History was made in the baseball program this season with the help of senior right-handed pitcher Tim Holdgrafer.
This marked Holdgrafer’s second year sporting green and gold after transferring from Grossmont College in El Cajon.
Last year, Holdgrafer didn’t see the starting position until halfway through the season. He started in six games and finished the season with a record of 4-2.
Now, Holdgrafer is the Broncos’ ace and an extremely crucial component to the team.
Holdgrafer spent the past summer playing in the Northwoods League in Minnesota and feels his experience out there prepared him for his successful Bronco season.
Coming into this season, Holdgrafer knew he would be playing a vital role on the team and what was going to be expected from him on the mound.
His performance did not disappoint, as he made program history early into the season.
On Feb. 22, fans packed the stands at Scolinos Field to watch the Broncos take on their rival, UC San Diego.
Around the seventh inning, fans started to realize that Holdgrafer was pitching a no-hitter.
“I was more nervous in that 9-0 game than in a 1-0 game, just because I wanted him to complete that no-hitter,” head coach Randy Betten said. “I wanted it so bad for him because it was well-deserved and he worked so hard.”
In the top of the ninth, Holdgrafer threw his final strike and his team rushed the mound to celebrate his historical moment, while fans erupted in cheers from the stands.
Holdgrafer became the seventh player in Bronco history to pitch a no-hitter and only the second to pitch a full nine-inning, no-hit game.
“It was pretty surreal. I couldn’t even catch my breath or emotion, I was so exhausted,” Holdgrafer said. “Especially going against a big team like San Diego, I knew I had one goal in mind and that was just to beat them. Luckily I ended up throwing a no-hitter for the first time in my life. It was a pretty surreal experience.”
After the no-hitter, Holdgrafer said he started to go into “cruise control.”
But after three rocky starts, he realized he needed to locate and fix the problem.
“I took a step back and talked to my pitching coach, and was like ‘what’s going on?’ I realized that it was all mental and I was in that cruise control mode instead of going after and attacking the hitters like I normally do,” Holdgrafer said. “[Broncos’ pitching coach Jenzen Torres] helped me to go out there, compete and throw the crap out of it. Luckily, I did and it worked out.”
Holdgrafer finished out the conference season with a record of 8-4 and an earned run average of 4.37.
Holdgrafer is one of 14 seniors leaving the team after this season.
He has plans to continue his baseball career beyond college, with hopes of being drafted into the Major Leagues.
“Fingers crossed I get drafted this year,” Holdgrafer said. “I’d like to play overseas too. I’m thinking about going to play in Europe or Australia, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the draft will work out in my favor.”
This upcoming summer, Holdgrafer is heading back to Minnesota to play in the Northwoods League again.
Holdgrafer is a prime example of a student athlete who competes to his fullest both on and off the field.
Throughout the season, teammates, coaches and fans all had nothing but good things to say about his skills, demeanor and successful approach to the game.
“As good as he is a player, he is as good of a person,” Betten said. “When we recruited him, we knew we were going to get a good character kid and that is the most important thing to my program.”
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