The Broncos dropped the first three games of the series against San Francisco State, but on Sunday afternoon the Broncos broke their six-game skid and handed the Gators their first loss of the season.
The CPP baseball team was unable to end No. 20 San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) undefeated streak on Friday night, falling to the Gators 8-2 at Scolinos Field.
The triumphant Gators went on to sweep the double header against the Broncos on Saturday.
The Gators came out swinging early, scoring two runs in the first inning.
The Broncos came back in the bottom of the first, when junior second baseman Ryon Knowles doubled out to right center, bringing in junior first baseman Brennan McKenzie from third, making the score 2-1.
In the second inning, the Gators scored again and then blasted a two-run home run into right field, giving them a 5-1 advantage.
The Broncos went on to score their second and final run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. McKenzie knocked a double to right field, as junior left fielder Christian Moya made his way home from second.
The Gators’ senior first baseman Harley Lopez had an impressive game, going 2-for-4. Lopez was responsible for the Gators’ home run, as well as a double, three runs batted in and two runs scored.
As the game progressed, the Gators continued to find gaps in the field, scoring three more runs to finish out the game 8-2.
“We need a break. We need something good to happen,” head coach Randy Betten said.
“We seem to not be able to get the multiple-run inning but I think we are so close.”
Although the outcome wasn’t in the Broncos’ favor, several players played well offensively.
One player was McKenzie, who went 2-for-5 Friday night. He managed to rack up two doubles and one run batted in.
“I thought we were playing well, [SFSU] just hit the ball hard and found ways to get hits and we were just hitting balls right at guys. The biggest thing with runners on base is just staying aggressive,” McKenzie said. “[SFSU] is a really good hitting team, so we just have to minimize their innings as best as we can and maximize ours.”
Senior righty Tim Holdgrafer pitched a little over five innings allowing 10 hits, seven runs, and striking out only three.
“I didn’t play well on the mound, it didn’t get us ahead, and it didn’t give us momentum ever,” Holdgrafer said. “It is tough to play behind when (the) defense is sitting there for a while and there are not strikes being thrown. [SFSU’s] offense ends up executing and that is what happened.”
Junior righty Jeremy Taylor was brought out of the bullpen to pitch the remaining three innings, giving up two hits and one run, while striking out three.
The two teams faced each other again with a double-header on Saturday.
The Broncos put up a battle in two close games, but the Gators still walked away undefeated.
In game two, the Broncos fell to the Gators 8-7.
The Broncos were able to take an early one-run lead in the second, but the Gators came back in the fourth inning to score four runs.
The remainder of the game was back and forth, but the Gators were able to take home their second win of the series by just one run.
McKenzie had another strong game for the Broncos, giving them one run, two hits and two runs batted in.
Sophomore center fielder Nick Peifer contributed with two runs and two runs batted in.
Sophomore right fielder Cesar Lopez also had a good game at the plate with two runs and three hits.
Game three was tied 5-5 until the top of the ninth, when the Gators scored their final two runs, giving them a 7-5 victory.
Senior designated hitter Nic Hernandez helped keep the Broncos in the game, going 2-for-3 with one run and two runs batted in.
McKenzie finished out his impressive day with two runs and one hit.
The final game on the series took place on Sunday.
“We aren’t playing poorly, we just aren’t getting the result that we want and that is a win,” Betten said. “I’m just trying to get the guys to stay the course because I know they are frustrated and I know they are beat down, but this is when you truly are going to find out what you are about as a team and what kind of competitor you are as an individual.”
The Broncos broke their skid as they defeated the Gators 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.
In the first inning, the Broncos got the scoring started as an RBI single got the Broncos ahead 1-0.
In the top of the fourth inning the Gators tied the game at one. CPP broke the game open as they scored three runs in the sixth to give them a three-run lead.
Senior Austin Isenhart pitched seven innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out eight.
Senior Mitch Hart came into relief and pitched two shutout innings.
The Broncos will head north this week for a four-game series against the Sonoma State Seawolves.
Their first game will take place Friday at 2 p.m. at Rohnert Park.
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