By Ray Conner
The varsity Broncs baseball squad collected a High Desert League win over Cal City to keep pace in the HDL standings.
The Ravens of Cal City took the early lead as they scored once in the first inning. They added another run in the top of the fourth to make it 2-0.
After being shut down for the first three innings, the Broncs were able to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. With one out Nick Thomas singled and was moved to second on a wild pitch.
Ryan Walker stepped in and singled home the run to cut the deficit in half. Walker would swipe second to get into scoring position. Kenny Porter delivered a run-scoring double to even the score at 2-2. He was erased as a caught stealing to make it two outs. It would prove costly as the next two batters singled and a walk loaded the bases. A strike out ended the threat, but the game was knotted at two runs apiece.
Kern Valley took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth as they sent nine batters to the plate to score five runs and put the game in their control. Once again the rally started with one out. The next five Broncs reached base safely with two runs being knocked in. Another out was recorded by the Ravens, but a two out hit by Kieran McCarthy plated another two runs to give the Broncs some insurance runs. They went to the top of the sixth with a 7-2 cushion. Kern Valley would finish off the scoring with a pair of runs in the sixth.
On the hill, Sage (3-1) was the winner as he tossed a complete game. He went the seven innings allowing the two unearned runs. He scattered four hits and did not walk a batter. He struck out 12 and reached a milestone by recording his 100th strikeout of his career.
On the offensive side, the Broncs were led by Spenser Hansen with three hits, including a double and three RBIs. Sage delivered three hits, including a triple, while Walker had a pair of hits and one RBI. Porter and McCarthy each had one hit and two RBIs, while Thomas had one hit in the game.
Head coach Mike Genthner said, “We didn’t play well defensively, but we hit the ball well over the last three innings. Sage threw extremely well. Our first seven hitters all collected hits and Sage pounded the strike zone, walked no one and never had a three-ball count.”
The second game of the week did not go as well. Kern Valley traveled to Bishop to take on the Broncos.
The Broncs fell behind early and never posted a threat to their rival. Bishop scored five runs in the bottom of the first en route to an 11-1 win. They made it 9-0 with four runs in the third. They added two more in the fifth to end the game in five innings. Bishop was able to take advantage of shoddy fielding by Kern Valley who was charged with seven errors in the contest.
Kern Valley’s lone run came in the third inning. With one out, Porter singled and went to second on a wild pitch. One out later, he came around to score when Hansen reached on an error.
The Broncs managed just four hits in the game. Thomas, Porter, McCarthy, and Vincent Pearman had one hit apiece.
Strange (2-2) was the starter and lasted just two and two thirds innings. He allowed eight runs, six earned, on five hits. He walked two and struck out three. Hansen finished up by going two innings. He gave up four hits and three runs. Only two runs were earned. He walked two and struck out three batters.
Genthner said, “We didn’t do much of anything successfully. We chased a lot of pitches out of the strike zone and played defense like it was our first game of the season. It was a shame to be tied for first and then have a performance like that. We finished the first half of league 4-2, one game behind Boron and Rosamond. If we’re going to contend for the league title, we can’t have any more outings like that.”
Kern Valley will have to wait until Friday before starting the second go around of league. They will entertain Boron, who they are chasing in the standings.