CSU baseball builds community through shared passion

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Collegian | Brian Peña

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Reporter

Colorado State University has so many sports, it’s often hard to keep up. Some of the most unknown and underappreciated athletics include club sports, and one of CSU’s most recognizable clubs is the baseball team.

The CSU baseball team competes mainly during the spring, playing as a part of the National Club Baseball Association. In addition, the team holds a shorter fall season, primarily scrimmaging against other local high school and college teams. This preseason is used mostly for tryouts and to help build the roster for the spring season.

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While they are all about winning, the team is more so about the community and appreciating the sport of baseball. That is the case for Tyler Rogers, senior pitcher and treasurer for the team. Rogers is a graduate of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins who spent two years at Colorado Mesa University. While at Colorado Mesa University, Rogers had absolutely no interaction with baseball whatsoever.

“We do a really good job of team bonding. Some of these guys that I’ve met I’ve gotten really close to and can rely on for just about anything … (the team) does a really good job making people feel welcome and involved.” –Tyler Rogers, CSU baseball treasurer

Rogers eventually returned to Fort Collins after transferring to CSU, coaching the C team of his alma mater. There Rogers rediscovered his love for baseball and joined the club team. He found an instant connection, though it was a completely different experience than any other team he’d played on.

For many of these players, the club atmosphere is a return to baseball after a hiatus. Such is the case of senior Carter Struhs, peer development officer for the team. Struhs was away from the sport for three years before once again getting the itch to return to the baseball field.

“I always played baseball, like, forever — … I grew up in Parker, Colorado, and played throughout high school,” Struhs said. “I kind of got burnt out of baseball my senior year. … I was like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to do college without (baseball),’ … and then COVID happened, I got super bored, and I missed baseball. So I came out here, hit a little bit, tried out for the team and played last year. I loved it, so now I’m out here playing again.”

“We do a really good job of team bonding,” Rogers said. “Some of these guys that I’ve met I’ve gotten really close to and can rely on for just about anything. … (The team) does a really good job making people feel welcome and involved.”

The Rams look ahead to their spring season, as the team will also take their annual spring break trip to Arizona and play several of the state’s club college teams. CSU also looks ahead to their games in the Mid-America West Conference against teams from Colorado and Wyoming. During the 2022 season, the team fell just short of the Mid-America regional tournament but looks to make it this upcoming spring.

One of the people most invested in the spring is sophomore sensation Chase Brickley. Brickley finished his freshman campaign with a 4-2 record, 1.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts. He was honored as NCBA Mid-America First Team All-Region and Third Team All-American.  

“I came in here with low expectations; I just came out here because I wanted to have fun playing baseball again,” Brickley said. “I was relaxed, I played well — to be honest, I didn’t realize how well I was doing. … Getting all those personal accolades were definitely really cool to see how my work has been paying off.” 

Colorado State baseball’s remaining fall games will be at home over at the Fort Collins City Park Baseball Field.

Reach Dylan Heinrich at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dylanheinrich

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