Cambrian: Sports

Positions shifting, wins keep coming for Coast Union on diamond

Sophomore second baseman Auggie Johnson makes a putout on an attempted steal in Coast Union's win over Cuyama Valley on Friday, April 21.
Sophomore second baseman Auggie Johnson makes a putout on an attempted steal in Coast Union's win over Cuyama Valley on Friday, April 21. Special to The Cambrian

In the past two seasons, the Coast Union baseball team has been undefeated in the Coast Valley League. The Broncos went 10-0 in 2013 and 10-0 in 2014. 

After Tuesday’s game (April 21), the Broncos were 5-0 in CVL play, having outscored opponents 75-7. 

Hence, every indication is that the Broncos have an excellent chance to repeat as the dominant team in the league.

Fourteen of those 60 runs were scored against Cuyama Valley on Friday, April 17, at Coast Union. Senior Jake McAvoy struck out six batters and walked just one in his five innings of work. At the plate, he was 2 for 4 with three runs driven in.

Junior Lane Sutherland also knocked in three runs and went 2 for 4, and senior Binh Trieu drove in a pair of runs and got two hits for the Broncos.

Given that the Broncos’ opponent Tuesday, April 21, was North County Christian — the Crusaders are winless thus far in CVL play — coach Brian Machado started his reserve players who haven’t had opportunities to get into games. 

The Broncos shut out the Crusaders 15-0; Zander Stoothoff was 4 for 4 with two doubles, and freshman hurler Chase Volz struck out nine batters and knocked in a pair of runs.

“North County Christian has struggled to come up with enough players to make a team … so we’re giving everybody a chance to get in there,” Machado said.

Machado has a talented first string, but he let them “sit for awhile” Tuesday and so the younger, less experienced players get some playing time. 

“Here’s your chance to play,” he told his bench players. “You’ve been watching from the bench, so here’s your chance to get out there and do what the starters do.” 

When he does have his first string out on the field, Machado is moving Lane Sutherland from catcher to the infield — usually at shortstop. Sutherland, an outstanding athlete, is normally usually behind the plate, but Machado is putting another outstanding player, Gehrig Kniffen, at the catcher position.

“We’re keeping Gehrig back there,” Machado explained. “He’s good; he’s a better catcher than a shortstop, and we’ll flip-flop Jake and Lane at shortstop. And when Chase Volz is pitching, having Jake at third and Lane at short — that’s our strongest infield.”

The coach is pleased at the progress of senior outfielder Trieu, who hasn’t played baseball until this year at Coast Union. 

Trieu’s bunting skills are improving, the coach mentioned, which is important because he is the fastest player on the team, and if he can just get on base, he’s a threat to steal and to score.