Sep 182005
 
Authors: Aaron Schoonmaker

What do you think of when you hear three-peat? Nowadays it's the New England Patriots or the USC Trojans; before it was the Chicago Bulls or the Dallas Cowboys. Did anyone get the memo that the CSU club baseball team is also coming off back-to-back national championships and is seeking a third consecutive?

The quest for three began this Saturday at the CSU baseball field when the Rams took one of two from Otero Junior College.

Game one went 10-2 in the Rams' favor, but they dropped a tough game two, 10-7.

"This is the most talent I've been around in a while," said right fielder Zac Myslivy, a transfer from Otero. "We looked really good Saturday."

Thomas Ahrens threw three shutout innings in game two and figures to head the Rams' rotation.

"Ahrens is the projected ace as long as he stays healthy," said David Schultz, player and club president.

Although the Rams have always been competitive on the diamond, their dominance of the sport has evolved within the last two years.

In 2004, the Rams were led by the performance of eventual Florida Marlins draft choice, pitcher Nate Nowicki. Strong pitching continued last season with All-American honors going to starters Andrew Abell and Ahrens.

The newest face of the program this year won't be on the field, it will be in the dugout. Frank Gonzales stepped down as head coach of the Rams for personal reasons and Mike Abernathy will be taking over in his place.

"We've had a friendship over the years," said Gonzales of Abernathy. "It's an awesome opportunity for the guys to play for Mike with all the success he's had coaching over the years."

Abernathy has coached many of the CSU players on various summer teams and elsewhere, so the transition should be smooth for the squad.

The fall schedule will make up about one-third of the entire season, as the Rams remaining schedule will feature conference foes in Colorado, Northern Colorado and Wyoming, as well as out of conference match-ups against Western Nebraska, Trinidad and Weber State.

Weber State was the national champions the year before the Rams current title run.

"They come for four games this fall," Schultz said. "It should be a fun and interesting weekend."

CSU, representing the Rocky Mountain Region, will look again to be the favorite as they book their seemingly annual vacation plans to Bradenton, Fla., the host of the Club Baseball World Series.

"It's just a club stigma," Schultz sad. "We have some good players that can and have played elsewhere."

For more information on the team see www.campusrec.colostate.edu, or visit the team's site at www.csubaseball.com.

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