IRVINE, Calif. — Down 7-4 entering the ninth inning, the CSUB baseball team rallied for three runs to knot the score at 7-7 against No. 29 UC Irvine. But the Anteaters loaded the bases in the final frame and Dillon Bell collected the game-winning sacrifice fly to claim an 8-7 win over the Roadrunners in the series finale Sunday at Anteater Ballpark.
UC Irvine (27-14) took advantage of a pair of CSUB errors and a passed ball to score four total unearned runs during the game. Bakersfield (18-23) outhit the Anteaters, 11-9, for the second time in three games, but left 11 stranded on base and gave up three unearned runs in the third to fall into an early hole.
In that third inning, UCI’s Sean Madigan reached on a fielder’s choice, Brian Hernandez walked and Jeff Cusick loaded the bases after being hit by pitch. Ronnie Shaeffer then knocked an RBI-singled to CSUB pitcher Mike McCarthy, sending Madigan home.
McCarthy’s throwing attempt to first went wide and allowed Hernandez to score the first unearned run. Jordan Leyland kept the rally going, reaching on a fielding error by Kyle Richardson at short and allowing Shaeffer and Cusick to score two more unearned runs.
Bakersfield rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, cutting the Anteater lead to 4-2. JJ Henry doubled to left, advanced to third when Joey Mills reached on a fielding error by Hernandez at third base and scored on a Brandon Boren single up the middle. Kevin Younger then reached on an RBI-fielder’s choice to second, sending Mills across home plate.
The Anteaters pushed their lead to five, scoring three runs on four hits in the seventh. With one out, Hernandez hit a bloop single to short and two batters later, scored on a passed ball. Cusick, who reached on a single to center, scored on a Shaeffer double to left center. Dillon Bell singled collected UC Irvine’s fourth hit of the inning, forcing the Roadrunners to go to the bullpen.
Padilla entered in relief of McCarthy and surrendered an RBI-sacrifice bunt to Cory Olson before recording the final out on a fly ball to center.
In the eighth Bakersfield loaded the bases on a Jeremy Rodriguez single through the right side, a Martin Medina double to left and a Derek Geisinger walk. That brought Henry to plate for a two-RBI double down the right field line, bringing the Roadrunners to within three, 7-4.
The Roadrunners loaded the bases in the ninth, beginning with a Boren single up the middle. Younger and Rodriguez then drew back-to-back walks off of closer Kyle Necke. After throwing two straight balls to Medina, Necke was replaced by Kyle Hooper, who walked Medina on a full count, allowing Rodriguez to score. Richardson’s RBI-fielder’s choice to second sent Younger across home plate for the tying run before reliever Matt Summers was able to record the final two outs of the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Padilla issued a four-pitch walk to Hernandez and gave up a single to Cusick. Shaeffer was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Spenser Messmore entered in place of Padilla to face Bell. Bell swung at Messmore’s first offering and sent a fly ball into center field, allowing pinch runner Jordan Fox to tag and score from third.
McCarthy took a no-decision after giving up eight hits for three earned runs in 6.2 innings of work. Padilla struck out two, walked two and allowed one hit in 1.2 innings.
UC Irvine’s starter Eric Pettis went seven-plus innings, striking out two and scattering eight hits for one earned run. Summers (2-2) earned the win for the Anteaters.
Boren led the Roadrunners with three hits while Kudlock, Richardson and Henry added two hits apiece. Rodriguez’s single in the eighth kept his school record hit streak alive at 19 consecutive games.
The Roadrunners return to Hardt Field Tuesday, hosting Big West Conference member UC Santa Barbara. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Score by Innings R H E
CSU Bakersfield..... 000 020 023 - 7 11 2
UC Irvine........... 004 000 301 - 8 9 2
Win - Summers (2-2). Loss - Padilla (0-1). Save - None.
E - Richardson(7); McCarthy(3); Hernandez(8); Pettis(1). DP - UCI 1. LOB -
CSUB 11; UCI 9. 2B - Medina(11); Henry 2(5); Shaeffer(8). HBP - Cusick. SH -
Shaeffer(5); Olson(3). SF - Bell(2). SB - Leyland(2); Reyes(3). CS -