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June 1, 2023

Baseball | Greenfield sweeps Gonzales to control Cypress Division

GREENFIELD — With just over a month to go in the season, the Greenfield Bruins baseball team had the chance to wrap up the Cypress Division if they could take care of business against the strongest competition in the division, Gonzales Spartans, who swept them a year ago.

To start the week, the Bruins and the Gonzales were supposed to begin their two-game series on Tuesday, but because of the rain, the game was postponed until Thursday and Saturday. The winner of this series controlled their road to winning the Cypress Division and a spot in the playoffs.

In game one, the Bruins sent out their ace Manuel Gutierrez to face the Spartans, and he would be in control as he would strike out 16 batters.

“I just attacked them with fastballs,” Gutierrez said. “I was challenging every batter. I didn’t give them a taste of my off-speed until the third time around the lineup.”

The Gonzales pitching staff held a Bruins team that scored nine or more runs in their last three games to only one run. The good news for the Bruins was that Gutierrez only needed one run to help give them a 1-0 win.

“I knew all I needed was one run to win the game,” he said. “I felt so dominant on that day, and I had so much confidence that I would shut them out.”

Now going into game two, the Spartans needed to win this game to stay on pace to win the division. But Greenfield pitcher Antonio Pantoja would pick up where Gutierrez left off.

Pantoja had himself a game as he struck out 11 batters, as they pitched their way to a 6-1 win over the Spartans, completing the sweep.

In two games, the Greenfield pitching team struck out 27 batters.

The Bruins are now 7-0 and have complete control of the Cypress Division. However, the Bruins have to find a way to keep getting better without facing teams that are going to push them.

“We know we will be facing much better teams when it comes to playoff time, and the next couple of games won’t be the best competition, so we just got to make sure we’re grinding at practice and holding each other accountable so we are ready when playoffs come around,” Gutierrez said.

The Bruins will travel to King City to face the Mustangs on Monday.

Jason Gallardo
Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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