An up-and-down season for the Coast Union baseball team is all but over.
Broncos senior Magnus Marthaler pitched four effective innings against Maricopa on Friday, April 5, to lock up a 17-2 home victory, putting them at 2-3 in the Coast Valley League coming into the week.
That put Coast in third place in the four-team league, baring the result from Tuesday’s game against second-place Valley Christian Academy (late for publication). The team will fall short of winning the CVL title for the first time since 2012.
Coast will wrap up its regular-season schedule at 4 p.m. Friday at home against non-league opponent Greenfield.
Marthaler foiled Maricopa with sharp control and off-speed breaking balls.
Maricopa (0-5 in the CVL), among the smaller schools in the league with under 70 students, traveled more than two hours from their Kern County home and brought just 10 players.
Bronco junior Spencer Magnuson backed Marthaler’s mound work with three singles plus a booming blast deep into left field that he legged out for a triple.
Sophomore Zack Stephenson collected a pair of doubles and two singles (including his second-inning bunt that started out foul but veered fair). Freshman Emi Pena chipped in with a pair of singles; freshman Angel Reyes and senior Cameron Castle also singled for the Broncos.
Coast head coach Brian Machado was asked if the disappointing season was due to the Coast Valley League being stronger, or due to a dearth of talent and a lack of experience.
Machado said inexperience and a lack of strong pitching hurt and said the program took a serious talent hit when four quality players (Santa Lucia Middle School graduates) recently opted to attend Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo rather than Coast Union.
Coast Union softball eyes playoffs
The Coast Union High School softball team got a taste of extreme ends of the win-loss spectrum over its past three games.
The Broncos beat Maricopa 20-3 on Friday, April 5, and Coastal Christian 20-4 on Monday, April 8, in Coast Valley League play. But in between those routs, Coast was shut out 18-0 by Caruthers in a non-league game.
For Coast head coach Steve Kniffen and his team, the blanking by Caruthers was reminiscent of the first eight games played prior to the start of league play. Playing larger schools with more advanced sports program like Morro Bay, King City, Nipomo, Orcutt Academy and Greenfield, Coast lost by a combined score of 142-18.
The Broncos are 6-0 in league play but just 7-9 overall.
Still, Coast is poised to win its 10th straight CVL title with two games remaining heading into this week: at Valley Christian Academy on Tuesday (late for publication) and at Shandon at 3:30 p.m. April 16. The Broncos play host to Greenfield in a non-league game at 4 p.m. Friday.
Boy’s volleyball improve during season
The steep learning curve continues for the boy’s volleyball team.
Coming into this week, the boys are 1-14 (1-5 in the CVL). While the overall won-loss record reflects the ongoing struggles for the fledgling team, looking more closely at scores during volleyball matches shows that the boys are battling hard in each game.
For example, on March 26 Coast lost a home match to San Luis Obispo Classical Academy, 3-0. But in the second game the Broncos were only outscored by just two points, 23- 25.
They trailed off in the third game of the match (12-25) but showed mettle nonetheless. In their match at Dunn School on April 2, again Coast made the second game of the match interesting — losing only by 22-25. They went down 19-25 in the third game of that match. A
nd against Mission Prep on April 4, the Broncos came very close to winning the third game of the match – and forcing the match to continue. Coast lost that third game, 25-27.
The next and last home match for Coast Union is against Nipomo at 5 p.m. Thursday.