BASEBALL: Defending CAL champs, Anchorpoint Christian, trying to find footing this season

Anchorpoint Christian's starting pitcher Kenneth Urbanski

GILROY – The Anchorpoint Warriors are of to a 1-5 start this
season, but sixth-year manager Ken Bradley has his team motivated
to right the ship.
GILROY – Playing the role of defending league champion isn’t easy; everyone wants a piece of you and there are expectations to meet. Toss in a wrinkle or two, such as graduation, and the matter at hand becomes even more daunting.

The Anchorpoint Christian baseball team proudly wears the distinction of reigning Coastal Athletic League champion after a 6-2 record last season sent them to the top of the standings, but already this season the road to repeat has hit some bumps, namely two losses to Anzar, to open league play last week.

Sixth-year manager Ken Bradley, who has been at the helm since the program’s inception, isn’t one to make excuses for his team. He looks at the facts and faces the challenges right alongside his players.

“Baseball is just a microcosm of life,” Bradley said after a difficult 17-1 loss to non-league opponent Soledad on Tuesday. “If you stop and quit because a teammate doesn’t have the ability or isn’t trying, that is what you are going to do in your job, that’s what you’re going to do with your wife.

“So, who cares what the score is. For the guys it’s, am I trying to get better? I’m not letting my team down. I’m going to keep fighting. That’s what it’s all about.”

The Warriors (1-5, 0-2 CAL) and starting pitcher Kenneth Urbanski found themselves with their backs against the fence after the top of the first inning Tuesday afternoon in Gilroy.

Three Anchorpoint errors kept the inning alive for the Aztecs, who capitalized on the miscues for five runs.

“In the game today, I think we probably should have lost 5-1 if we made the routine plays,” Bradley said. “It’s going to be tough to beat a team if you give them six, seven outs in an inning.”

Urbanski, the Warriors go to guy on the mound this season, had his pitch count closely monitored after pitching last Friday against Anzar and came out after the second inning. Of the six runs scored by the Aztecs under Urbanski’s watch, three were unearned.

“He’s one of my more consistent pitchers, so I didn’t want to burn him out in a game that was starting to get away from us.”

Collin Minyard drove in the Warriors’ lone run of the game. The lefty ripped a solid opposite-field base hit to score Jacob Brendle in the bottom of the second inning.

Despite some of the early season setbacks, which can be attributed to a young team still learning some of the fundamentals of the game, Bradley said, the Warriors are still poised to make some noise in the CAL.

“The biggest difference (from a season ago) is that we have a few more young guys that we have to rely on,” Bradley said. “I don’t really have any guys that have played since they were in Little League. They are still learning out here. We have our work cut out for us.”

The Warriors have a non-league game against Pinewood on Thursday but do not get back into league play until April 13 against Trinity Christian at 4 p.m. in Gilroy.

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