The last time a Bronco pitched a no-hitter was 16 years ago, but the record was reset on Friday evening when senior Tim Holdgrafer stepped on the mound to take on the No. 14 UC San Diego Tritons.
Holdgrafer added his name to the small list of only seven Broncos to pitch a no-hitter.
“It was pretty surreal; I didn’t know it until going into the seventh when I saw there were no hits and I was like ‘Geez I’m pretty deep in this game.’ I just let my defense work and continued to attack the hitters,” Holdgrafer said.
Holdgrafer is only the second Bronco in history to pitch a no-hitter in a full nine-inning game and CPP had not celebrated a no-hit game since 2003.
“The game started on the mound, it always does for us. [Holdgrafer] is a bulldog,” coach Randy Betten said. “We talk about mental toughness and he epitomizes mental toughness, I mean just the way he competed today it’s unbelievable and it gives us energy all over the field.”
Four walks kept Holdgrafer from a perfect game. He struck out 11 batters on 120 pitches.
Holdgrafer’s efforts brought his season record to 4-0 as he dominated the Tritons with a 9-0 win.
Senior left fielder Nic Hernandez went 4-for-5 with one run and three runs batted in.
“My approach tonight was to just score something up and try to split a gap or something,” Hernandez said. “I knew we had Tim on the mound, he is a great pitcher, so I knew we would only need like one or two runs. I was lucky enough to come up in a situation where there is runner on, in scoring position, and I was able to execute what I was trying to do tonight.”
Junior second baseman Ryon Knowles also came out swinging with two hits and two runs batted in.
When the umpire called the final strike of the game, the Broncos swarmed the mound to celebrate the epic moment with Holdgrafer.
The four-game series started on Thursday evening when the Broncos defeated the Tritons 5-2.
Junior lefty Troy Bethell took to the mound and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four hits, one run and eight strikeouts. The game was scoreless until the third inning, when Hernandez singled through the right side, bringing home sophomore center fielder Nick Peifer.
Peifer had a productive night at the plate, scoring three of the five runs for the Broncos.
“We wanted to make sure [Holdgrafer] had ample rest,” Betten said. “We knew Bethell could start because he started in junior college, so we decided to mix it up a little bit and it turned out well.”
The Broncos hit the road to close out the series with a double-header in La Jolla on Saturday.
The Tritons evened the series by defeating the Broncos on their home field.
In game one, the Broncos pitched senior left-hander Austin Isenhart. Isenhart pitched a total of 6.1 innings, allowing four runs.
The final score was 6-0.
In game two, the Broncos went down in defeat again by a score of 9-2. In the first inning, junior first baseman Brennan McKenzie singled to left field bringing Hernandez home from second. Knowles was also able reach home due to a throwing error.
The Broncos were unable to make any more runs beyond the first inning.
After the weekend, the Broncos’ conference record stands at 6-2.
“[We need to] keep our energy up and keep making our adjustments every day, every practice, every game, and every at-bat,” Hernandez said.
The Broncos will take on Cal State Los Angeles this week in a four-game series. The first game will take place on Thursday at 6 p.m. on Scolinos Field.
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