By Jose Mendoza
The Broncos swept San Francisco State in the final series of the regular season that included a 3-2 walk-off win in extra innings, extending their winning streak to 11 games heading into the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
Game two started off with freshman designated hitter Brennan McKenzie singling to center left field, bringing in senior third baseman Jason Padlo for the first run of the game.
Junior Kyle Dohy started on the mound for the Broncos going six innings giving up five hits, two earned runs and struck out eight batters.
The Gators took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth when freshman shortstop Robbie Carling hit a two-run home run.
The Broncos evened the score in the home half when a sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Daniel Pitts scored junior second baseman Bryce Graddy.
It stayed 2-2 until the bottom of the 11th inning when senior Frankie Nogales was called on to pinch hit with Broncos on first and second base and two outs.
With the count even at 2-2, Nogales singled through the right side, scoring Padlo from second and handing the game to Cal Poly Pomona 3-2.
“It was my first walk-off in my college career,” Nogales said. “I think we are playing well and we just have to stay locked in as a team.”
In game one, an early lead set the tone for the Broncos who scored two runs in the first inning thanks to a two-run homer from Pitts.
CPP managed just six hits in a tight contest.
“It all started with our starting pitching,” Padlo said. “We just have to keep playing hard and hope that our starters come out and play like they did today and maybe get more hits.”
Junior pitcher Jeff Bain (8-2) struck out three, allowing eight hits in eight and one third shutout innings to earn the win.
The Broncos added to their 2-0 lead in the third inning as senior shortstop Chris Stratton rounded third base on a wild pitch. Three runs were all the Broncos needed to secure the 3-0 win.
“It starts in the mound for us. I think we have been pitching well lately,” head coach Randy Betten said. “We are trying to make our playoff push and we feel that we have to win. We have to let this win (walk-off) go and prepare for the next one.”
The Broncos honored seniors Pitts, Stratton, Padlo, Matthew Grier, Alex Gaskin, Nogales and Henry Omana in a pre-game ceremony before the final game of the series and the regular season.
On a day to honor CPP’s veterans, freshman Jeremy Taylor (4-1) got the start.
The Broncos helped the freshman out, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning.
San Francisco cut the Broncos lead to one in the fourth inning with a three-run homer from senior first baseman Chris Nicholson.
With the Gators within striking distance, CPP’s seniors stepped in their final game at Scolinos Field.
CPP added four more runs in the next two innings extending their lead to five runs.
Pitts and Stratton each drove in one run while Padlo brought two Broncos home with his base hit.
Pitts went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base in game three.
For the series, Pitts batted .500 driving in four runs and hitting one home run.
Padlo saved his best for last.
After managing just one hit in games one and two, the corner infielder went 2-for-4 in a game three where where he doubled and drove in three runs.
The 8-4 win puts the Broncos winning streak at a league best 11 games.
CPP finishes the regular season in first place in the CCAA South Division with a record of 31-18 overall and 27-11 in league play.
The No. 2 seeded Broncos will take on fifth seeded Cal State Monterey Bay tomorrow in the CCAA tournament first round held in Stockton, California.
Anthony Carrillo / The Poly Post
Junior Jeff Bain gave up eight hits, three walks and struck out three batters during eight and a third shutout innings
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