Despite a shortened 2020 baseball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broncos finished with an overall winning record of 13-8. In recognition of their contribution to the Broncos’ baseball success, the California Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) announced in spring their selection of three distinguished CPP student-athletes to the 2020 CCAA Baseball All-Star Team.
This is the first time the CCAA has made all-star team selections as the conference’s usual student-athlete celebration, all-conference honors, were deemed to be impossible to award given the season’s sudden end.
The Poly Post interviewed student-athletes Brennan McKenzie, Ryon Knowles and Steven Ordorica regarding their selections to this year’s all-star team.
Senior infielder Brennan McKenzie had a strong season, playing in all 21 of the Broncos’ games. McKenzie started 20 of those games at first base and started as the designated hitter for one game. He also led the CCAA with 52 total bases (the number of bases gained by a batter through their hits) and finished the year with a .369 batting average.
“It felt really good to be recognized,” said McKenzie. “I feel that I put in a lot of work in the off-season and it’s nice to have it pay off.”
McKenzie also spoke about whether he expected the all-star selection. “It wasn’t something that was really on my mind while I was playing. I just wanted to go out there and play my game and try to be a good teammate. But it’s been a goal of mine for sure.”
Senior infielder Ryon Knowles also had a successful season, starting all 21 games at second base. Knowles led the CCAA with 96 at-bats, finished the season with a .333 batting average and led the Broncos with 32 hits.
Knowles spoke about the season’s cancellation and his selection to this year’s all-star team. “I’d say I felt grateful, yet disappointed in a way,” said Knowles. “I knew I was having a pretty good start to the season and then it ended so abruptly. It felt like all of the success I had didn’t really reach the point it could have if we continued. I was thankful though that despite the shortcomings, the CCAA found a way to appreciate their players.”
He also addressed his strong start to the 2020 season. “It was about on par with the year before offensively, although my defense had improved greatly since then,” said Knowles. “I would say it was my best start.”
Junior pitcher Steven Ordorica contributed to the Broncos success with his dominance on the mound. As a first-year transfer student from Mt. San Antonio College, Ordorica made a team high 10 appearances on the mound, which were all in relief of the starting pitchers either in the middle of the game or toward the end. He also posted a 2.51 ERA over 14.1 innings of work and acquired a save along the way.
Describing his thoughts on the all-star selection, Ordorica said, “I felt honored to be one of the three chosen. I really never think about the expectations, often I usually just focus on continuing to work hard and try my best to get the job done.”
McKenzie is set to graduate this fall and will not be back to play next season. Although Knowles will graduate in the spring, he plans on playing the extra year of eligibility given to senior athletes by the CCAA. Ordorica will be returning for his senior season next year.