. Colorado only managed to win one game that weekend, but Smith said he saw the victory as a good sign for his team.
“We’ve kind of underachieved up to this point, but we’ve definitely shown we can play with the best teams in the nation,” Smith said.
Colorado has shown their will to compete, picking up wins against Ohio State and the University of Nebraska. At one point, they cracked the top 20 in NCBA rankings.
With regionals just around the corner, the team will be looking to use this weekend’s games to build up some momentum, and maybe qualify for the NCBA World Series.
Smith, who will be playing in his last regular season game, says that his team has the potential for a strong outing the rest of the way.
“[The team has] just kind of built through the years,” Smith said. “The talent level is a lot better than it was.”
Despite being the underdog, CU players say they know what they want to do.
“We want to win all four games,” Brewster said. “That’s always our goal.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mark McNeillie at Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org.