Branham falls to Hillsdale in a rain-delayed game

Nolan Zils, Co-editor-in-chief

The varsity baseball team fell to the Hillsdale Fighting Knights 7-13 at a rainy home game Saturday, ending their undefeated 3-0 start to the season.

The game got off to a rocky start when sophomore starting pitcher Deegan Waldorph gave up three earned runs in 1.1 innings.

As the rain worsened, Branham got on the scoreboard when senior Elijah Bustamante scored on a wild pitch in the second inning.

Down 4-1 in the third inning, two doubles and a single from Bustamante put Branham in the lead. However, the lead didn’t last long as Hillsdale reclaimed it shortly after with two runs scored.

Umpires postponed the game for half an hour at the top of the fifth as rain fell. To pass the time, the Bruins decided to play “Baseball Tic-Tac-Toe” with the Fighting Knights dugout using baseballs.

Play resumed shortly after, and new dirt was placed onto the home plate and pitching mound area. “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles rang throughout the field as players prepared to play again.

Defensive woes continued for the Bruins after the restart as Hillsdale piled on five more runs. Senior Jason Armer knocked in two runs in the bottom of the inning, but got caught in a double play after forgetting the number of outs.

In the sixth, senior Matt Garcia was strong as a relief pitcher with three strikeouts, but also gave up two runs, putting the score at 13-7. The Bruin offense couldn’t mount a comeback in the sixth or seventh inning, and the game resulted in their first loss of the season.

Despite the end of the undefeated run, varsity head coach Tony Pianto expects the team to mature. The team has the most seniors on the roster in his two decades as a coach.

“They all know the program, they work hard to learn the program, and I’m very proud of where they are with the program,” he said.

The JV squad also lost to Hillsadale 4-7 at home. Varsity and JV will travel to Sunnyvale to play King’s Academy on Monday, with both games starting at 3:30 p.m.