By Victoria Kernen
Cal Poly Pomona’s baseball team gained its first victory of the season Thursday night and played its first night game under the new lights at Scolinos Field. It was a tight finish, with the score ending against the Concordia Eagles at 9-8.
The Broncos finished the weekend winning three of their four games in the series against Concordia. The series’ scores were a Broncos win at 9-8, a Broncos win at 3-0, and a Broncos loss at 3-4 and a Broncos win at 12-3.
On Thursday, the Broncos played their first night game at CPP thanks to the new lights installed around the field.
The CPP team started the night game with its senior pitcher and team captain Max Bethell. Bethell tallied up nine strikeouts.
Bethell gained a 62-strikeout record last season.
Humble in his answer, he is only looking forward to getting better this season, rather than just beating his strikeout record.
“You’re always trying to get better,” said Bethell. “You can’t be content with what you did last year or in years past.”
Bethell is also grateful for the team’s first game being its first win, as there are new players that will be coming up to bat for the 2016 season.
“It gives some of the new guys kind of a feel [of winning],” said Bethell. “We’re still starting to mesh together as a team.”
Junior Chris Stratton shined under the spotlight, launching his first home run of the season over the left field wall.
The Broncos were up 9-3 by the seventh inning, and ultimately, they secured their lead in the final two innings, regardless of Concordia running the plate.
With the installment of the new lights, the CPP team is looking forward to more games and is getting accustomed to the new atmosphere.
“You can see the ball very well, and I think it’s pretty cool to play at night now,” said Ryan Webberley, co-captain and senior infielder.
Being Webberley’s first year as captain and second year playing for the Broncos, he looks forward to the upcoming season and playing with the new players.
“We got a great bunch of guys, and I think we’ll play really well as a team,” said Webberley.
As for Head Coach Randy Betten, the installment of the new lights is another great facet that CPP has given the successful men’s baseball team.
“The lights really make a great baseball environment. We are really pleased with those,” said Betten.
With the team having a few new players, Betten believes that with more practice, the team members will ultimately work better together.
“I told the team we got to get better. Defensively, pitches have to be a little more consistent. We got to build our bats throughout the game,” said Betten. “They were one swing away from going into the lead, so it was pretty hairy a little bit.”
The Broncos won against the Eagles in Friday night’s game with a 3-0 victory and then split the day on Saturday, leaving the CPP team with a 3-1-season tally.
The Broncos’ next game will be against Cal State San Bernardino on Feb. 12 at Scolinos Field.
Ana Perez / The Poly Post
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