UCCS Hosts Cal Poly in Season Opener
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs baseball team will be hosting California State Polytechnic University, Pomona this weekend starting Friday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. The four-game series will go until Sunday Feb. 3, with a double header taking place on Saturday. The Saturday games will start at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the Sunday matchup will start at 11 a.m.
Over the last two seasons, UCCS and Cal Poly have met seven times head-to-head. UCCS has a 3-4 record against the Broncos in those matchups, scoring on average 4.28 runs per game and giving up on average 5.42 runs per game. The Mountain Lions' best performance in this series came in the 2018 season with a 10-1 victory; a game in which UCCS tallied 11 hits including four doubles. The series overall has been very close, with each team having both close wins and blowouts to their credit. UCCS will look to pull ahead in the overall series between the teams this weekend.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
The Broncos finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 30-24 and a 25-19 record in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), which was good enough for fourth in the conference. As a team, the Broncos were ranked tenth in the CCAA in batting with a team average of .295, third in pitching (4.01 ERA), and second in fielding (0.968 FLD%). Individually, senior infielder Nic Hernandez carried the team offensively, boasting a .356 average with 10 home runs and 41 RBI. Their pitching staff was led by Ryan Alsworth, who finished the year with a 2.79 ERA and a 7-5 record. Alsworth, now graduated, was in the top 5 of most pitching categories for in the CCAA. Aside from Alsworth, Dylan Francis (5-3, 3.80 ERA) and Tim Holdgrafer (4-2, 3.41 ERA) were amongst the team's leading pitchers. Going into the 2019 season, the Broncos are ranked #16 in the nation. After finishing third in their conference last year, the Broncos will look to Hernandez, Francis and Holdgrafer to lead them throughout the year, starting with UCCS.
LAST TIME OUT
Last season, the Mountain Lions posted their best overall record in their short team history. UCCS finished the year with a 28-23 overall record and a 20-15 record in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC); good enough for third in the conference. Entering the RMAC tournament with the third seed, the Mountain Lions split their first two games and found themselves up against the RMAC number one seed, nationally ranked Colorado Mesa Mavericks. UCCS would fall just short to the tournament host (6-4), who would go on to win the RMAC Title. UCCS finished their best season to date with third most runs in the conference (376), the third most total bases (834), the third most runs batted in (348) and the second most home runs (71). Zach Hall, Cody Norton and Jaeden Hegmann were amongst the offensive leaders for UCCS last year, each hitting .317, .325, and .333 respectively. With Hall and 13 other seniors having graduated, the Mountain Lions will look to players like Hegmann, Norton, John Mallon, Matt McDermott and Tyler Matheny to lead them offensively. Defensively, UCCS finished in the top five of most of the pitching categories. The Mountain Lions ranked third in ERA (5.56) and home runs allowed (47), while ranking second in hits (490), runs allowed (305) and earned runs (253). Colin Cicere, Jonathan Cowles and Joe Slocum were three of the top pitchers for UCCS last year, each posting records of 5-4, 4-0, and 6-3 respectively. All three are returning this year and will aim to lead the Mountain Lion staff to another successful season.
UCCS had several award-winning players in the RMAC to end the 2018 season. Zach Hall earned the honors of First Team All-RMAC, RMAC Gold Glove, while also finishing the year in the top five of most offensive categories, including second in RBI (60), and second in Home Runs (20). Jonathan Cowles was named the RMAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year as well. He finished the season with a 4-0 record and 2.91 ERA and will look to help the Mountains further improve in their third season.
Colin Cicere and Cody Norton were named to the 2019 Preseason All-RMAC team. Cicere (Monument, CO) led the team in strikeouts last year (73), while also ranking top five in the conference with 27 batters striking out looking. The senior pitcher finished the year with a 5.14 ERA, earning him the honors of First Team All-RMAC in 2018. Norton (Carlsbad, CA) hit .325 with eight home runs last year for the Mountain Lions. The senior outfielder also racked up 12 stolen bases, good enough for fourth in the RMAC and All-RMAC Honorable Mention.
UCCS will be hosting Central Missouri next weekend (Feb. 8-10) at Mountain Lion Park. The games are slated for 2 p.m. on Feb. 8, 12 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 11 a.m. on Feb. 10.
Sunday, February 3 at 11:00am
This is a past event.
Mountain Lion Park
660 North Campus Heights, Colorado Springs, CO 80918