The Coast Union baseball squad was frustrated Friday, April 10, at home, losing Orcutt Academy 7-2.
after wasting several good scoring opportunities against the Los Padres League team. But it wasn’t all bad news for the Broncos and their fans, who witnessed an impressive pitching performance from junior Lane Sutherland.
Sutherland took the mound for his first starting assignment this season. And after giving up five runs in a rough first inning — during which the defense committed three errors behind him — he settled down and pitched effectively through five innings. Hurler Jake McAvoy finished up for the Broncos.
One of the flaws in the Broncos’ game Friday was the number of strikeouts, several on called third strikes. Among those who struck out more than once was senior center fielder Tommy Moreno.
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“Whatever I’m doing, it’s not working out,” Moreno said. “I need to change it right away. It’s probably me — I’m probably thinking too much. I need to stop thinking, which is not easy for me to do.
“I tend to overthink sometimes, and having to not think is going to be a challenge, but I need to do that — I’m not helping the team at all.”
Last season, Moreno hit a healthy .306 with 15 RBI; he came on strong after struggling somewhat at the start of the season.
“I sort of slumped last year but it all came together once the playoffs came around. And I have a feeling it’s going to change pretty soon.
“I’m not worried that this is going to be a season-long thing.”
Another thing the team doesn’t need to worry about is Moreno’s skills in center field. Last year, he made just two errors in 24 games; this season, he has picked up where he left off defensively, getting a great jump on deep flies because he sees the ball coming off the bat very well and instinctively knows which way to turn.
Regarding his teammates’ occasional shaky defense and new players still learning the game, Moreno has confidence in the team.
“We’re young and we’re trying to learn the ropes, and it’s just a process we are going through and eventually it will come together,” he said.
On Tuesday, April 14, the Broncos outscored Shandon 22-3 in five innings. Freshman Will Stephenson went 5 for 5 and drove in four runs; Gehrig Kniffen and McAvoy each went 4 for 6. Freshman Chase Volz struck out six for the win.