The Cambrian

Baseball: Eagles top Broncos, 5-3, in blustery opener

Coast Union’s Clinton Almekinder readies to pitch Tuesday, March 9, as an Arroyo Grande player edges off first base, guarded by Stuart Mahoney. Bronco games are broadcast live on KTEA-FM.
Coast Union’s Clinton Almekinder readies to pitch Tuesday, March 9, as an Arroyo Grande player edges off first base, guarded by Stuart Mahoney. Bronco games are broadcast live on KTEA-FM. PHOTO BY MERLE BASSETT

The Templeton Eagles beat the Broncos 5-3 Tuesday afternoon in the opening game of the season at Coast Union, but that was only part of the story.

The howling, brutally cold wind roared in from center field throughout the game, viciously snapping the American flag, freezing the huddled fans to the bone and blowing easy fly balls out of the reach of frustrated players.

Any ball hit high in the air was an adventure. Some infield pop-ups that under normal conditions would have been easy outs were tossed away from hustling players like ping-pong balls in a hurricane.

Meanwhile thanks to some wobbly infield play by the host Broncos — and too many walks and hit batsmen — the Eagles took a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning. Coast Union came back with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie it up.

But the Eagles came back with two in the sixth and the home team couldn’t get it going against the strong pitching of Templeton in the late innings.

On the subject of pitching, coach Brian Machado used Clinton Almekinder for four respectable innings and Jake Machado pitched the final three.

After Machado took the mound, Almekinder moved to shortstop and made a dazzling, diving catch in the fifth inning to snuff out a rally. Earlier in the game catcher Matt Sanford turned in a brilliant play of his own, lunging and diving to his left to snag an errant bunt attempt.

Thursday afternoon the Broncos play in Morro Bay, a 3:30 game that will be broadcast live on KTEA-FM 103.5; it will stream live on www.ktea-fm.com.On Saturday the Broncos return home for an 11:00 a.m. tilt against Kings Christian; that game will also be heard on KTEA.

— John FitzRandolph special to The Cambrian

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