BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—On the heels of an awards night in which seven CSU Bakersfield took home AlL-Western Athletic Conference honors, the Roadrunners open the WAC Tournament Thursday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Corey Costelloe's pregame show on ESPN 1230 AM/98.1 FM gets underway at 2:45 p.m. The game is on the WAC Digital Network.
The Roadrunners (29-22, 14-10 WAC), the second seed, could play 1-of-3 opponents Thursday afternoon. CSUB plays the highest seed remaining after No. 3 Sacramento State takes on No. 6 Seattle U and No. 4 Utah Valley and No. 5 Northern Colorado during Wednesday's day one action. No. 1 seed, NM State, takes on the lowest remaining seed among the Wednesday winners.
The ‘Runners took 2-of-3 from Sacramento State this season. CSUB swept both Utah Valley and Northern Colorado during regular season play. The Roadrunners took 2-of-3 against Seattle U while dropping 2-of-3 at NM State.
CSU Bakersfield's Max Carter earned Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors Tuesday night. Carter, a senior right-hander from Bakersfield, Calif., went 5-1 in WAC play, posting a 2.78 earned run average in eight appearances. His 58.1 innings pitched in league play was tops in the WAC and his .198 opponent batting average ranked second in conference action. With 39 strikeouts and just eight walks in WAC play, he also hit .259 in 85 at-bats for the ‘Runners.
After struggling to a 0-8 mark a year ago, Carter is 8-1 overall. Overall, Carter is hitting .305 with 28 RBI's entering this week's tournament. This is the third time in five years that a Roadrunner has been selected WAC Pitcher of the Year (2013-Jeff McKenzie, 2015-Hayden Carter).
Joining Carter on the first team were David Metzgar (2B) and Ryan Grotjohn (SS). This is Metzgar's second first team All-Conference selection (2015) and third time (2016-second team) that Metzgar has been named All-Conference. He has tied or broken four school records this season. Metzgar reset the school marks for consecutive-game hitting streak (23) and on-base streak (37). He is now the school record holder for career doubles (44), stolen bases in a career (41), and career sacrifice flies (19).
Metzgar has moved into second place in school history with 275 career hits. Oscar Sanay (2011-14) is the school record holder for career hits with 283. The Lancaster native has played in 217 (the fourth most in program history) of the 224 games since joining the team in 2014 and has started 210 times. After sitting out the Loyola Marymount game on May 10, Metzgar has started 65 of his last 66 games and 164 of his last 167 games played.
Grotjohn is the conference's leading hitter (.400) and is seventh in Division I to start the week. The caps off a remarkable improvement in his career as hit batted under .100 (095) as a freshman. A two-time WAC Hitter of the Week this season, Grotjohn is in the top 15 in over a dozen career categories at CSUB.
Felix recorded a tremendous turnaround of his own in 2017. After recording only seven hits in 72 at-bats in 2016, Felix is hitting. 287 with one home run and 25 RBI's entering the WAC Tournament. Mahlik Jones joins his brother Mylz as a second team All-WAC selection. Leading the team with 44 RBI's, Jones is hitting .337 prior to WAC Tournament play.
Grotjohn, Metzger, and Penner were the top three hitters in the WAC this season. Penner ranked in the top 25 in Division I in on-base percentage throughout the 2017 campaign. Dewsnap led the conference in saves with 12. The seven Roadrunners selected All-Conference are the most by CSUB in season since joining the league in 2013. The previous high was five during the 2013 season.