After rattling off 14 wins in a row over the past three weeks, CSU club baseball (19-16, 7-0) will return to City Park today to face Trinidad State Junior College (20-18) for a double-header starting at 4 p.m.
The last time the two teams met, Trinidad State got the better of the Rams, sweeping a four-game series while outscoring CSU by a combined 37-12 in Trinidad, Colo.
That was in mid-February — the first games of the season for a CSU squad that has since rounded into mid-season form, recently winning eight straight games against conference opponents heading into the matchup this afternoon.
â€œWe have a lot of momentum going right now,â€ said third baseman Josh Ary. â€œWeâ€™re really gelling right now as a team, swinging the bats well, picking it up, pitchers are throwing strikes and weâ€™re playing solid baseball right now. Itâ€™s really fun.â€
One of the reasons for the Ramsâ€™ recent success — that they would like to continue — is the dominance of their pitching. During the last 14 games, the CSU pitching staff has surrendered four or fewer runs 10 times.
The Ramsâ€™ offense has also started to click, averaging more than 11 runs per game during their current winning streak, and 6.5 runs per game on the season.
â€œThe pitchingâ€™s been absolutely phenomenal,â€ shortstop Colton Duffy said. â€œWe have absolute faith in our pitchers to just go out and just shut them down, so as hitters it just takes a lot of the pressure off so we can just get out there and do our thing without any pressure. When you take the pressure off, guys loosen up and guys can swing a lot easier.â€
Todayâ€™s games mark the beginning of a stretch of 14 home games over the last 16 regular-season games for the Rams before regional playoffs begin. Only one of the last two road games on CSUâ€™s schedule will be played outside of Colorado.
The scheduling is due to the lack of home games the Rams had at the beginning of the year because of the erratic nature of Colorado weather in February and March.
â€œItâ€™s huge (playing at home). We have the nicest field in Colorado and weâ€™re really comfortable playing here,â€ Ary said. â€œItâ€™s gonna probably play a huge role in us just keeping momentum going into regionals.â€
Following the games today, the Rams will travel to play Western Nebraska Community College on Thursday before returning home to face Missouri in a four-game series this weekend.
â€œMizzou is at the top of their conference over at the Mid-America South, so weâ€™ll likely see them at the regional,â€ Duffy said. â€œTheyâ€™re another good squad, so itâ€™s another good measuring stick to where weâ€™re at throughout the region.â€
Club Sports Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trinidad State Junior College vs. CSU
Records vs. common opponents
Trinidad State: vs. Western Nebraska CC: 4-2, vs. Otero Junior College: 2-3, vs. CSU: 4-0
CSU: vs. Western Nebraska CC: 2-0, vs. Otero Junior College: 1-3, vs. Trinidad State: 0-4