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CSU baseball club’s Pitching for Pink aims to strike out breast cancer

CSU baseball's Brian Dilley (coach), Mitch Nelson, Brett Bogner, Tate Hughes, and Zach Gehler sporting pink in preparation for their breast cancer fundraiser game against UNC. (Photo credit: Dakota Schuppe/CSU baseball club)
CSU baseball’s Brian Dilley (coach), Mitch Nelson, Brett Bogner, Tate Hughes and Zach Gehler sporting pink in preparation for their breast cancer fundraiser game against UNC. (Photo credit: Dakota Schuppe/CSU baseball club)

Colorado State’s club baseball team will take the field Friday against Northern Colorado, but that will not be their only opponent.

City Park will be flooded with pink as the Rams also aim to strike out breast cancer. It is the club’s third annual Pitching for Pink fundraiser game.

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“It’s a great opportunity to step back from baseball and think about something more important than ourselves,” pitcher and first baseman Mitch Nelson said.

Money raised from the game will go to Susan G. Komen Colorado, an organization dedicated to ending breast cancer by funding research, education, screening and treatment in Northern Colorado, according to their website. There will be food, a raffle and prizes, including a football signed by former CSU football star Kapri Bibbs.

Pitching for Pink was an idea that initially came about under former coach Nick Childs, who estimated that last year’s game raised almost $4,000 which was donated to charity. First-year head coach Brian Dilley, a former CSU player and assistant coach, is excited to carry on the tradition.

“It’s great giving back to the community,” Dilley said. “Guys are already amped up about it. I know a bunch of guys get pink armbands and pink tape. We try to go all out for it.”

For the team, it’s more than just your average game. The fall season is a chance for players to prove themselves and earn their spots in the lineup but the fundraiser game gives even more incentive to perform.

“It’s the game that everybody looks forward to in the fall,” catcher Brett Bogner said. “Obviously we want to get the win, but more than anything we want to raise money for a great cause. That’s what it comes down to. The scoreboard doesn’t matter as much as the figures we get toward fighting breast cancer.”

The event may only be in it’s third year, but the commitment is strong for CSU baseball. Being able to support such a great cause is something players, past and present, take great pride in. Even when Childs moved on from the program, there was never any doubt amongst Dilley or his team that they would be donning pink uniforms again in the fall.

“I was so happy to hear they were continuing this,” Childs said. “Everyone’s done a great job of picking it up where I left off and I’m really proud that they’re keeping it going.”

The Rams expect themselves to come away with the win but no matter the result, they can hang their hats on supporting a cause that’s always worth fighting for.

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CSU plays UNC on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at City Park Field.

Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter at @emccarthy22.

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