The Broncos baseball team galloped over to Cal State San Bernardino for the start of a four-game series Friday night at Fiscalini Field.
The Broncos, who came in riding a five-game California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) winning streak, would send out senior pitcher Gavin Velasquez to start the series against the 5-10 Coyotes.
It was nothing short of another stellar performance by Velasquez, who shut down the Coyotes for seven innings only allowing four hits, one walk and struck out six batters. Velasquez secured his first win as a Bronco in four starts.
“I am very competitive and every time I take the mound I am going to attack and give everything I have,” Velasquez said. “Securing my first win was awesome, but it’s just another game, I hope it is the first of many, but now we look to keep the momentum going and playing our style of baseball.”
Velasquez was able to secure his win after receiving run support midway through the game.
Senior left fielder Christian Moya led off the top of the fifth inning with a home run to left field, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
“I was just looking to start off the inning with a good at-bat to try and get something going,” Moya said. “It was early in the count and I was just looking for a pitch over the plate, and I got a pitch to work with and I just put a good swing on it.”
Junior right fielder Nick Peifer would then add to the lead with another solo home run to left field with one out in the sixth inning.
The Broncos bullpen took over in the eighth inning and retired six straight batters in order. Junior pitcher Eric Romo secured the save and the combined shutout. The Broncos extended their CCAA win streak to six games.
The Broncos’ CCAA winning streak came to an end on Saturday by a score of 8-7. Fans were treated to a high scoring game as both teams scored a combined 15 runs.
The offense has begun to click for the Broncos as they got on the board early after senior first baseman, Brennan McKenzie, launched a three-run home run to left field in the first inning.
With a 3-0 lead going into the fourth inning, the Coyotes responded and put up two runs and trimmed the Broncos lead down to one. The following inning Coyotes junior left fielder, GJ Hurst, smacked a three-run home run to center field off of Broncos sophomore pitcher Drew Atherton.
Down by two in the sixth, McKenzie ripped a two-out double to left center and drove in a run. The Broncos scored another two runs in the inning to take the lead 6-5.
The Broncos would add one more run to their lead after Moya hit a sacrifice fly to the center fielder and brought the score to 7-5.
The Coyotes didn’t go down easy as they surged in the home half of the ninth inning to complete a three-run walk-off victory.
The Broncos (9-6, 7-3 CCAA) split the series on the road and headed home for Sunday’s doubleheader.
After a tough loss on Saturday, the Broncos prepared for game three of the series on Sunday’s scheduled doubleheader at Scolinos Field.
Prior to the start of game, head coach Randy Betten reflected on the outcome of Saturday’s game. “I didn’t think I coached very well yesterday … I thought I made a couple of poor decisions on the coaching side that probably had a little bit of the outcome of the game,” Betten said. “But I’m going to take full responsibility and be better next time.”
And that he was.
The Broncos (10-6, 8-3 CCAA) would go on to defeat the Coyotes by a score of 3-1.
Freshman pitcher Cameron Mabee and senior pitcher Troy Bethell shined in the low scoring pitcher’s duel.
Mabee went six innings while only allowing three hits, one run, two walks and struck out nine batters. Bethell was given the win after posting three innings pitched, while allowing only one hit.
McKenzie, who had a big day at the plate on Saturday, recorded his 16th RBI of the season in the sixth inning and tied the game at one run a piece. Moya and sophomore designated hitter Dante Palacio each recorded an RBI in the eighth inning to give the Broncos the lead at 3-1.
Shortly after the victory, freshman pitcher Rhys Stevens took the mound for the final game of the series. The Broncos scored a total of two runs in the first inning to land them a 2-0 victory against the Coyotes.
The Broncos are heading to San Francisco this week to take on the Gators at Maloney Field.
Game one of the four game series will take place at 2 p.m. Friday.
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