BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—CSU Bakersfield used a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Seattle U 7-6 Friday night to open a Western Athletic Conference baseball series. The victory clinches a WAC Tournament berth for the Roadrunners.
After giving up an infield single to Aaron Stroosma to open the game, CSUB starter Max Carter retired the next 12 in a row before issuing a leadoff double to Dustin Hurd to lead off the fifth. Robles made a diving catch on a Curtis Perrin line as Hurd advanced to third. Chase Wells tied the game with his first home run of the season, a blast over the right field fence.
Luis Martinez and Mark Pena posted back-to-back singles to begin the CSUB fifth. Andrew Penner failed in his first two attempts to sacrifice the runners up a base. He hit a hard grounder to Perrin at second. Perrin could not attempt the double play and threw to first for the first out. Both runners were able to move up a base. David Metzgar's shot up the middle went off Jake Prizina's glove on the mound and bounced to Griffin Andreychuck at short. Andreychuck threw to first for the out as Martinez scored. Mahlik Jones flew out to right to end the inning.
Andreychuck tied the game for the second time in the sixth when he hit his third home run of the season, a shot to the deepest part of Hardt Field, 390 feet away in center.
With one out in the top of the eighth and no one on, Jones relieved Carter. Stroosma was Jones' first batter and he singled through the middle. Stroosma stole second before Austin Lively struck out looking. Andreychuck walked before Sean Sutton doubled in two runs for a 5-3 lead.
Redhawks' reliever Jensen Junk (who came in the game with two outs in the seventh) walked Penner to begin the CSUB eighth. Junk went up 1-2 in the count to Metzgar before a fastball got away and hit Metzgar in the back. Junk fielded Jones' sacrifice in front of home plate and attempted to throw the lead runner out at third. The throw sailed into left field allowing both runners to score.
A second error on the play occurred when Stroomsa, the left fielder bobbled the ball, allowing Jones to get to third. Grotjohn's chopper went over the head of the drawn in infield to score Jones. Grotjohn hustled on the play and turned the hit into a double. Carter successfully sacrificed Grotjohn to third. A Robles' chopper went over the drawn in infield to score Grotjohn for the seventh Roadrunner run.
CSUB closer Naithen Dewnsap came on for the ninth and struck out the first two batters he faced. On a 0-2 pitch, pinch hitter Max Modeste hit a home run to cut the CSUB lead to 7-6. Dewsnap quickly recovered, striking out Kyler Murphy to reset the Roadrunners' career record for saves with his 12th this season. Dewnsap shared the previous record of 11 with Martin Medina (2009-11).
“We did a nice job defensively,” said CSUB interim head coach Jeremy Beard. “Tip your hat to them for a solid performance, but we were able to take advantage of a big error and were able to score a second run. You want to be two ahead in the ninth and we were tonight, luckily it worked out in the end.”
Robles went 2-for-4 with three RBI's to pace the ‘Runners. Grotjohn was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Pena was 2-for-5. Stroosma was the top SU performer with a 2-for-4 performance.
The Roadrunners (27-19, 12-7 WAC) and the Redhawks (17-29-1, 6-13 WAC) continue the series Saturday night. Corey Costelloe's pregame show on ESPN 1230 AM/98.1 FM begins at 5:45 p .m. with first pitch on the WAC Digital Network set for 6 p.m.