While the Orediggers would've preferred playing a few more games, at least they ended their 2023 season challenging the No. 1 team in the nation.
The Colorado School of Mines baseball team exited the RMAC tournament May 11, after losing its first two games. Overall, the Orediggers finished their season with a 22-25 record.
Mines faced Regis the May 10 opener, where the Rangers came back from a six-run deficit to win 8-7 with a ninth-inning walk-off. After this first loss, Mines was slated to play No. 1 Colorado Mesa on the Mavericks' home field.
On May 11, the Mavs were up 4-1 at the top of the fifth, when the Orediggers got a second run in. However, both defenses prevented the other team from scoring again, and Colorado Mesa won 4-2, bringing the curtain down on Mines' 2023 season.
Still, the RMAC tournament offered a few highlights for the Orediggers, especially the departing seniors.
Senior Kevin Zapanta, who was recently named RMAC Pitcher of the Year, had struck out 12 Regis batters with three walks in the first seven innings. Overall, he ended his career with 193 strikeouts, which is the fifth-most in program history.
After Zapanta left the mound, fellow senior Blake Ripp took over and closed out the game for the Orediggers.
Meanwhile, at the plate against the Rangers, senior Adam Houghtaling went 3-for-5 with one home run, three runs and three runs batted in. His homer was his eighth of the season and 22nd of his career, which is tied for eighth in Mines history.
Graduate student Garret Nielsen also had a two-run homer in the fifth inning, helping give the Orediggers a 6-0 lead. For the 2023 season, it was his 14th home run and his 61st runner batted in.
Against the Mavericks, Houghtaling had another single in four at-bats, and graduate student Caden Bonds got a single with an RBI. Nielsen got the second runner home in the fifth inning.
A few Orediggers are expected to receive end-of-season awards and honors. For the latest news, visit MinesAthletics.com.