Former Cal Poly Pomona pitcher Cody Ponce got a late start to the season due to some “forearm fatigue.” But Ponce, also a product of Damien High School, has rebounded quite nicely and is having a stellar season.
Ponce, the Brewers’ No. 8 prospect, tossed a pair of scoreless outings last week, lasting 11 innings in total, while striking out 17 and walking none for Class A Advanced Brevard County to capture the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week award.
The award is Ponce’s first as a pro since he was taken in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Cal Poly Pomona.
“I think it came down to whatever was working that day,” Ponce said. “But really in that sense, it was all [catcher Dustin Houle]. I don’t think I shook him maybe more than once or twice. He was just great behind the dish for two great games. I have to give it up to him. And then I had some great guys behind me making all the plays. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
Ponce’s first gem of the week came last Monday when he fanned five batters and allowed only two hits over five scoreless innings against Dunedin in what had been his longest start of the season up to that point. He one-upped himself five days later by lasting six frames, while fanning a career-high 12 and scattering only three hits. His 17 strikeouts were tied for third-most in the minors for the week of July 4-10 and were more than his dozen strikeouts over his five starts (14 innings) combined.
As impressive as the strikeout numbers were last week, the 6-foot-6 right-hander was happier with his zero in the walks column.
Junior righthander Michael Koval of Cal Poly Pomona has been named All-American, marking the third straight year that a CPP player has earned the accolade. It also makes six honorees in the six years of head coach Randy Betten‘s tenure.
Koval is the 29th All-American in the history of the Broncos’ baseball program.
He leads the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in earned run average (1.91) and ranks second in wins with nine. He has allowed just five extra base hits, all of which were doubles. Through 2016, Koval owns a 9-3 record in 89.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 65 hitters.
In early May, Koval was selected as the CCAA Pitcher of the Year. Last week in the opening game of the West Regional, Koval tossed 7.1 shutout innings as the Broncos went on to defeat Chico State 11-1 in that game.
Koval’s honor comes from the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (CCA) and the entire All-America team is featured here. The CCA encourages and promotes Division II athletics and high standards of sportsmanship as important elements of higher education.
The Cal Poly Pomona baseball team got to host the NCAA Division II West Regional at Mt. SAC a year ago. It paid off as the Broncos won that and advanced to the NCAA championship and finished third.
The Broncos won’t be playing quite that close to home this year but they won’t be going far either. Cal Baptist, champion of the Pac West Conference, is the top seed and will host the six-team event that begins Thursday and runs through Monday.
There will be three games on Thursday with Cal Poly Pomona’s first foe being a familiar one – Chico State.
The Broncos (35-17) are seeded third with the Wildcats (35-20) seeded fourth. The teams are not strangers, having split four meetings this season. They met last week in the first round of the CCAA Tournament in Stockton with Chico prevailing 6-2. Chico leads the all-time series 58-34.
The Broncos went 10-5 against teams in the field this season, having played four of the other five entrants, with games against all the other three CCAA participants.
Other games the first day pit No. 2 Dixie State against No. 5 Cal State Monterey Bay at 11 with Cal Baptist playing Cal State East Bay at 3.
Admission is $10 a day for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. Military personnel and children 12-under are admitted free.
There are no local players on the Chico State roster bit there are several playing at CBU. Those include seniors Andrew Montoya (Colton), Jake Galloway (Etiwanda/Chaffey College), Taylor Wetzel (Grantie Hills), juniors Alec Morabito (Yucaipa), Brian Ruhm (Yucaipa) and Jeremy Steggell (Chino Hills), sophomores Travis Booth (Ontario Christian), D.J. Porter (Los Osos) and Brody Robinson (Redlands East Valley) and freshmen Vini Haro (Big Bear), Kenny Boardman (Grand Terrace) and Derek Escobar (Grand Terrace).