Bronco defense spurs late climb up GPAC standings

The Hastings College infielders do defensive work during practice at Duncan Field on May 1, 2017 (NTV News)

Hastings College baseball is entering the final week of the regular season.

The Broncos currently sits at 4th place in the GPAC at 15–11, making a late push in the standings due to their defensive prowess.

"We're blessed to have some really talented athletes that are willing to put their chest on the ball to make plays," said fourth year head coach Steve Spongberg. "I think our middle with Brandon Utrup and Ty O'Brien has been outstanding. We've turned a number of double plays. Reed Stone over at 3rd base has been good. Will Frei and Lucas Lindgren, our two first basemen have saved us in some situations as well."

The Broncos rank 21st nationally in fielding percentage at .964, relying on all nine positions to limit errors which can be the difference between losing and winning.

"I think a lot of it goes back to our pitching staff," said third baseman Stone. "You know if they make good pitches, you aren't going to get those hard shots at you. So a lot of it's our pitching staff. If you make easy pitches, you'll get a lot of ground balls to turn the double play or just get the out at first."

The Broncos traveling up to Sioux City Tuedsay for a second consecutive series with Briar Cliff, coming off a sweep of the Chargers on Saturday. It's a quick turnaround from there as they begin play in the GPAC tournament on Thursday. Their opponent is yet to be determined.

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