News Photo
Justin Broussard was 4-5 with two HR and 7 RBI against SKC (Photo by Liza Rosales)
Baseball - Thu, Apr. 6, 2017

PLACENTIA, CA – Hosting St. Katherine of San Marcos in the second game of a three-game series, Hope International won the contest 17-7.  The Royals' bats found the Firebirds' pitches early and often as they went on to win by double-digits for the third time in 2017.

Dominic Potlongo (SO/Placentia, CA) got the start in a staff game – a game in which outings are shortened intentionally to share the pitching load – and left after three scoreless innings with an 11-0 lead. George Castillo (JR/Lakewood, CA) pitched two scoreless frames to pick up his fifth win of the season and was followed by Dylan Hoffman (SO/Anaheim Hills, CA), D.J. Batuyong, Brandon Conlin (SR/Norco, CA), and Jacob Rucker (FR/Las Vegas, NV) to piece together the final four frames of the win.

The Royals opened the game with the first three runs in the first frame – Cameron Baranek (JR/Orange, CA), Nolan Kraemer (FR/Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), and Devan Schermerhorn (SR/Lakewood, CA) all came across the plate for HIU in the first frame for the early lead as the Royals batted through the order in the inning.

HIU plated four more in the second after Baranek and Kraemer worked for walks before Justin Broussard (SR/Upland, CA) lifted a multi-run shot out of the park in left center. Sean David Clark (SR/Redding, CA) followed with a solo shot to right field for the 7-0 tally.

Will Davis (FR/Anaheim, CA) got things rolling in the third with a double before a wild pitch and a Baranek single plated Davis – another walk for Kraemer put two on base and Lee Mutter (SO/La Mesa, CA) scored Baranek with the second double of the inning. A passed ball plated Kraemer and a hard infield single from Jose Tejeda (SO/Avalon, CA) scored Mutter for the 11-0 lead after three frames.

HIU would go on to score two more apiece in the fourth, fifth, and sixth frames to lead 17-1 after six innings. Davis would plate two of the six, Broussard and Baranek both homered, and Mutter was the sixth Royal to score in that time frame for the 16-run lead. HIU finished the night with 17 hits - six for extra bases - and stranded 11 men in addition to their 17 plated runs, producing 28 runners in all.

SKC was able to get six of the runs back off of HIU relievers late in the game, but the Royals cruised to a double-digit win in eight and a half frames to collect their 22nd overall victory and their third of the season series. HIU is now 3-1 in 2017 in games decided by double-digits with wins against Antelope Valley, SKC, and Shepherd offset by a 1-11 loss to UColo.-Colorado Springs.

Broussard was the man of the night going 4-4 with two home runs, seven RBI, and a walk in his first five plate appearances before striking out in his sixth trip to the plate of the night. Baranek and Broussard combined for a nasty one-two punch with 10 RBI, three home runs, three walks, and three stolen bases in a 7-for-9 night at the plate for the pair.

Coming into the night Broussard had produced 12 RBI and three homers all season – in a single night he nearly doubled both numbers and now has five homers and 19 RBI after just one more game of work. Broussard also played two infield spots for the Royals against SKC, moving from his spot at third to short stop to give other HIU players time on the diamond.

"They [Baranek and Broussard] have worked really hard with Coach Larry Mahoney on their approach and it was awesome to see Broussard do that … It speaks to the volume of hours they put in with [Mahoney]," Head Coach Erich Pfohl said of the impressive numbers at the plate. "Hopefully we can come out aggressive with the bats again and get strikes from our pitchers and more good defense."

The Royals improve to 22-10 overall, eclipsing their 2016 win total by one, and will finish the season series against SKC on Friday at 11:00 am at Valencia HS. Live coverage will be available on our website.