Bernhardt Brothers help Bolster Thunderbirds over ACU, 9-2

Holden Bernhardt struck out nine batters and didn't allow any hits through five innings against Arizona Christian Wednesday afternoon. (photo by Aaron Webster)
Holden Bernhardt struck out nine batters and didn't allow any hits through five innings against Arizona Christian Wednesday afternoon. (photo by Aaron Webster)

Mesa, AZ – On the heels of head coach Tony Cirelli's 800 th career win, the Mesa Community College baseball team (5-0) took care of the Arizona Christian Firestorm junior varsity squad for the second day in a row by a score of 9-2 on Wednesday afternoon in Mesa.  

Mesa, AZ - While freshmen Christopher Collins and Joshua Brown totaled five hits, three runs and a RBI, the true show took place on the pitching mound.  

Mesa's dynamic freshman duo of brothers Holden and Locke Bernhardt allowed only one hit and struck out 13 total batters in seven innings of work.  

With Holden Bernhardt starting the game for the Thunderbirds opposite of Arizona Christian's junior Brett Swartz, both pitchers went unscathed throughout the first two innings of play.  

Then in the third inning, both Brown and sophomore Jared Crockett scored on errors for Mesa, while freshman Jace DeGrange scored on a wild pitch to give the Thunderbirds the early lead, 3-0.  

After Holden Bernhardt was perfect through five innings and struck out nine hitters by himself, the Thunderbird offense exploded once again in the sixth. With four combined extra-base hits, two balk calls and six total runs scored, Mesa jumped out to a 9-0 lead after six innings of play.

The Firestorm were able to score their first runs in the eighth inning when freshman Tyler Isbell scored sophomore Zachary Mentzer from third with an RBI single, and freshman Cohen Heckethorn plated Isbell just two batters later with a triple of his own.  

Despite the late inning effort, Mesa's freshman Francisco Valenzuela sat down three-straight Firestorm to end the game and give the Thunderbirds a 9-2 victory.  

The Thunderbirds will continue their five-game home stand this Friday afternoon when they play host to the Grand Canyon Antelopes club team for a scheduled 3:00 p.m. MST first pitch.

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