CHICAGO, Ill.- Three fielding errors led to five unearned runs as CSU Bakersfield (14-12, 2-6 WAC) fell 8-4 Saturday afternoon to the Chicago State in the second game of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series.
The final error in the eighth inning broke open one-run ballgame and led to a three-run inning for the Cougars who managed to hold off a couple CSUB baserunners in the ninth as they evened the three-game series at a game apiece heading into Sunday’s finale.
Brad Moore picked up the win on the mound for Chicago State while Mahlik Jones took the loss for CSUB. Moore went five and third innings for the Cougars giving up one run on two hits, walking four and striking out three. Jones fell to 1-4 on the season after throwing four complete innings allowing just one earned run on seven hits with one walk.
The Cougars never trailed in the game and took the early lead capitalizing on a Cody Freund double to left center to lead off the second inning. Freund advanced to third base on a ground ball to the left side then scored on the next play when a CSUB error at first base brought in the first run of the game.
In the third inning Chicago State added another run when Julian Russell doubled to left field with one out. He would advance to third base on a wild pitch before scoring on a Jacob Vanitvelt infield single.
The Roadrunners scored their first run in the top of the sixth inning when CSUB was issued a pair of walks which forced a Chicago St. pitching change. David Metzgar then singled through the left side bringing in Andrew Penner to make it 2-1.
The Cougars responded in the bottom of the sixth when Rick Salazar hit a two-run homerun off CSUB reliever Isaiah Moten to extend the lead to 4-1. They would build a 5-1 lead in the seventh inning by stealing home on a pickoff play at second base, the run scored from third before the third out was recorded.
The Roadrunners attempted a comeback in the top of the eighth inning after a pair of walks by the Cougars. CSUB took advantage with another Metzgar RBI single and a two-RBI double by Jones and trailed 5-4 heading to the bottom of the eighth. The Cougars however would capitalize on CSUB’s third error of the ballgame scoring two runs after two walks on a ground ball that was thrown into the outfield while attempting to make a play at second. Another run would come across in that frame as well giving the Cougars the 8-4 lead after eight complete.
Metzgar and Jones led CSUB at the plate, each went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the loss.
The Roadrunners and Chicago State conclude the series Sunday afternoon in Chicago. First pitch is scheduled for 12 P.M. (CT).