The Santa Clara Bruins exploded out of their early season funk on Tuesday as they knocked off the Fremont Firebirds in Sunnyvale. It was an impressive victory for the Bruins behind ace pitcher Tyler Kennedy, as they cruised to a 7-2 win. The victory snaps Santa Clara’s 0-5 losing streak to start their league season.
“Whenever Kennedy is on the mound I always feel like there is a good chance for us to have a good game,” said Bruins’ center fielder Bailey Mungaray who helped support Kennedy with a two-run double in the fourth. “He’s a guy who throws hard and has good offspeed too so I always feel confident when he’s on the mound.”
“Kennedy is a great pitcher, I think he might go to Menlo College next year to pitch,” added second baseman Justin Cedro who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. “I always feel confident behind him, always feel like we have a good chance to get a win when he takes the ball.”
Kennedy would also help himself out with a two-RBI single shortly after Mungaray’s double. Those RBIs extended the Bruins lead to 7-1. While the senior ace pitched a phenomenal game, he received plenty of support behind him on defense. Zach Penrod made a nice play at third base charging a slow roller for an out, Connor Valory made a nice diving catch in right field, catcher Robert Green threw out two runners stealing and Cedro and shortstop Ryan Oeschger combined for an impressive game-ending double play.
“We need to set our feet more but we definitely made sure we took care of the baseball on defense today,” said Bruins Head Coach Brett Hall. “We took care of the baseball a lot better than we had in past games. I was really happy with that. We’re starting to turn double plays and hit our cutoffs with regularity.”
Santa Clara has faced some challenges this season with players quitting and or not being eligible to play. Mungaray has had to take over center fielding duties in the meantime, shifting over from left field, but the speedster is more than happy to cover the extra ground.
“I like the outfield because speed is probably my biggest asset,” chuckled Mungaray. “I can usually get to fly balls that others can’t.”
The sophomore took a couple years off of baseball to focus on football, where he plays wide receiver and cornerback. His return to baseball has been a critical boon to the baseball team which needs his versatility.
The Bruins are scheduled to face the Firebirds again on Friday, April 6, hosting Fremont this time at Washington Park, weather permitting. Santa Clara’s next game on the schedule is at Lynbrook on April 10.