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Sustainable success

CMU baseball has more wins in the last decade than any other NCAA division II baseball team

This past decade has given the Colorado Mesa University baseball team serious bragging rights. Winning consistently isn’t easy, so when the NCAA Baseball Record Book showed that the Mavericks had the nation’s most wins from 2010 to 2019, it was something to celebrate.

The 440-143 record speaks for itself, but having more wins in the last decade than any other NCAA division II baseball team isn’t by chance. If you’ve been lucky enough to meet the Mavericks Head Baseball Coach Chris Hanks, then you’ve likely heard him mention the word synergy. It’s not just a buzzword he uses, it’s a philosophy, and it’s part of the reason why the Mavericks are viewed as a powerhouse year after year.   

“We don’t know at any given time whether we’ll be the most talented team on the field, but we will be the best team,” said Colorado Mesa University Head Baseball Coach Chris Hanks. “That encompasses how we work together, how we treat each other, how we support one another and how hard we play for the guy next to us.”

The Mavericks call it “out teaming” and it’s the art of working together not for perfection, but for excellence.

“There’s nine guys on a baseball field. We want our opponent to feel as if they are playing against 10 or 11 people. We want to be overwhelming to them. That’s where the synergy comes in,” said Hanks.

While the achievement came as a bit of a surprise, it wasn’t hard to believe.

“We knew we were creating sustained success. That was the goal,” said Hanks. “It’s the result of a lot people — coaches and players. Every team is standing on the shoulders of previous teams.”

The CMU baseball culture is one of unity. It’s about respecting the history of the program and one another every single day.

“You always fight harder for something you believe in,” said Hanks.

And what the Mavericks believe in is each other.

“My goal is to be a mentor as well as a competitor,” said current CMU catcher Spencer Bramwell. “I play the best I can for the guy next to me and to leave a legacy. All the time we have former players dropping by the field. It’s a brotherhood, a camaraderie.”

Hanks is proud of the program’s accomplishments and of all of his players — not just the guys who have made it big in the sport.

“I’m super proud of all our guys — obviously we have Sergio Romo with the Minnesota Twins. He’s got three World Series rings. But in the last three weeks I’ve written letters of recommendations to a kid going into pharmacy school, a kid going into medical school and a kid going into the police department on the Front Range, and I’m pretty proud of that, too.”

The 2020 season marks 23 years for Hanks as the head coach. In the last decade, CMU was one of only two schools to qualify for the NCAA Division II tournament all ten years. The team placed second in 2014 and 2019 in the NCAA National Championships. The program also has won eight consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) titles. 

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Written by Kelsey Coleman