BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—CSU Bakersfield rallied with three runs in the bottom of the eighth to complete a four-game sweep of the University of Portland 7-5 Saturday afternoon at Hardt Field.
For the second consecutive game, the Pilots scored three runs in the top of the first to earn an early lead. Ryan Hoogerwerf, Dutton Elske, and Chris Arpan picked up RBI’s for Portland during the rally.
David Metzgar’s RBI double in the bottom of the first plated Mark Pena to break the Roadrunner seal. Max Carter followed with an opposite field single to right to score Metzgar. With two outs, Junior Felix tripled down the left field line to drive in a pair for a 4-3 CSUB lead.
Devin Kopas walked to lead off the Portland sixth. Arpan singled to push Kopas to second. A CSUB error allowed Kopas to move to third. Arpan tried to advance to second on the play, but was thrown out trying to go to second. Mike Hicks, the next UOP batter recorded a sac fly to drive in Kopas for a tie score.
Matt Kelly walked with two outs. Justin Thaxton singled to right to chase CSUB starter Garrett Nimmo. Freshman Mathew Seibert relieved Nimmo to face Portland’s second batter Beau Brundage. Brundage grounded out to keep the game tied at four.
With two outs in the seventh, Elske singled to left. Pinch-runner Michael Forgione stole second on a 1-0 count to Kopas. At 1-1, Seibert’s wild pitch allowed Forgione to move to third. Kopas worked the count to 3-2 before Seibert used a breaking ball to strike Kopas looking.
Arpan led off the Pilots’ eighth with a single to left. Hicks doubled to right, allowing Arpan to go to third. The Roadrunners brought the infield in against Kelly who would work out a walk to load the bases. CSUB closer Naithen Dewsnap came on in relief. Thaxton, the Pilot leadoff hitter, got ahead in the count 2-0 before Dewsnap battled back to strike him out. Brundage’s sac fly scored Arpan. Hicks advanced to third as an error on the play allowed Kelly to go to second. Dewsnap battled back to strike out Cody Hawken looking to wrap up the inning.
Metzgar doubled to right center to begin the CSUB eighth. Carter singled to right. With baserunners on the corners, Mahlik Jones popped out to second. Jake Hawken became the third Portland pitcher of the game when he came on to face Ryan Grotjohn. Grotjohn tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right center. With Ortega at the plate, Hawken uncorked a wild pitch that pushed Carter to second. Ryan Kono came on to pinch run for Carter.
Ortega singled to right, Kono rounded third and beat the throw home for the go-ahead run. Portland head coach Geoff Loomis came out to argue the call and ejected from the game by home plate umpire Carl Coles. Brandon Heinrich doubled to center to score Ortega to make it a 7-5 game. Dewsnap issued a walk to Hoogerwerf begin the ninth. Elske lined out to right before Kopas flew out to the warning track in left center. Arpan struck out looking to complete the CSUB sweep.
In his third appearance of the week, Dewsnap earned the victory. He struck out three to bring the Roadrunner total to 40 in the four-games against the Pilots. Metzgar was 3-for-4 with two runs scored to top the CSUB leaderboard. Carter and Ortega each charted two hits. Arpan paced the Pilots (1-6) with three hits.
“It is difficult to sweep a three-game series at the college level, nonetheless four,” said CSUB head coach Jeremy Beard. “We maintained focus all weekend, and managed to keep our confidence up even when things weren’t going our way. Our pitching is getting better and we need to work on some things, but we had a nice week throwing strikes. Most of all they are not afraid to attack the mitt against anybody in the box. This club competes every pitch.”
CSUB (6-2) looks to continue the momentum when the Roadrunners close out an 11-game home stand this week against BYU. The series begins Thursday night at 6 p.m. The game is going to be streamed on the Roadrunner Sports Network via Youtube.com. CSUB and BYU will also be heard on ESPN 98.1 FM/1230 AM with Corey Costelloe’s pregame show getting underway at 5:45 p.m.