BAKERSFIELD, Calif.-- The Roadrunners held on against North Dakota Saturday night as Max Carter's four hits and four RBI led Bakersfield to a 11-10 victory.
The game started out sloppily for both teams as North Dakota and the ‘Runners both scored in the first inning. UND scored quickly off of a single followed by a monster double to the gap by Taylor Petersen. With the bases loaded and two outs, UND was gifted two runs when a fielding error by the Bakersfield second baseman allowed two runs to score for a 3-0 lead.
A leadoff double by Jordie Hein (Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz., Chapparal HS) followed by a single from Max Carter (Fr., Bakersfield, Calif., Stockdale HS) set up an easy scoring opportunity for the ‘Runners who capitalized for a run. Bakersfield had the chance to further decrease the deficit with two men on and no outs, but two strike outs in a row and an induced fly ball got UND and its starting pitcher, Zach Muckenhirn, out of trouble.
North Dakota put up another run in the top of the second to lead 4-1, but Bakersfield would respond in the bottom half of the inning. Back-to-back singles followed by a one-out walk set up bases loaded for Carter. The freshman delivered with a shot to left field that hit the bottom of the outfield wall. The stand-up double cleared the bases and tied the score up at four all. An RBI single by Andrew Lojewski (Jr., Woodland, Calif., American River College) plated Carter and gave the ‘Runners a 5-4 lead.
The pitching woes continued in the top of the third for Bakersfield as starter Alec Daily (Fr., Temecula, Calif., Great Oak HS) allowed UND to put runners on the corners. Head Coach Bill Kernan went to the bullpen early, bringing out James Barragan (Jr., Bakersfield, Calif., Stockdale HS) to relieve. Barragan nearly induced an inning-ending double play, but Dalton Parrot beat out the throw to first as Zack Trygstad reached home safely and tied the game at 5-5.
North Dakota continued to struggle on the mound and had difficulties fielding back-to-back well-placed bunt singles by the ‘Runners. Bakersfield would end up scoring two runs in the third inning after UND removed Muckenhirn in favor of Brock Johnson. The pair of runs gave CSUB a 7-5 lead through three innings. The two teams traded one run apiece in the fourth inning and headed to the fifth with CSUB leading 8-6.
Barragan got into some trouble in the top of the sixth when he loaded the bases with one out. The Bakersfield native induced an inning-ending double play to escape damage and keep the ‘Runners leading 8-6. Bakersfield got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-6 lead into the seventh inning.
North Dakota put pressure on Bakersfield in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs and loading the bases with two outs. The ‘Runners got a clutch strikeout to end the threat and to hold onto a 10-8 lead. True to the form of the game, Bakersfield scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 11-8, but UND would not go quietly.
North Dakota put runners on second and third with no outs. An RBI single from Tyler Follis brought the score within two runs and kept runners on the corners. Sam Alt's walk loaded the bases and a Jacob Threlkeld single up the middle plated one run while keeping the bases loaded. With one out and an 11-10 lead, Bakersfield's closer, Garrett Nimmo (Fr., Temecula, Calif., Temecula Valley HS), induced a ground ball up the middle that was almost certainly going to tie the game. Defensive substitute, Oscar Sanay (Sr., Chula Vista, Calif., Bonita Vista HS), made a great play on the grounder and started a bang-bang double play to end the threat and the game.
The two teams combined for 21 runs, 30 hits, seven errors, and 368 total pitches thrown in the three and a half hour roller coaster ride. With seven pitchers entering the game, Muckenhirn picked up a tough loss, Barragan recorded the win, and Nimmo picked up a strange save. Hein finished the game going 3-5 for Bakersfield with an RBI and three runs scored while Carter finished 4-6 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Bakersfield (10-11, 3-2 WAC) will finish out the conference series at Hard Field on Sunday with the final game against UND (2-12, 2-3 WAC). First pitch is scheduled for one p.m.