By Joseph Rodriguez, April 18, 2023
The Cal Poly Pomona baseball team dropped three straight games in an away series to Chico State. The series’ fourth game was canceled and not made up due to heavy rain in Chico, California.
Bronco’s head coach Randy Betten spoke about his team’s output in the series.
“We just got to get back to what we do and play solid baseball from pitching to defense to offensive approach,” said Betten. “We just got to get back to the basics.”
The Wildcats outscored the Broncos 22-14 in their three-game set against one another. While CPP’s offense produced a good amount of runs, pitching cost them in the series.
The Broncos scored in multiple ways that displayed the versatility of their offense in the first game. CPP obtained runs off a fielding error, sacrifice fly, base hit and a couple of home runs.
Junior catcher Johnny Pappas had a great day at the plate in the series opener. Pappas managed three hits along with a walk and a stolen base. Four of the Broncos’ seven runs in the first game came via home runs from junior first baseman Marco Malerba and sophomore centerfielder Nin Burns II.
Betten had junior pitcher Rhys Stevens start the series off for the Broncos. Stevens only pitched 2.1 innings in which he let up seven earned runs and walked five batters.
Freshman pitcher Andrew Campbell replaced Stevens on the mound, putting up four innings. He allowed two earned runs and two walks but was still able to strike out five batters. Senior pitcher Matthew Henry finished off the game with no hits and a walk through 1.2 innings.
The second game of the series proved to be the closest out of the three contests.
After being down by three by the third inning, the Broncos rallied back and led 5-3 after the sixth.
CPP scored all five of their runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings of the ballgame. Junior shortstop Cedrick Perez hit two singles to drive in three runs, and Burns II homered which was his second long ball of the series. Senior third baseman Tyler Chaffee also recorded a bases-loaded walk that brought in a run.
Chico State put up a rally in the seventh inning with three straight singles that drove in four runs. The Wildcats reclaimed the lead and won 7-5.
Malerba spoke about his team’s struggles in containing the Wildcats’ offense.
“They did a good job at getting those big hits when they needed them, and they took advantage when our pitchers were making mistakes which kept the momentum on their side for a majority of the time,” said Malerba.
The Broncos’ pitching staff combined to allow seven runs and nine hits and CPP struck out nine batters throughout the game.
The final game of the series marked the second of their Saturday doubleheader. This was the lowest-scoring game of the three as the Broncos fell to the Wildcats by a score of 5-2.
CPP batters only mustered three hits and left five men on base.
The Broncos got their two runs in the fifth and sixth inning by way of a fielding error and another home run from Malerba.
Burns II spoke about how beneficial it is to have multiple sluggers that can hit the ball out of the park.
“Yeah the long ball is always nice, and with our lineup, every guy can do it which makes our offense so dangerous,” said Burns II.
CPP only had two pitchers make an appearance in this game. Sophomore pitcher AJ Moreno got the start and threw four innings but took the loss after he surrendered four earned runs. Senior pitcher Scott Armstrong finished the rest of the game with an earned run, a strikeout and two hits allowed.
With three losses in a row, the Broncos are now 13-8 overall and 5-6 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. CPP is currently in sixth place in their conference standings which makes them eligible for a spot in the CCAA tournament.
The Broncos’ next series will be at home against Stanislaus State which you can catch on the CCAA network.
Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics
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