For the final time in the regular season, CSU baseball is going head-to-head with in-state rival CU-Boulder.
The Rams (29-6) are once again a goliath in the National Club Baseball Association, in their quest for a third straight national championship and sixth in seven years.
Only one feeling comes close to winning a championship, and that time comes a couple of weekends a year when all that matters is crushing your biggest rival.
Senior and staff ace Bobby Moller said there is every bit as much animosity between the schools on the diamond as there is on the football field.
â€œI guess you could compare it to the Rocky Mountain Showdown, but on a smaller level,â€ Moller said. â€œWe go into it with the same intensity as if we were going to the football game â€“â€“ it means a lot to us to beat them.â€
To add to what is already a heated contest between bitter rivals, CSU lost to the Buffaloes 4-3 in Boulder on April 4, mainly due to fielding errors.
â€œIt stings a little bit, and obviously we donâ€™t want to lose to those guys,â€ Moller said. â€œIt was a poor performance and we definitely want to clean that up.â€
Rams head coach Mike Abernathy said he wants this seriesâ€™ play to be more steady, unlike the first time the two teams met up.
â€œI would like to see our guys come out and play with some consistency for four games along with intensity,â€ the skipper said. â€œWe do good for two games, then slack off for a game, and pick it back up. So I would like to see them play hard all four games.â€
If there is one area that CU-Boulder might give some trouble to the Rams, it would be their pitching staff, but the Buffs did surrender a total of 32 runs throughout the previous series.
â€œAfter seeing them once, I feel like we have gained a lot of confidence,â€ senior Jake Fox said. â€œOur lineup saw them a couple times through the last series, so it really helps to know what to expect coming into this series from their pitching staff.â€
Donâ€™t expect both sides to be completely civil to one another either, as tempers seem to rise much quicker when these two teams face each other. Just like any rivalry, there will be plenty of trash talking.
â€œThe biggest problem we have with CU is that they are, letâ€™s say, very undisciplined,â€ Abernathy said. â€œWe have to take a lot of their inappropriateness.â€
Not even the rude behavior of the Buffs’ players is enough to distract the team from its goal for this series.
â€œWeâ€™ve been having a big week of practice, a real focused week of practice, getting ready,â€ Fox said. â€œWeâ€™ve put an emphasis on taking all four (games) this weekend.â€
The first two games will be played Saturday night at 5:30 and 7:30 and the final two are scheduled for Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. All four will be played on the south field at City Park.
Club Sports Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.