By Ray Conner
The varsity Broncs baseball team took two-of-three games in the High Desert League to finish at 6-4.
Kern Valley won five-of -their last six games to break even overall at 10-10.
Their latest victories came over Desert and Cal City. Their loss came to Rosamond who won the league title.
On May 2 at home versus Desert, the Broncs took control early and never looked back. After the Scorpions posted a two-run first inning, the Broncs bounced back to score nine runs to take the commanding 9-2 lead. After that the outcome of the game was never in jeopardy.
In the nine-run first inning, Kern Valley sent 13 batters to the plate. They collected five hits, took advantage of multiple fielding errors by Desert. The Scorpions pitcher struggled out of the gate as he was charged with three balks in the inning. He would have four in the game. He would also issue four base-on-balls that helped the Broncs to the big inning.
Kern Valley added two runs in the third, three in the fourth and closed out the game in the fifth with a run to create the final of 15-5.
The Broncs banged out 15 hits, all singles, in getting the victory. Eight-of-the-10 batters that took a place in the batter’s box had at least one hit in the game.
Kern Valley hitting: Joe Brassell 4, Zach Bushling 3, Nick Thomas 2, Damon Sage 2, Cody Sandoval 1, Stephen D’ Amico 1, Donald Beaton 1, Adam Virto 1.
RBIs: Bushling 3, Brassell 3, Sandoval 2, Tanner Tito 1, Thomas 1, D’ Amico 1.
Broncs pitching: Brassell (W) 5-3, 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Sage 1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Head coach Mike Genthner said, “After a shaky top of the first when we committed two errors leading to two unearned runs, we were able to score nine in the first and were never challenged from there. We did a good job of staying on top of the ball and pressuring Desert defensively. Brassell had his first four-hit game and the top three in our lineup drove in eight runs.”
The following week, the Broncs were at home against Rosamond to take on the Roadrunners. This would be a different outcome as Rosamond broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh and went on to win the game 8-4.
With the score knotted at four, Rosamond sent nine players to the plate in the seventh. They collected four hits, a walk and a hit batter.
Kern Valley took the early lead as they pushed a run home in the first. They made it 3-0 with a pair of runs in the third, and made it 4-2 at the end of five. Rosamond scored twice in the sixth and the four in the seventh to take the game.
Kern Valley hitting: Bushling 2, Sandoval 1 (2B), Sage 1, Brassell 1, Thomas 1.
RBIs: Sage 1, Brassell 1, Tito 1.
Broncs pitching: Brassell 4 IP 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
Sage (L) 0-4, 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Bushling 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Genthner said, “We played pretty well, we just couldn’t shut them down in the last two innings. We were able to get together some hits with aggressive base running early, it just wasn’t enough.”
The Broncs finished out the regular and league season at home against Cal City. It would be a productive day as Kern Valley won 10-1.
The Ravens scored their lone run in the first. Kern Valley scored twice to jump into the lead for good in the third.
The Broncs pitching put the clamps on the Ravens as they shut them down the rest of the way.
Kern Valley added to their 2-1 lead in the fourth as they scored three times. The bottom of the order set the table and the guys at the top drove in the runs. In the fifth another five runs crossed the plate and put the game out of reach. The first eight reached base safely with a fielder’s choice thrown in. Five different Broncs were credited with an RBI in the inning.
Kern Valley hitting: Sandoval 2 (2B), Thomas 2, Bushling 1 (2B), Brassell 1, Tito 1, Jacob McCullough 1, D’ Amico 1, Beaton 1.
RBIs: Bushling 3, Beaton 2, Sage 1, Brassell 1, McCullough 1, D’ Amico 1.
Broncs pitching: Bushlin (W) 4-0, 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K.
Brassell (S 2), 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1K.
Genther said, “Our defense and base running were poor in the first two innings. After that we played much better. Eight different starters had hits and Bushling had little trouble with their hitters, in collecting his fourth win of the season. Now it’s time to get ready for the playoffs.”