Brandon allows one hit against Northridge Grizzlies, as Windsor Wizards win ninth straight baseball game
May 4, 2014
» Best individual performance: Windsor junior pitcher Cole Brandon tossed a complete-game gem, allowing just one hit, striking out nine and walking one.
» Turning point: After a scoreless first inning, the Wizards scored four runs on five hits in the bottom of the second; more than enough run support for Brandon.
» What it means: Windsor (13-0 Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference, 17-1 overall) wins its ninth straight game and continues to build momentum for a possible state title run. Northridge (6-7, 8-10) saw its fading hopes of qualifying for the postseason officially extinguished.
Windsor junior Cole Brandon kept Northridge guessing.
Meanwhile, the Wizards seemingly had all the answers.
Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference champion Windsor dominated in every facet during a 7-0 conference baseball win against Northridge on Thursday at Mo Kvamme Field.
Brandon went the distance on the mound for the Wizards (13-0 Tri-Valley, 17-1 overall), allowing the Grizzlies (6-7, 8-10) just one hit, striking out nine, walking two and hitting two.
"I had all three pitches today (a fastball, changeup and curveball) and just stayed effective," Brandon said. "And, you get out with the defense. That really helps. … We did a really good job today on defense."
The loss ended any hopes the Grizzlies had of qualifying for the postseason.
Meanwhile, Windsor has won nine games in a row heading into its regular season finale — a rematch against Northridge at noon Saturday in Greeley.
The Wizards won Thursday's game using the exact same formula that has led them to nearly 20 wins this season.
They complemented the lights-out pitching of Brandon with error-free defense and persistent, opportunistic offense.
"I thought the kids did a good job," Windsor coach Brad Deal said. "Cole was tough as always, our defense did a nice job and we scored at least a run for every inning — we got our goal of seven runs."
After a scoreless first inning, the Wizards positioned themselves for the win with five straight singles to take a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Senior designated hitter Trevor Knott kick-started the offensive barrage with a two-RBI single into left field to score Patrick Fischer and Garrett Graff, putting Windsor up 2-0 with just one out.
The Wizards tacked on two more runs as Brandon Deering blooped a RBI single and Stephen Wheeler scored on a throwing error.
"It built a little bit of momentum; we knew we could hit that kid (Grizzlies starter John Wieting)," Knott said. "We just got a little spark going and went from there."
Meanwhile, Northridge could never mount any kind of a rally.
Windsor put its defensive prowess on display when junior Timmy Pribble made a highlight-reel running catch deep in center field on a hard-hit Jay Frye flyball that initially appeared to be over Pribble's head.
"There is a reason (the Wizards) are winning the conference," Grizzlies coach Mike Huston said. "They're the best team in our conference, and they showed it. The kid (Brandon) obviously pitched a good game. And, we're a below-.500 team and there's a reason."
Windsor is ranked first in the latest Associated Press 4A poll and is third in CHSAANow.com's Wild Card standings.
While Northridge will be playing strictly for pride in its season finale, the Wizards enter Saturday's game determined to extend their win streak and build momentum for a postseason run they hope yields the program's first state championship.
"It's a very big game," Brandon said. "We can't let down. Northridge is going to not give us anything on Saturday. They're going to be very tough. So, we need to go out there and play our game."
NHS 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
WHS 041 002 X — 7 9 0
NHS — John Weiting (L, 2-3, 9H, 5ER, 3BB, 0SO) and Kyle Greenwell.
WHS — Cole Brandon (W, 8-0, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 9SO) and Tyler Shubert. RBI – Trevor Knott 2, Brandon Deering, Corte Tapia.