Kern Valley comes up just short of championship

By Ray Conner
Sports Editor

With a chance to play some games, the jayvee Broncs baseball squad made the most of it.

Kern Valley, with a limited number of games this season for varying reasons, made the trip to Bakersfield to compete in the West High Tournament.

With three straight wins the Broncs were close to being the champs in impressive fashion. The offense produced a lot of runs, and in the third game, two Broncs combined to toss a no-hitter. For the tournament, Kern Valley scored 38 runs over the three games that were played. The pitching staff limited their opponents to just six runs on the day. Unfortunately, Liberty also won three games, but allowed just four runs so they slipped past Kern Valley for the championship title.

With the two wins in their pocket, Kern Valley faced Highland for a chance to be the champions. The Broncs once again put the bat to the ball and came away with the 15-3 victory.

As a team Kern Valley collected 12 hits, with two for extra bases. Once more all nine players had at least one hit and eight of the nine at least one RBI.

Highland took the early lead as they put up one run in the first. Kern Valley responded with five to take the 5-1 lead. Scott Overholt and Nathan Montgomery each delivered doubles that drove in a pair of runs to get the Broncs in the lead.

Highland scored one more run in the second, but the Broncs answered with one of their own. Highland made it 6-3 in the top of the third to close the gap. It was short lived, as the Broncs scored three times to push the margin to 9-3. They finished off the championship game with six runs in the fourth to be crowned tournament champs.

Kern Valley hitting: Montgomery, 2 (2B); Kamden Lubin, 2; Carlos Martinez, 2; Overholt, 1 (2B); Max Armes, 1; Jaison Scruggs, 1; Dalton Epps, 1; Austin Salem, 1; Jacob Milleson, 1.

RBIs: Montgomery, 4; Lubin, 3; Scruggs, 2; Armes, 1; Martinez, 1; Salem, 1; Milleson, 1.

Kern Valley pitching: Scruggs, (W), 2 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K; Lubin, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

With plenty of rest for the pitching staff, the Broncs opened with a game against Shafter. From the start, it was all Broncs as they took down game one 12-2 in four innings of play. Kern Valley began the rout with a four run first inning. They would add three more in the second and four in the third to open the huge cushion. They would finish off with a run in the fourth to close out the game.

In their opening at bats, the Broncs sent seven batters to the plate. The first three reached on base hits and scored a pair of runs. The big hit came off the bat of Scruggs, who tripled in the two runs.

Epps singled in the other two runs to give Kern Valley the four-run margin.

Kern Valley hits: Scruggs, 2, (3B); Lubin, 2; Epps, 2; Salem, 2; Armes, 2; Martinez, 1, (2B).

RBIs: Scruggs, 5; Epps, 2; Salem, 2; Armes, 1; Martinez 1.

Broncs pitching: Jacob Milleson, (W), 3 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; Martinez, 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB.

Game two pitted the Broncs versus Golden Valley. Another 10-run victory moved the Broncs to the championship game.

After giving up one run in the top of the first inning, Kern Valley answered with three of their own. Three consecutive two-out singles produced the three runs. Martinez, Overholt and Epps delivered run-scoring singles in the inning.

The Broncs would go on to score two more in the third and then erupted for six runs in the fourth to claim the victory. All nine Broncs that took a turn at the plate collected at least one hit in the game. Seven of the nine batters had at least one RBI.

Broncs hitting: Martinez, 3 (3B); Scruggs, 2 (3B, 2B); Armes, 2; Epps, 2; Milleson, 1 (2B); Lubin, 1; Overholt, 1; Montgomery, 1; Salem 1.

RBIs: Martinez, 3; Lubin, 2; Epps, 2; Armes, 1; Scruggs, 1; Overholt, 1; Salem 1.

Kern Valley pitching: Martinez, (W), 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.

The next scheduled opponent for the Broncs will be on the road against the Rosamond Roadrunners, and the game will be played on April 23.