Baseball travels to Hawaii over Spring Break, splits series
THE SANTA CLARA
March 31, 2016
The Broncos baseball team split a four game series against the University of Hawaii as they took advantage of their spring break by traveling to the tropical oasis for their final non-conference matchup of the season.
Thursday night, Santa Clara won the opener of the series 3-1. Travis Howard made his starting debut and delivered a quality start for the Broncos. Howard pitched 6.2 innings, surrendered one earned run, struck out seven Warriors, and locked up his second win of the season.
Kyle Cortopassi lead the Broncos with three hits, including a triple. Cortopassi scored in the first inning, following his leadoff triple. Tyler Meditz drove Cortopassi home with a single through the left side of the infield. The Warriors added one run in the bottom of the fifth. The Broncos retook the lead in the seventh with a Grant Meylan single scoring Meditz. The Broncos added a second insurance run in the seventh. After Kert Woods struck out, Meylan was caught in a rundown between first and second, buying enough time for Joe Becht to steal home, for a 3-1 final.
The Broncos ace, Mitchell White, got roughed up Friday night leading to a Broncos 8-1 loss. White, who has been off to a stellar start to the season, pitched five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, along with five strikeouts. Hawaii’s offense tallied 14 hits. Meylen had two hits and scored the Broncos sole run in the top of the sixth inning.
Saturday night the Warriors came back against the Broncos, who lead for most of the game. Both starting pitchers pitched quite effectively. Broncos center fielder Kert Woods surrendered two costly errors in the 3-2 loss. Broncos starter Steven Wilson pitched 6.2 innings, giving up one earned run, while striking out four. Warriors starter Alex Hatch pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two earned runs to go along with four strikeouts.
The Broncos took an early lead in the top of the second inning. Jake Brodt worked a 2-2 count and took Hatch’s offering over the fence in left field, his second homerun of the season. Brodt and Meditz lead the Broncos with two hits apiece. At the top of the third inning, Meditz had a 1-0 triple to right center field. Meylan worked a 2-0 count and grounded out to short, scoring Meditz, making the game 2-0. The Warriors scored their first run in the sixth inning after a flyout and a throwing error by Woods, making it 2-1.
Broncos closer Max Kuhns entered the game in the eighth for the Broncos, with a 2-1 lead. Kuhns pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning but surrendered a leadoff hit in the ninth. Kuhns then induced a fielder’s choice and a foul out. Kuhns hit the next batter, bringing up Alan Baldwin to the plate with runners on first and second. Baldwin worked a 2-2 count before singling to right center field, scoring one run, before Woods’ fielding error in the next at bat allowed the second run to score. Hawaii walked off with a 3-2 win, and handed Kuhns his third loss of the season.
Despite Sunday’s game following a similar script to Saturday’s, the Broncos were able to hold on to an early lead. Broncos’ starter Jason Seever pitched 6.1 innings, allowed two earned runs, en route to his third win of the season.
The Broncos struck first with a second inning run before Warriors’ starter Martin unraveled in the third. Martin walked Kyle Cortopassi then allowed Meditz to reach on his own throwing error. With runners on first and third, Martin hit TC Florentine on the first pitch to load the bases. The Warriors turned to the bullpen and Lawrence Chew, but his command was equally as shaky. Chew walked Stevie Berman on a full count, to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead. Chew induced a flyout to centerfield by Brodt, which brought home Meditz for a 3-0 lead. The next batter, Woods, also worked a full count before singling to right field, scoring Florentine 4-0. Next up, Budnick watched a full count before flying out to left center, deep enough to score Berman to gave the Broncos a big 5-0 lead.
The Warriors added a run of their own in the bottom of the third. A Jacob Sheldon-Collins fly out scored Kekai Rios, who had reached on a leadoff single, 5-1. The Warriors picked up a second run in the seventh. Seever walked Marcus Doi on a full count to lead off the seventh inning. Rios doubled to left center to score Doi. The Warriors second run of the game signaled the end of Seever’s start. Seever left the game with the Broncos ahead 5-2.
The score remained the same at the bottom of the ninth, with the Broncos three outs away from clinching a series split. The Broncos turned to their closer Kuhns who allowed two runs before closing the game out. Kuhns recorded his seventh save of the season, a 5-4 Broncos win, and a crucial series split.
Catcher Stevie Berman came away impressed with his team’s efforts. “We’re starting to find our identity as a team and as a pitching staff, that coming together is really promising coming into conference,” Berman said.
The Broncos play a three game series against Saint Mary’s College beginning on Friday. The Gaels’ Friday night starter Corbin Burnes’ first six starts have been dominant, posting a 4-0 record and a 1.74 ERA. Friday’s first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.
“Saint Mary’s is a great team, but so are we, so it’s going to be a great battle starting Friday,” Berman said.
Contact Brent Hanower at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.