On a picture-perfect day on the Coast Union High School baseball diamond Tuesday, Feb. 26, fans witnessed a pitcher-perfect effort by visiting archrival Mission Prep culminating in a 10-0 whitewash of the Broncos.
On most spring days during baseball season fans are buffeted by brutally cold winds howling off the ocean, dust is swirling around the infield and home plate. But on Tuesday it was gorgeous, hardly a ripple of a breeze.
But the good weather didn’t help Coast Union; they got no hits, the team struck out a dozen times, and they looked like they haven’t had much practice so far this season — which they haven’t.
The game was called after five innings due to the “mercy rule” — if a team is ahead by 10 runs the game only goes five innings.
One by one, Bronco batters went to the plate, whiffed at pitches, and went back to the dugout. In fairness, head coach Brian Machado pointed out that there has only been one practice during which all the players were present.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Some of the players were on the basketball team and got a late start practicing baseball. And last week several varsity players missed two practices because they went on a two-day “college tour” to check out possible places to launch their educational careers. Hence, the rough play on defense and the ineptitude at the plate.
The last time Coast Union defeated the Mission Prep Royals was in 2006 when they were led by the wonderfully talented duo of Jeb Heavenrich and Kiernan Hopkins, both of whom knocked the cover off the ball (Heavenrich hit .438, Hopkins hit .342), and both of whom pitched brilliantly (Heavenrich was 6-2 with a 1.56 ERA; Hopkins was 5-4 with a 1.41 ERA). Coast Union defeated Mission Prep twice that year.
The Broncos also beat the Royals twice in 2005, again led by the pitching and hitting by Heavenrich and Hopkins — with some punch at the plate by Clay Leslie and Alden Moore.
The 2013 Broncos take the field at home again today, Feb. 28, against St. Joseph High School. It’s a 3:30 game and will be broadcast on KTEA-FM (103.5).