The Boulder Collgians are a storied franchise who have been around since 1964 and have featured several prolific MLB players in their team’s history. This summer was the team’s first season in the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League and they made a mark, setting the bar for the league moving forward.
The team finished with a league-best 22-3 record and had several adventurous endeavers throughout the summer. From a six-game series in Fairbanks, Alaska against the Alaska Goldpanners to a trip to Wichita for the NBC World Series, the team traveled long distances and played extra games against opponents outside of the league. Yet they prevailed as the dominant group in the MHCBL.
Under the new leadership of coaches Mark Knudson and Tony Rouco the team emphasized starting pitching. They successfully recruited across Division I and Division II College programs, particularly out in California.
“Tony did a great job recruiting and loaded up on pitchers,” said Knudson. “Kind of took the major league model of having at least more than half of your roster made up of pitchers. So we’ve not run out of arms, position players have stayed healthy and we’ve gotten mileage out of a few guys. Short bench like a big league team but it’s paid off in a big way with all those arms.”
The Collegians strong pitching staff consisted of the hard throwing Carter Heninger who has committed to play Division I baseball at San Jose State University. Heninger strukout 23 batters, intimidating them with a fastball capable of reaching the 90s. It also consisted of strong pitching performances from Grayson Gifford, Ian Isdale, Theo Dopkins and Garrett Jensen, all who finished the MHCBL season with ERA’s below 4.00. The great pitching staff helped supplement the team with depth and allowed many injured players to get healthy. This is especially crucial in a league like the MHCBL that emphasizes player development along with competitiveness.
The pitchers had no shortage of run support either. The team got production from their 1-9 hitters in each game outscoring MHCBL opponents 270-66. Outside of the league, the team had other thrilling victories over teams in the Rocky Mountain Baseball League, including a one in Kansas against a legendary Hays Larks team.
With the MHCBL evolving to new levels this past season, the Boulder Collegians set a gold standard for the league moving forward in just their first season with the league.