CSU club baseball prepares for season-defining Rocky Mountain Showdown

Sergio Santistevan

The time is now for Colorado State club baseball. A team that has been preaching “fortitude” all season has one more obstacle to overcome against their biggest rival.  

The Rams will take on the University of Colorado in a three-game series starting on April 28 at City Park Field in Fort Collins, Colorado in the annual Rocky Mountain Showdown. The winner of the series will be crowned Mid-America West Conference champion and punch their ticket to National Club Baseball Association Regional Playoffs.

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CSU is looking to defend its conference championship while the Buffaloes are searching for their first in program history.

CSU (14-9, 11-1) is ranked No. 12 in the country in the NCBA poll and is riding an 11-game winning streak. CU (12-3, 9-2) received votes in the latest NCBA poll, as well. CU is a team not many expected to be in this situation, after finishing fourth in their conference last season.

The matchups to look out for are CSU’s pitchers against CU freshmen Jakob Erredge, who leads his team with 17 RBIs, and CU Starting Pitcher Tanner Reidy against CSU’s Brandon DeLay, Jake Walker and Jared Van Vark.

Even with huge implications riding on the series, the Rams are still approaching the week as any other week. The players had Monday off from practice. They will focus on defense from Tuesday through Thursday and end the week with a pregame on Friday.

“Every day this week will be filled with hard work, which is fueled by the adversity that we have been through so much this season,” starting pitcher Phelan Castellano said. “We had to work our butts off every single day and fight tooth and nail for most of the wins that we have had this season…nothing new here!”

However, many players are excited for the week of practice to end and for the series to get underway.

Castellano knows his experience, along with others on the team, will give his team the advantage over the young Buffaloes if the series comes down to the wire.

“There are always a bit of nerves going into a series like this, but we (the returning players) have to set the example for the new guys who haven’t been in this scenario,” Castellano said. “I expect us to play very hard and expect that we will win because how hard we will play and how bad we want it.”

In the event of a loss, the Rams’ fate will lay in the hands of the NCBA selection committee for a possible at-large selection into the Regional Playoffs.

Collegian sports reporter Sergio Santistevan can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TheRealsSergio

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