By Christine Sharp
After falling to Cal State East Bay in the first two games of the four-game series, the Cal Poly Pomona baseball team was able to string together a final pair of wins to end their seven-game losing streak with a series split last weekend.
It was a series of retaliation. After losing by one run in each of the first two games of the series to the Pioneers (22-18 CCAA), the Broncos (18-22 CCAA) took the final two games.
The Broncos returned to the field Friday eager to win after a bye week, but were dealt a 7-6 loss capped off by a baserunning blunder.
Senior center-fielder Jordan Whitman was on second, junior Chris Carlson was on first and Jason Padlo was at bat with a full-count.
As Whitman tried to steal third, Walter ran to second. Whitman had to run back to second and both players were tagged out.
“When he tagged both of us, I thought he pointed at me instead of Chris, so I started walking off and they tagged me as I left the base,” said Whitman.
Carlson led the offense, reaching base in all five of his base appearances, and Whitman recorded his 13th career homerun.
Saturday’s doubleheader began with a 3-0 Bronco lead through six innings.
Senior righthander Kevin Bosson recorded his 262nd career strike out, ranking second in CPP history.
The Broncos struggled defensively in the eighth as the Pioneers picked up three unearned runs.
A homerun by Carlson, his third of the year, was not enough to carry the offense, and the Broncos lost 4-2.
“In the first game, we had some chances but we made a big mistake in the eighth inning and they’re a good team, so they capitalized on it,” said head coach Randy Betten.
The second game of the doubleheader started off with a Pioneer run in the first inning.
The Broncos came back in the next two innings, leading by two.
CSUEB scored a run in the fourth, but that was the last run from either team.
At the top of the fifth, a streaker came running from the side gate through the field with nothing on, save for a jock strap and a mask.
“I saw him enter through the gate and he started running out and did a [Tim] Tebow pose out there behind second base and then he ran right be and exited the centerfield gate,” said Whitman. “I was so proud to have seen it and been a witness of it.”
The mid-game distraction left the teams scoreless through the end of the game, and the Broncos won 3-2.
Sunday’s Senior Day commemorated the five seniors on the team: Nick O’Loughlin, Donald Walter, Ryan Dunn, Whitman and Bosson.
Whitman was the starting pitcher of the game. He had not pitched a single game since his freshman year in 2010.
The first inning began with a flashback from Friday’s game, but this time the rundown was against the Pioneers. Whitman got his revenge and tagged the runner trying to steal third.
The Broncos had two back-to-back doubles in the first. Bo Walter was able to score the first run on Trevor Magno’s double to earn CPP a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers tied the Broncos in the third, but the Broncos had the last laugh in the bottom of the ninth.
Walter was on third and scored on a wild pitch by Pioneers pitcher Nick Hudson, and the Broncos were walk-off winners, 2-1.
Whitman pitched eight innings in his final college game and only allowed seven hits, one walk and an unearned run.
The Broncos finished the season eighth in the CCAA and will miss out on the playoffs this year, but will be back in the hunt come 2014.
Christine Sharp/The Poly Post
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