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The Broncos started their early season tournament in Mesquite with a win over the University of Colorado-Denver. Carson Wooten kept the Pioneers off balance with a strong outing from the mound with 5 strikeouts in 3 innings of work. Aaron Rodabaugh followed, and closed the game with 6 strikeouts in 4 innings. The offense was lead by left fielder Cade Labbe who went 3-3 and had 2 RBI`s, a walk and scored 2 runs. Brian Begerow piled on with a 2-4 performance, 2 RBI`s, a walk and two runs. 5 different Broncos battered Colorado with 8 hits in the 9-6 win for the Broncos.
5 Broncos make the NCBA Northern Pacific All-Region Team (please see attachment). First team honors went to Mark McElroy as a pitcher. He also led our conference in wins (7) and strikeouts (52). Blake Scherer was honored at the shortstop position with a season batting average of .377 from the leadoff position. Mike McNeight (Outfield), Carson Wooten (Pitcher) and Kyler Knierniem (Pitcher) were selected to the 3rd Team All Region. Mike had a season batting average of .364 playing through injury at the end of the season. Carson was 3rd in the conference with 4 wins for the Broncos this season. Kyler had 3 wins, plus several close the game situations this year. He also was 5th in the conference with 31 strikeouts. Other honored Broncos included Cooper Thomas with the 5th highest conference batting average of .450 from the DH position. Both Mark McElroy and Alex Jangard were honored twice this last season as the player of the week. Congratulation to all the Bronco players from this past successful season, as without the TEAM efforts these mentioned players would not have been noticed.
The Broncos turned in a gritty performance this weekend in Moscow, Idaho taking a tough win from Eastern Washington in a 3-2 game that went into extra innings. Mark McElroy pitched a strong complete game again. His 7 wins this year leads the conference and a possible place on the all conference team. John Albi started the 9th inning with a double, advanced on a pass ball and was knocked in by Cooper Thomas. Game 2 of the evening against the Idaho Vandals was a team effort as Cooper, Grant, Gary and Mark each had 2 hits in the 7-4 victory. Kyler Knieriem had 9 strikeouts to keep the Vandals off balance in a complete game win. Game 3 for the weekend on Sunday morning was a blowout for the Broncos. Carson Wooten had plenty of run support in his complete game win. The Broncos sent 55 guys to the plate, scoring 20 runs on 19 hits. Trever Freese was the standout at the plate as he went 5-5 and a walk. 5 other Broncos had a multiple hit game. I think the Vandals were just trying to wear us out by running the bases, and boy did we pour it on in the 20-3 win.
Game 4 (32 innings) in less than 24 hours was just to much for our battle ridden, injured group of 11 guys. The Vandals squeak out a 5-4 victory. Great season Broncos! Special thanks to the Coaches – Dave, Ben and Clay. And to Vick for keeping score.
Broncos put out a gutsy performance this weekend in Missoula, Montana but came up a bit short in the series. Game one was tight with Mark McElroy pitching a solid game, but the Broncos just couldn`t get the offense going against a good Montana pitching staff, resulting in a 7-2 loss. The second game was just the opposite as the Broncos exploded for 15 runs and ended the game in the 5th. Carson Wooten keep the Montana hitters frustrated and this resulted in a 15-5 win, the only loss the Griz would have in conference play. The Broncos were paced by Blake Scherer and Cooper Thomas at the plate. Blake hit .500 for the weekend with a .691 on base percentage. Cooper was 5-9 or a .555 batting average, with 4 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. The Broncos just couldn`t get that key hit on Sunday, stranding 15 runners in 8 innings in the 13-3 loss.
Game one was shorten to 5 innings due to the 10 run mercy rule after the 5th, final score 12-1. Mark McElroy was dominating on the mound, he never let Montana State get going. Mark fanned 8 of the 20 batters he faced and only allowed 3 hits in the game. Trevor Freese was a beast at the plate with 2 triples and 3 RBI`s. Grant Labbe also had 3 RBI`s on 2 hits in the game. Game 2 was much the same as Carson Wooten kept the Bobcats off balance at the plate spreading out 6 hits over the course of the game. Carson only needed 52 pitches to get through the 5th inning and another 11-0 victory for the Bronco`s. Cooper Thomas had 2 hits to lead the offensive attack as 8 different Broncos scored. Game 3 was an explosion of runs as the Broncos pounded out 15 hits and scored 17 runs in the shortened game. Trevor Freese and Blake Scherer each had 3 hits and Mike McNeight slammed the door shut with a huge homerun. Kyler Knieriem pitched the last game keeping the Bobcats from scoring several times with great location on his pitches never letting them get ahold of anything solid.