BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley defeated CSU Bakersfield 4-2 in the final game of a Western Athletic Conference baseball series Sunday afternoon at Hardt Field.
CSUB stranded seven baserunners in the first four innings including in the third when Ryan Grotjohn, the Roadrunner leading hitter, flew out to center, with the bases loaded. The Vaqueros (18-14, 2-4 WAC) broke the seal in the top of the fourth when Jose Garcia’s sacrifice fly plated Cris Castillo.
Ivan Estrella added to the lead with an RBI double in the top of the fifth. CSUB threatened again in the bottom of the fifth. Andrew Penner and David Metzgar recorded back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Max Carter’s sac fly to right drove in Penner. Metzgar advanced to second and moved to third on a throwing error by UTRGV catcher Austin Oakes who tried to throw out Metzgar on the play. Grotjohn grounded out to second, which allowed Metzgar to score and tie the game at two.
Austin Siener opposite field home run to right led off the UTRGV sixth and returned the lead to UTRGV 3-2. Penner singled with two outs before Metzgar worked out a four-pitch walk against Vaquero starter Andrew Garcia. Carter hit a grounder up the middle. Estrella dove for the ball, tossed via his backhand to Siener at second, and got Metzgar in time for the final out of the inning. Connor McMahon’s two-out single in the top of the seventh scored Estrella for what proved to be the final score of the game.
CSUB could not take advantage of four Vaquero errors, as CSUB would leave 12 men on. Both teams registered 11 hits. Siener charted three hits. McMahon, Tyler Torres, and Estrella each recorded two hits. Penner and Metzgar both had three hits to lead the Roadrunners.
“I thought we got a pretty good pitching performance from our guys,” said CSUB interim head coach Jeremy Beard. “It came down to timely hitting. We got 11 hits and they committed four errors, but we left 12 and came away with only two runs. It is the unfortunate thing about baseball sometimes. You have to find green when it’s time to find green and we didn’t do that today.”
CSU Bakersfield (12-11, 1-5 WAC) travels to UC Irvine (12-11) Tuesday night for a 6:30 p.m. start.