KEARNEY, Neb. — Stan Sanchez is hoping his team can rediscover some magic today when the Colorado State University-Pueblo baseball team begins play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament.
The Pack (22-22), the No. 5 seed, takes on No. 2 seed and host Nebraska-Kearney (34-16) in the opening round of the six-team, double-elimination tournament at 6 p.m. at Memorial Field.
The ThunderWolves have been inconsistent all season in all three areas of the game. Sanchez has tried nearly everything. He has juggled lineups and used a myriad of pitchers (15) during the course of the season.
"We're still trying to find the right formula," Sanchez said. "We haven't had that magic all season. We've been inches away at times. It's not like we're capable.
"Hopefully, we can win a close game and gain some momentum."
CSU-Pueblo is the defending tournament champion and was in a similar situation last season. It wasn't playing well at the end of the season and fell into the loser's bracket of the tournament before battling back to win it all.
"We've been in (RMAC) championship games quite a bit," Sanchez said. "We know what it's going to take. We just have to execute."
The tournament champion gains an automatic berth into the Central Region Tournament slated for May 13-16 at a yet to be determined site.
At Kearney, Neb.
All times MDT
Game 3—No. 3 Mesa State (32-16) vs. No. 4 Metro State (21-12), 10 a.m.
Game 1—No. 1 New Mexico Highlands (35-10) vs. No. 6 Regis (15-27), 2 p.m.
Game 2—No. 2 Nebraska-Kearney (34-16) vs. No. 5 CSU-Pueblo (22-22), 6 p.m.
Game 4—Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10 a.m
Game 5—Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 loser, 2 p.m.
Game 6—Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 6 p.m.
Third round: TBA
Championship round: TBA
RMAC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
2009—CSU-Pueblo; 2008—Nebraska-Kearney; 2007—Nebraska-Kearney; 2006—Mesa State; 2005—New Mexico Highlands; 2004—CSU-Pueblo; 2003—Fort Hays State; 2002—Metro State; 2001—Mesa State; 2000—New Mexico Highlands; 1999—Mesa State; 19998—Fort Hays State; 1997—Fort Hays State; 1996—CSU-Pueblo; 1995—Fort Hays State declared winner (tournament canceled due to weather); 1994*—CSU-Pueblo; 1993*—Mesa State; 1992—Mesa State; 1990—no tournament held; 1988—Western New Mexico; 1987—Mesa State; 1986—Southern Utah; 1985—Western New Mexico; 1984—Western New Mexico; 1983—Mesa State; 1982—Mesa State; 1981—Southern Utah; 1980—no tournament held; 1979—Mesa State.
* Mile High Intercollegiate Baseball League as baseball was not an RMAC sport in 1989 and 1991.