Coast Union baseball coach Brian Machado has gone through some challenging seasons over the nine years he has served as head mentor, but this year’s team was up to the challenge, coming off a long layoff to defeat Valley Christian Academy 5-3 on Tuesday, April 25, and take first place in the Coast Valley League.
Chase Volz threw 94 pitches, struck out seven and walked two in a four-hitter to lead the Broncos.
Over the years, Machado has had preseason schedules blown apart by rainouts, player absences and other interruptions. But this year has to be at or near the top of the list when it comes to forgettable, regrettable seasons.
Coming into this week, the baseball team had not played a game since April 6, a lopsided win (13-3) over Maricopa High School at Coast Union. And last week was spring break, which meant only a handful of baseball players were available to practice.
“A couple guys showed up,” Machado said in a phone interview.
Asked what shape his team will be in when they finally play a baseball game, the coach reached out for a bit of humor: “They should be well rested.”
On a more serious note, Machado said the season “started off good, but a couple teams canceled” and it cost the Broncos four games in the Coast Valley League (they are scheduled to play each CVL team twice).
Coastal Christian did not have enough players to make a team, and Cuyama Valley’s team backed out because players’ academic ineligibility left too few to make a team.
Machado expected the “timing to be a little off” when his players stepped up to the plate Tuesday at Valley Christian Academy (VCA) in the southern part of Santa Maria. Coast Union and VCA came into the game tied at the top of the CVL standings with 2-0 records.
Volz and Riley Kennedy each had a pair of hits and each drove in a run. Emany Plasencia, Will Stephenson and Jack MacKinnon all had hits and drove in runs.
The Broncos scored three runs in the first inning to set the tone. In a phone interview, Machado said, “For not having played for a long time, we played pretty good. We threw a couple balls away, but other than that we were good.”
The next home game for Coast Union is a nonleague tilt against Dunn School at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 3. That game will be broadcast on KTEA-FM, 103.5.
The long layoff continues for the Coast Union softball team this week. The Lady Broncos haven’t played a game since April 6 (a victory against Maricopa), albeit the varsity took on the players’ parents in a nonleague exhibition event April 11.
For reasons that are linked to their next opponent, Valley Christian Academy, the game that was scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 has been moved to Monday, May 1, at VCA.
The VCA game is an important one for Coast Union because both teams are 3-0, tied for first in the Coast Valley League.
The next home game for the softball squad is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, against Cuyama Valley. Given this uneven year for scheduling at Coast Union, that May 5 game may be subject to change. The exact date for that game will be published next week.