Junior first baseman Nic Hernandez broke a 2-2 tie with a solo homerun down the right field line in the top of the seventh to help give the Broncos the lead.
The Broncos’ offense scored five runs in the ninth to help secure an 8-2 victory over San Francisco State in game one of a four game series.
“I took a deep breath and stepped back in and he threw the next pitch the same spot he threw the first one, so I just tried to get a good swing on it and actually barreled it up where it was able go over the fence,” said Hernandez.
Senior Ryan Alsworth started for the Broncos Friday afternoon.
Alsworth pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and getting six strikeouts.
Alsworth had a rocky start to the game giving up a solo homerun to the second batter of the game.
With back-to-back hits the Gators pushed their lead to 2-0 at the end of the first.
After the first inning, Alsworth settled in.
“First inning was a little shaky, after that he settled down and he gave us a chance to win, and they had a couple chances to score and he found ways to get around those innings without giving up a run. He pitched outstanding,” said coach Randy Betten.
The Broncos’ offense started slow going hitless in the first two innings.
Senior second baseman Bryce Graddy got the Broncos into the hit column to start the third inning with a base hit.
Senior center fielder Jacob Bernardy, who reached base via a fielder’s choice, scored on a throwing error by the Gators following a single by senior catcher Cody Martin.
Martin scored an at bat later off a double by freshman right fielder Cesar Lopez to tie the game at two.
The game turned into a pitcher’s duel from there.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Gators had an opportunity to break the tie with runners on first and third with no outs.
Alsworth got the next three batters out by a pop up to second and two consecutive ground outs to get out of the jam.
“My defense picked me up in a couple of big situations and stayed behind me the whole game. It felt great to come back from that first inning and get some big outs in some big situations,” said Alsworth.
The Broncos’ offense had chances to break the tie leaving runners on base in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning.
The Gators left starter Matthew Hernandez in the game in the seventh inning despite his pitch count being around 100 pitches.
With two outs in the top of the seventh and a 1-2 count, Hernandez got ahold of one and hit it over the right field wall to give the Broncos the lead.
“He’s hitting in the middle of our line-up for his third year now and we rely on Nic a lot to get big hits for us,” said Betten.
Junior Tim Holdgrafer relieved Alsworth in the bottom of the seventh. Holdgrafer pitched two scoreless innings allowing two hits, one walk and a strike out to maintain the Broncos’ 3-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, the Broncos capitalized on the errors made by the Gators and scored five runs in the inning giving senior Brian Conley a six-run lead in the bottom of the ninth.
Conley closed out the ninth in just 15 pitches allowing no hits and striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Holdgrafer picked up the win for the Broncos giving him his second of the season leaving Alsworth the no decision.
Hernandez went 2-for-4 in the game with a run batted in and a run scored. Six different Broncos picked up an RBI.
On Saturday, the Broncos took both games in a doubleheader winning 14-7 and 5-2.
In game one of the doubleheader, Hernandez and freshman right fielder Nick Peifer each knocked in three runs.
The seven game winning streak ended Sunday in a 9-5 loss.