Freshman left fielder Cesar Lopez’s two-run home run in the first inning jump-started the Broncos’ offense as they defeated Cal State Monterey Bay 10-5 in game one of a four-game series.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit, but we tried to get back to what we do, and we got a couple of big hits to separate us and Alsworth gave us great five innings, it was a good game for us,” coach Randy Betten said.
Senior Ryan Alsworth held the Otters to one run on five hits with nine strikeouts in five innings.
Alsworth allowed a single to the first batter of the game.
He struck out the next two batters and drew a ground out to end the inning.
Senior catcher Cody Martin started the game with a lead-off double.
With a 3-1 count, Lopez hit the next pitch over the right field wall to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead.
“I was trying to get something on the ground to the right side but I got a pitch up and I was able to get it up in the air and it got out,” Lopez said.
Alsworth continued his dominance, striking out the first two batters to start the second inning giving him four strike outs to start the game.
In the third, Alsworth got into trouble after a four pitch walk to begin the inning.
The next batter hit a double to left center to give the Otters their first run of the game.
Alsworth got a ground out and a strike out to get out of the inning with only one run allowed.
In the fourth, after getting a single, the next batter hit a double down the left field line to give the Otters runners on second and third with only one out.
Alsworth struck out the next batter.
With a 1-2 count and the Otters threatening to take the lead, Alsworth got the batter to fly out to end the inning.
In the home half, senior second baseman Bryce Graddy reached on an error.
A wild pitch moved Graddy to second with junior third baseman Patrick Vizcaino coming to the plate.
Vizcaino singled to left, scoring Graddy giving the Broncos a 3-1 lead.
Alsworth pitched a scoreless fifth. The Broncos scored four in the fifth to extend the lead to six.
Martin scored on a ground out giving the Broncos a 4-1 lead.
Lopez scored on a single by sophomore designated hitter Brennan McKenzie.
Lopez started the sixth with a lead-off double, scoring on a single by freshman shortstop Drew Cowley.
The Broncos added on three more runs in the sixth to give them a nine run lead.
The Otters scored two runs in the eighth and ninth.
Lopez and Graddy went 3-for-5 with two RBIs each.
Lopez was a triple short of the cycle.
Senior Brian Conley pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits while striking out two.
“It’s a big series for us, so it was good to come out and take it to them. We played well on all sides of the ball, we played good defense, pitched well and hit well,” Alsworth said. “It was one our best games all year and it’s coming at a really good time.”
Cal State Monterey Bay sent ace Colton Fletcher (7-1) to the mound in game two and stymied the Broncos’ offense.
Cal Poly Pomona managed two runs on five hits in a 6-2 loss.
Junior Dylan Francis (3-3) kept the Broncos within striking distance by allowing two runs on eight hits.
The Broncos were kept off the board until the sixth inning when junior first baseman Nic Hernandez’s ground out allowed senior center fielder Jacob Bernardy to score.
The score remained 2-1 until the top of the ninth when CPP went to its bullpen.
Sophomore Ben Mora entered the game and gave up four runs on four hits in his one inning of work.
Hernandez homered to lead off the ninth and Cowley drew a walk, but that was as far as the rally went.
With Cowley at second, Vizcaino flied out to end the game.
In game three of the series and two of Saturday’s doubleheader, another Broncos’ starter turned in a strong performance, but this time the offense delivered as CPP won 4-2.
Junior Tim Holdgrafer (2-1) pitched a complete seven inning game allowing two runs on four hits.
The Broncos scored two in the first inning and Monterey Bay returned the favor in the fifth.
Junior catcher Alex Kline hit a base hit into left that brought home Cowley to give the Broncos a 3-2 lead.
Two batters later, lead-off man and sophomore third baseman Manskar drove in the fourth run of the game with a single into right field.
Monterey Bay (28-10, 22-10 CCAA) took the final game of the series 6-4 on Sunday behind two RBIs by Connor Caspersen.
The Broncos (20-18 overall, 17-15 CCAA) travel to Stanislaus State this weekend looking to stay in the top six of the California Collegiate Athletic Association to secure a spot in the conference tournament.
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