The CSA Bronco (boys 11-12) fans were treated to an outstanding series of games in this year’s playoffs. All games were held at Montrose Park over 10 days in a double elimination format.
On Thursday, May 9, Landry’s defeated LRM without using their ace Hayden Burns to begin the playoffs. The game was called after five innings due to a heavy downpour and ensuing electrical storm.
The following night was a thriller between Togo’s and Kiwanis. The teams went back and forth with Kiwanis finally prevailing in the last inning, 12-11 on a 270-foot walk off a triple from Eli Webber.
On Saturday, the second round began in the winners’ bracket as Kiwanis fell 4-7 to Kana Pipeline, the second seed. The Landry’s win on Thursday put them up against the No. 1 seeded Liberty Building Maintenance. In a pitcher’s dual between Landry’s’ Hayden Burns and Liberty’s Matt Odom (nine and 12 Ks respectively), the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. With runners at second and third, it was Jake Jilizian who came up big with a walk off single in dramatic fashion to win the game. Kiwanis and Landry’s were relegated to the losers’ bracket set for Monday night. Kana and Liberty would move on to face each other on Tuesday as the only two teams left in the winner’s bracket.
On Monday night, Landry’s bats came alive as they eliminated Togo’s 16-8. It was a tough loss for Togo’s who were plagued by injuries all year long, but regardless were a much improved team.
In the second game of the night, Kiwanis beat LRM to set up a match on Wednesday against Landry’s. LRM had a strong season with many of their wins coming early on, but struggled to find their groove at the end of the season.
Tuesday night was the battle of what many considered to be the two favorites, Liberty and Kana. These teams entered the playoffs as the top two, so it was no surprise to see them in the winner’s bracket. Despite the build up, Liberty swept Kana for 10-2 win. The victory put them into the championship game and dropped Kana to the losers’ bracket.
The next two games were tough going for all of the teams because pitching restrictions started to take their toll on the teams in the loser’s bracket. On Wednesday, Kiwanis held on to outlast Landry’s 12-8. Landry’s was eliminated, but only after making a good go of it in the playoffs with a team of strong veterans and several younger, but very talented, players.
On Thursday, Kiwanis looked good against Kana in the battle to get to the championship. But with strict pitching limitations and a powerful Kana offense, Kiwanis went down 6-4 moving Kana on to the championship. Kiwanis was another team that grew in strength as the season went on. They ended up as one of the top hitting teams and also had a fine pitching staff.
On Saturday, Bronco commissioner Scott McCreary got the championship contest underway after a moving trumpet solo of the national anthem performed by CVHS student Justin Abril.
Kana would need to win on Saturday to force a final game on Monday. The team started by scoring one run in the first inning against Matt Odom, but runs off Matt proved to be difficult as he only allowed two over five innings. The Liberty offense showed their muscle as they built up a 4-2 lead after five innings against a tough Trent Lousararian on the mound. Liberty’s Solomon Kim came in for the final two innings and closed out the game with three strikeouts in the seventh to end the game 6-3. The win left Liberty undefeated in the playoffs and they were crowned this year’s Bronco champions.
Although Kana lost, they proved to be a solid team all year with strong pitching, fielding and batting and had a legitimate shot at winning the title.