With the help of a grand slam by junior second baseman Ryon Knowles and phenomenal pitching by senior righty Tim Holdgrafer, the Broncos ultimately defeated the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes 5-3 Friday night at home.

In game one of the four-game series, the Broncos took the lead early in the first inning when senior left fielder Nic Hernandez doubled to left field, bringing in Knowles from first.

In the fourth inning, the Coyotes went on top, scoring three runs to make the score 3-1.

It didn’t take long for the Broncos to take back the lead in a very exciting fifth inning.

With the bases loaded and one out, Knowles stepped up to the plate. Knowles received his perfect pitch and knocked it over the wall in right center, giving the Broncos a 5-3 advantage.

It was Knowles’ third home run of the season.

“My previous at-bat, I picked up on tendencies on the mound and it prepared me for my next at bat,” Knowles said. “I was looking for a fast ball and I happened to get one, I put a good swing on it and it happened to get out.”

Ryon Knowles hit a grand slam on Friday for his third home run of the season. (Grace Mikuriya / The Poly Post)

In the eighth inning, senior third baseman Angel Ortiz made an incredible play that made the crowd go wild. He was on his toes and ready when he grabbed a hard line drive and quickly fired to first to double up the runner and finish out the inning.

“Angel at third base made two outstanding plays, with the line drive in the eighth and then there was a funky ground ball to him and he made that play,” head coach Randy Betten said.

“He is a super competitive kid when it comes to his defense but he has also given us some great at-bats.”

Holdgrafer continues to wow the crowd and his team with his performance on the mound. Even fans from the opposing team make comments throughout the game about his pitching ability and skills.

“When [Holdgrafer] is out there he gives us tons of energy because he pounds the strike zone with three pitches,” Betten said. “He is so competitive and not scared, he just goes out there and attacks the hitters. He is an outstanding player.”

Holdgrafer pitched all nine innings on Friday night, allowing six hits, three runs, and striking out nine.

His pitching record now stands at 5-1.

“I knew my offense was going to put up numbers, so I knew I just had to keep putting up zeros and they were going to win the game for me,” Holdgrafer said.

“I think we learned how [CSUSB’s] hitters play the game and how they attack pitches. They are a very aggressive team and they like swinging, so we are going to be ready for a lot of swings and hopefully a lot of misses.”

The Coyotes were unable to score after the fifth inning and the Broncos walked away with a 5-3 victory in game one.

The Broncos and Coyotes headed to Fiscalini Field in San Bernardino for a double-header on Saturday.

Despite the exciting game on Friday, the Broncos were unable to get past the Coyotes on their home field.

In game two of the series, the Coyotes’ bats were hot early on, scoring two back-to-back home runs in the first inning.

The Coyotes then scored two more runs in the second inning before the Broncos were able to muster up a run in the third.

The Coyotes went on to score four more runs in the eighth, defeating the Broncos 8-1.

In game three, the Coyotes took the lead in the second inning with a single run batted in.

They then added five more runs to the scoreboard in the fifth.

The Broncos were able to score a run in the sixth but ultimately could not see their way past the Coyotes, falling 6-1.

The Broncos fell 3-1 in the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon.

Junior shortstop Matt Manskar had two of the Broncos four hits in the game.

Knowles drove in the Broncos lone run in the game.

The Broncos will take on San Francisco State at Scolinos Field this weekend in a four-game series.

Game one will take place on Friday at 6 p.m.

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