RIVERSIDE, Calif.—Ryan Grotjohn tied or reset two school records as CSU Bakersfield defeated UC Riverside 7-5 to take a non-conference baseball series Sunday afternoon. Grotjohn tied the CSUB record for most hits with his fifth hit of the day when he reset the school record for most doubles in a game with his third in the top of the ninth. Grotjohn would go 5-for-5 in the game tying him with three others for most hits in a game.
"This was a hard fought series by both clubs," said CSUB head coach Jeremy Beard. "Our guys played an excellent team game today."
The Roadrunners loaded with bases with two outs in the bottom of the first. Grotjohn sent the ‘Runners into the lead with a double that plated a pair. CSUB increased the lead by two in the fourth with RBI’s from Junior Felix and Andrew Penner.
Aaron Cisneros homered on the second pitch of the bottom of the second to get the Highlanders on the scoreboard. Matt Hardy’s two-run home run with two outs later in the inning cut the CSUB lead to one. Austyn Tengan doubled in Grotjohn in the top of the fourth to get the lead back to two for the ‘Runners.
UC Riverside put runners on first and second in both the third and the fourth, but CSUB withstood the Highlanders’ charge. UCR again had runners on first and second in the fifth. Hardy flew out to right for the third out to keep CSUB in the lead. Connor Cannon hit the third UCR home run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-4 game. Grotjohn doubled for the second time in the game with two outs in the seventh that allowed David Metzgar to score to up the CSUB lead.
The Highlanders scored one in the seventh. Cisneros tripled against the Roadrunners’ third pitcher of the game, Kenny Johnson to open the frame. AJ Sawyer’s sac fly to right drove in Cisneros. Casey Worden singled to become the tying run. Michael Farris flew out to left center, but it was not deep enough to allow Worden to advance. Yeager Taylor pinch-hit for Hardy. Johnson would strike out Taylor to close the inning.
Penner earned CSUB some breathing room with a two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth. Colby Schultz led off the UC Riverside eighth with a walk. Roadrunner closer Naithen Dewsnap came on to face Cody Sporrer. Sporrer grounded into a 6-4-3 double play on Dewsnap’s second pitch. Six pitches later, Dewsnap struck out Gannon to conclude matters. Dewnsnap got the first two outs of the ninth before Sawyer singled. Worden would ground out to third to end the game.
"We were able to run our offense and grind out at-bats," said Beard. "Our defense is showing signs of improvement. Our bullpen did a nice job of holding down a powerful offense."
Grotjohn paced CSUB with a game high three RBI’s and a run scored. Penner went 3-for-5 with his two RBI’s. Metzgar added two hits. For Dewsnap, it was his fourth save of the season. His total is already the fifth most in a year by a CSUB pitcher. Cisneros recorded three hits (3-for-5).
CSUB hosts Nebraska Tuesday night. Coverage on the WAC Digital Network begins at 6 p.m.