The Broncos took three games out of four against Stanislaus State this past weekend at Scolinos Field. They now sit in seventh, just a game behind Chico State for the sixth seed.
Despite an early lead in the second inning, the Broncos were unable to hold off the Stanislaus State Warriors’ offense, falling 8-5 in the series opener on Friday at Scolinos Field.
The Warriors got the scoring started in the first inning with one run, but the Broncos followed quickly with a run in the bottom of the first. Senior designated hitter Nic Hernandez doubled to left field for a single run to drive in junior first baseman Brennan McKenzie and tie up the game 1-1.
The back-and-forth game continued in the second, when the Warriors took back the lead 2-1. But the Broncos took an even greater lead when Hernandez stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and blasted a double down the right field line, for a 4-2 advantage.
“I was just trying to slow everything down, I didn’t want the moment to get too high or too intense,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been struggling throughout the year and I felt like I needed to do something to help out the team a little bit, so I was just trying to see something up and get a good swing on it. I got the pitch I needed and got the job done.”
The Warriors turned the game around in the fourth, attacking almost every pitch senior righty Tim Holdgrafer tossed. The Warriors scored a total of five runs to take a 7-4 lead.
Holdgrafer pitched a total of four innings before the Broncos looked to the bullpen. He gave up seven runs and 11 hits.
“[The Warriors] hit around Tim, he is our best guy, maybe he didn’t have his best stuff today but I was going to run with him,” head coach Randy Betten said. “He has given us our best chance on Fridays as we’ve gone throughout the year. You can’t keep asking that guy to be great all the time — it’s tough; even big-league guys have tough starts.”
Senior right-handed pitcher Ben Mora came in to pitch the next three innings.
After a triple to center field followed by a single, the Warriors added one more run in the fifth to finish out their scoring.
Mora allowed one run, three hits and struck out four.
“I thought I did a decent job, I just wanted to keep us close,” Mora said. “I think playing together is a big part of it and that is what we are emphasizing right now. If we are able to do those things we are going to have a good end to the season.”
The Broncos relieved Mora after the seventh inning and brought in junior lefty Troy Bethell to finish out the game. Bethell was able to keep the Warriors from adding any more runs to the scoreboard.
The Broncos took advantage of the Warriors’ pitching change in the eighth when sophomore right fielder Cesar Lopez grounded out to shortstop, bringing in Hernandez from third. That would complete the scoring for both teams, leaving the Warriors with an 8-5 victory.
Hernandez had an impressive offensive showing for the Broncos, going 2-for-3 with one run, two doubles, and four runs batted in.
“I think we competed, I don’t think we lack at competitiveness,” Betten said. “They [the Warriors] did exactly what they needed to do to win the game; they didn’t make errors, walk people, or hit people.”
The Warriors and Broncos were back on Scolinos Field on Saturday for a double-header.
Despite the tough game on Friday, the Broncos came out hot on Saturday to sweep the double-header.
In game one, the Broncos took an early lead in the first inning and carried that lead until the third inning, when the Warriors gained a 2-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Broncos scored three runs to put themselves back on top.
The Warriors were able to score one final run in the sixth inning but another run scored by the Broncos in the eighth enabled CPP to come away with a 5-3 win.
In the second game, senior right fielder Patrick Flynn’s bat was on fire as he homered twice to give the Broncos their second victory of the day.
Flynn started off the scoring in the second inning when he sent a rocket over the left field fence. In the fourth inning, junior shortstop Matt Manskar was on base when Flynn knocked another ball over the left field fence to knock in the final two runs of the game for the Broncos.
The Warriors managed to rally in the sixth inning, scoring two runs but it was not enough and the Broncos won the game 3-2.
The two teams faced each other in game four on Sunday.
With three runs in the sixth inning, the Broncos walked away with a 3-2 victory.
The Warriors got the scoring started in the fourth with one run.
The Broncos took the lead in the sixth when Lopez doubled to right center to bring in Knowles from second.
Then senior third baseman Angel Ortiz doubled to left center, bringing in Lopez and senior designated hitter Patrick Vizcaino.
The Warriors made a final run in the ninth with a homer to left field, but it was not enough to beat the Broncos.
The Broncos will face Chico State this week in a four-game series at Nettleton Stadium. Game one will kick off Thursday at 6 p.m.
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