By Justin Janssen ’11
Dan Winkler ’11 saw action in only four games a season ago playing catcher.
Winkler knew he wouldn’t get more playing time this year behind the plate, and with the graduation of a couple senior infielders, switched positions to first base.
The position change paid off for Brophy (15-6) and Winkler in a 10-5 Brophy victory over Mesa (11-13) April 8 at Opus Field.
Winkler had three hits – including the game’s only home run, and scored the go-ahead run as Brophy knocked off the Jackrabbits for the second time in five days.
“Winkler was the star tonight,” said Brophy head coach Tom Succow.
The bats came to life for the Broncos as they recorded 14 hits – 6 extra base hits – and scored 10 runs in six innings.
“The key to our offense was that we brought a lot more energy,” Succow said, “Our approach at the plate was good, and we turned together some quality at bats.
Chris Beall ’12 and Dave Graybill ’12, Brophy’s starting pitcher and cleanup hitter, had RBI hits in the first inning putting the Broncos in front 2-0.
In the second inning catcher John Rapisarda ’12 made a throwing error that resulted in two tying runs for Mesa.
Mesa starting pitcher Schyler Dush threw three wild pitches in the bottom of the inning, allowing Winkler to score the go-ahead run.
“(Dush) came in at 5-1, so we thought he’d give us fits,” Succow said.
Rapisarda added a sacrifice fly, Beall hit an RBI triple and Winkler homered, pushing Brophy’s lead to 6-2 after four innings.
The Jackrabbits chased Graybill in the fifth after a number of lengthy at bats.
Graybill threw 30 pitches in 2/3 of the fifth inning and after he hit an opposing batter, Succow replaced him with Nick Jones ’11.
Jones allowed the next two batters to reach base on singles through the middle and suddenly Brophy’s lead was cut to 6-5.
Winkler responded to Mesa’s rally by adding an insurance run on an RBI double.
In the sixth inning, Brophy added three more runs off of two relievers.
Jones settled down and retired the final seven batters he faced.
Brophy’s next game will be against the Chandler Wolves (8-12, 0-4 Fiesta Region) April 12 at Opus Field.