Broncos sweep series against Golden Eagles

The CPP baseball team swept the four-game series against Cal State Los Angeles this weekend taking the first two at home and the last two at Reeder Field.

On Friday, the Broncos, who walked off for a third time in nine games this season, found their ninth inning magic again after trailing by one run for four innings before scoring two in the ninth.

Senior starting pitcher Gavin Velasquez threw another gem, as he pitched seven innings while allowing five hits, one earned run and 10 strikeouts.

The Broncos struggled to get anything going offensively as they left 12 runners on base. However, the Broncos came back once again in the ninth.

The inning began with senior third baseman Matt Manskar taking a walk to get on base. 

Freshman catcher John Pappas successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to the Golden Eagles pitcher to advance Manskar to second base.

Senior second baseman Ryon Knowles followed the bunt with a single up the middle to advance Manskar to third base. Junior right fielder Nick Peifer was then hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for junior outfielder Cesar Lopez. Lopez hit an RBI groundout with the bases loaded to tie the game at 1-1.

The baseball team is now 4-2 in conference, with an overall record of 6-4. Pictured is No. 18 Brennan McKenzie. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics)

With two outs and the winning run embodied by Knowles at third, Golden Eagles senior pitcher Micah Hee threw a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Knowles to score and ending the game by a score of 2-1.

The Broncos looked to pick up where they left off as they faced the Golden Eagles for game two of the series on Saturday evening.

Freshman pitcher Cameron Mabee got off to a rocky start as the Golden Eagles scored a run in both the first and second innings of the game.

The Broncos’ offense, which had been struggling to string together clutch hits, found life as they scored four runs in the third inning on four hits and one error committed by the Golden Eagles.Lopez dropped down a bunt single to third base with runners on first and second. 

A throwing error on the play allowed a run to score and put a man on third base. Senior first baseman Brennan McKenzie then followed up the single with a two-run double to right field that put the Broncos up 3-2.

Two batters later, sophomore outfielder Dante Palacio drove in another run on a single to right field, which increased the lead to 4-2.

Mabee found himself in some trouble in the fifth inning after giving up a double and a single to put runners on first and third with no outs.

Head coach Randy Betten made the decision to go to the bullpen and called upon right-handed pitcher Steven Ordorica, who would get them out of the inning after allowing two earned runs.

The Golden Eagles would end the top half of the inning after scoring four runs, giving them a 6-4 lead.

After the sixth inning, the Broncos’ bullpen was lights out and combined for three innings pitched, no runs and allowed only one hit.

“Our bullpen has been really good all year; whenever the starter leaves, we always have faith in our bullpen to keep us in a good spot,” Mabee said. “Those guys are pitching their butts off.”

The Broncos rallied back in the seventh inning and put two runs on the board after a daring suicide-squeeze call by Betten was executed by Pappas to tie the game at six runs apiece.

“I saw that was the best way we could get the tying run home,” Betten said. “I just had a gut feeling and he executed.”

The Broncos took the lead in the eighth inning and won the game with a score of 7-6.

The Broncos’ offense found the spark it had been searching for as it dominated in the third game of the series on Sunday afternoon at Reeder Field.

The team caught fire going into the third inning as it put together five hits and scored six runs while only leaving one runner on base. 

Knowles put together the biggest hit of the inning as he blasted a three-run home run to right field to give the Broncos a 7-3 lead.

Two innings later, the team picked up where they left off and another four runs on two hits, while only leaving one runner on base again in the fifth inning bringing the score to 11-3.

The Broncos added another three runs in the sixth and four runs in the eighth inning after McKenzie hit a grand slam to right center, extending the lead to 18-3.

Game three ended with a final score of 18-5.

The Broncos finished out the series with a 6-1 victory in game two of the double header.

Freshman Rhys Stevens pitched a total of six innings, allowing seven hits and only one run.

Palacio went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior Connor Tousignant pitched the final inning to secure the sweep. 

The Broncos will head to San Bernardino on Friday to kick off a four-game series against Cal State San Bernardino at 6 p.m.

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