Catcher Johnny Pappas batted 2-4 during the match, scoring two of CPP’s four runs. | Photo by Teresa Acosta

CPP baseball breaks winning streak with loss against Point Loma

By Matthew Acosta and Teresa Acosta, April 16, 2024

During an unusually hot 80-degree evening, the Broncos struggled to defend against Point Loma’s heavy-hitting lineup, resulting in a 17-4 loss during the Tuesday, April 9 game.

Point Loma began the onslaught of hits with a single to left field by Sea Lion shortstop Scott Anderson, whose five-hit night produced five RBIs on the evening.

That hit, combined with the relentless bats of the Sea Lions, put the Broncos in an early first-inning, four-run deficit before their cleats could even touch the batter’s box.

The Broncos struggled to match the lightning start of their opponents, only getting one hit and one man on base at the end of the first inning.

Cal Poly Pomona pitcher Dylan Esquival took the mound once again after the slow start to the match, striking out the first batter of the inning, but quickly gave up a moonshot over the left field fence to bring the score to 5-0.

The Broncos escaped the inning, however, with a final swinging strikeout during the inning.

“We made a few mistakes today that cost us a little bit, but I think it’s just getting back to what we’ve been doing,” said head coach Randy Betten. “Better defense than what we played tonight and timely hitting and execute on offense, that’s the key for us.”

Second baseman Darius Price high fives center fielder Brent Cota after he scores CPP’s second run. | Teresa Acosta

Due to the rough start to the game by Esquival, CPP pivoted to their right-handed reliever A.J. Moreno to start the top of the third inning.

The Broncos’ hope for a change in momentum with a new pitcher was short-lived after Point Loma catcher Jake Entrekin took the second pitch yard to score yet another run for the Sea Lions.

The bleeding was halted temporarily with back-to-back-to-back singles by center fielder Brent Cota, catcher Johnny Pappas and left fielder Jack Sanders, helping to lead the Broncos to three runs scored in the bottom of the third inning and giving the team some much-needed life.

The Pomona defense continued its struggles in the third when Entrekin gave up three runs on three straight hits and was forced to switch pitchers mid-inning. CPP pitcher Edrian Rangel came into the game and finished the inning, only allowing one run to finish a four-run inning for the Sea Lions.

The Broncos scored their fourth and final point in the seventh, when Pappas crossed the plate off a single to left field by third baseman Tyler Chaffee bringing the score to 14-4.

Point Loma continued its dominance at the plate by scoring in four runs throughout the sixth and seventh innings, leaving only one man on base in contrast to the Broncos’ three.

Closing pitcher Andrew Campbell deals in the ninth inning. | Teresa Acosta

In an attempt to cool the bats of the Sea Lions, the Broncos’ coaching staff burned through the bullpen. After changing the starter in the third, a new pitcher was brought out every inning except the fifth. By the end of the night, seven Bronco pitchers dealt throughout the match. This had little effect on the ending of the game, as the bats kept on cracking for the entire Point Loma lineup.

Both teams eventually emptied their benches with substitutes due to the massive deficit the Broncos faced. The energy and momentum of the Sea Lions continued with a three-run home run sent out and over the right field wall in the bottom of the seventh.

After the 17-4 loss, the attitude echoed from multiple Broncos’ players was that the focus will now be aimed at conference games.

“We’ve got a bigger goal; we’ve got a conference coming up, a couple more series left,” said Pappas. “This was a non-conference game, so we’ve got to try and put it past us as quick as we can. I think that we’re coming off a great series from Stanislaus on the road, and we just got to roll with that momentum. Learn what we can from this game and then keep rolling in, keep growing as a team, keep getting better.”

With the loss to Point Loma, the Broncos drop to 19-14. CPP will play another non-conference, single-game rematch against Point Loma April 16 before jumping back into conference play with a series against the Cal State LA Golden Eagles from April 19 to April 21.

Feature image courtesy of Teresa Acosta

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