After losing out on most of last season due to COVID-19, the Metro State University Roadrunners attacked 2021 with an uncommon ferocity and gratitude. MSU head baseball coach Ryan Strain said the team is simply "seizing the moment."
“We kind of just hit the ground running and things took off,” said Chase Anderson, a junior infielder.
They’re off to their best start in school history.
Seventeen wins, two losses, and atop the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings.
“Everyone in here really cares about the next guy,” said senior pitcher Jimmy Dobrash. “We all just want the best for the next guy. We’ve been through a lot together. Everyone loves each other and we’re all looking out for each other.”
Dobrash said while they’ve been through a lot as a team, he’s been through a lot on his own. He got cut two years after joining the baseball team at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and then quit baseball entirely.
“When you get the game that you’ve played your whole life and you’ve loved your whole life taken from you, it’s definitely eye-opening,” Dobrash said.
Dobrash found his love of baseball again with the Roadrunners, and he’s not the only one. This team is built by second chances.
“What it boiled down to is I just wasn’t good enough,” remembers senior pitcher and outfielder Logan Soole.
Soole signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school, but after two years of minor league ball, he also got cut.
“I was always one of those people who believed you could work your butt off, and it would pay off,” Soole said. “Playing up there, you miss out on some opportunities and stuff like that, and you realize maybe it doesn’t work like that.”
Soole said he believed his career was over before he found Metro State.
“(I’m) lucky to be here now, lucky to have that second chance,” Soole said. “I just want to build a relationship with these guys. I think that’s the part that I enjoy most.”
Both Soole and Dobrash are also born and raised Coloradans.
Filling the Metro roster with Colorado kids is a priority for Strain and his staff.
“If we’re going to win, it’s because we’ve got good Colorado kids and we were able to keep those kids at home,” Strain said.
After their blazing start, the Roadrunners’ work is not over. They have their sights set on even more history.
“MSU Denver baseball has never played in the postseason before,” Strain said. “They know what that goal is and it’s an attainable goal but it’s going to take a lot of work and we’re going to have to play really well.”
“We want to win a championship,” Soole said.