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Diamondbacks’ Brocoff proficient on mound, dominant at plate

Desert Oasis’ Brett Brocoff will admit he hasn’t performed up to his own standards to start the season.

The junior should feel better after his breakout performance Saturday in a key Division I Sunset League road game.

Brocoff struck out four and walked none over five innings to earn the win and was 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs as the Diamondbacks hung on for a 5-4 win at Shadow Ridge.

“He’s been doing a good job,” Desert Oasis coach Paul Buboltz said. “He’s been hitting balls hard all year and not getting much luck with them falling. But he had a great day at the plate today and really kept us in the game on the mound.”

Using mostly his mid-80s fastball and changeup, Brocoff threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 19 batters he faced and maintained a no-hitter until the fourth inning before Shadow Ridge’s leadoff hitter, Eric Jordan, hit a double to right-center field.

“That’s a good lineup over there,” Buboltz said. “They’re a really good team, with a dangerous lineup. I’m just happy we found a way to score one more run than them. … He did an excellent job on the mound.”

Brocoff helped his own cause in the first inning by hitting a one-run single to score Cole Schaefer for the game’s first run. He also pulled an 0-and-2 fastball over the left field fence for a solo homer to lead off the sixth inning, which made it 4-2 and gave the momentum to the Diamondbacks (10-6, 3-2).

“Honestly, I was just trying to protect with two strikes,” Brocoff said. “And I kind of just put one up in the wind and let it get out of here. It seemed like it was big at the time. Big momentum shifter, so I was happy with that.”

Nic Lane, who reached on a walk three batters later, scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2 going into the bottom half of the sixth.

Shadow Ridge (10-8, 4-2) inched closer that inning on Quinn Ayers’ two-run double, but Desert Oasis’ Bryson Stott came in to pitch 1 1/3 innings of relief to earn the save.

With two outs and runners on second and third base in the seventh, Stott went to his curveball on a 2-2 count to strike out Trevin Reynolds — Shadow Ridge’s No. 3 hitter — to end the game.

“He’s our senior leader,” Buboltz. “When we need him in a big spot, we’re always going to go to him. He’s our closer. We like to keep him out there in the middle infield as much as possible, but when we need him, we’re not afraid to go to him.”

Gage Ventura was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk for Desert Oasis. Ventura’s two-run double in the fourth gave the Diamondbacks an early 3-0 lead.

Justin Lee and Kyle Gaura each had two singles for Shadow Ridge.

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at aferguson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson

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