BY NICK ROBINSON
COLORADO SPRINGS — Behind the stick of New Mexico Highlands University (Las Vegas, NM) junior third baseman Mitchell Shaw, the Colorado Springs Renegades were able to handle Thunder Academy by final scores of 11-3 and 7-6 at UCCS Ballpark on Tuesday afternoon.
“We are really clicking as a team,” Shaw said. “Especially in these games we just played. We get down by a run or two, and we don’t really give up. We put more up and try to win every inning. We have a lot of good approaches.”
Shaw (3-4, 4 RBI’s) led a Renegades (4-0) surge of seven runs in the third and fourth innings to help end the game after five innings, via the league’s run rule policy.
“I just felt really loose and relaxed,” he added. “I was looking middle-away all game and being a lefty – sometimes they shift, and I was looking to drive opposite the shift.”
Rodney Gregg (5 IP, 4 K’s) earned the victory for Colorado Springs on the mound. Riley Gregory (2-2, 3 RBI’s) contributed to the offensive success. Cade Gregg (4 IP) dropped the game for Thunder Academy (1-5), while Hall Humphries (2-3) led the way offensively.
Down a run in the fourth inning of the second contest, the Renegades rallied for three runs, which helped secure the third straight home victory for Colorado Springs.
“I think it means that weather we’re up by 10, or up by four, we have the same attitude, momentum and drive,” Shaw said. “We don’t give up and our motto is to pick it up and give it to the next guy. Don’t be the hero, just move it on, and find a way to get on. It’s worked so far.”
Rodney Gregg (3 IP) picked up the victory in the contest, while Zachary Dammel (2-2, 3 RBI’s) led the bats for the Renegades. Braden Martinez (4 IP, 4 K’s) dropped the contest for Thunder Academy.
Shaw, a Colorado Springs native, feels the familiarity with head coach Joe Pacheco and the league’s competition has helped shaped his squad’s early season success.
“This is my second year with Coach Pacheco in the league,” he said. “This league is really competitive and there’s good pitching. Just the amount of team’s that you play – other leagues only have six, or so, teams.
The more teams, the more exposure, and competition. It’s great. Guys can do it all and it’s good to see where you stack up.”
He’s also getting used to playing close to home. He spent the last two seasons at Lake Land College (Mattoon, IL).
“It was a 16-hour drive from home to where I was in college before,” Shaw explained. “So, it’s about three and a half hours away. With the whole conference (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) being in Colorado, my parents will get to see me play a lot over the next two years. It’s a really good fit for me.”
Colorado Springs hosts Prime Academy on Wednesday, June 5 – with first pitch starting at 5 pm. Thunder Academy will also play on Wednesday, versus the Colorado Cyclones at Legacy High School. First pitch is slated for 4 pm.
“I think keeping the same attitude and momentum of not letting up on the gas is going to be huge for us moving forward,” Shaw said. “Taking what we did in the first game and translating it to the second.”
Follow @milehighcbl and @nrob605 on Twitter.