FRESNO, Calif. — The University of Portland broke a 6-6 tie with a ninth-inning, three-run homer by Chase Powell, ultimately claiming a 10-6 win over the CSUB baseball team in both team’s final game at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic, hosted by Fresno State.
Bakersfield concluded the six-day tournament with a 1-5 record, moving to 4-10 on the season. Despite a pair of big losses, the Roadrunners came up on the short end of a pair of one-run games, including an 11-inning match-up with Buffalo and a near upset of defending NCAA National Champion Fresno State. Their one win featured a dramatic nine-run eighth inning comeback over Portland.
On Saturday, Bakersfield starting pitcher Sam Jones gave up a two-run home run to Bryant Kraus in the top of the first, putting the ‘Runners in an early hole.
Freshman left fielder Stuart Smith got one run back for the ‘Runners, smacking a solo home run over the right field fence on the bottom of the second. Smith accounted for two more runs in the fifth, when his single up the middle sent Joey Mills and Kyle Richardson across home plate for a pair of unearned runs and the 3-2 lead.
Portland retook the lead in the sixth on a Cort Carpenter two run shot to right center, and added two more on a two-RBI double to left-center by Powell in the seventh to go ahead 6-4.
Bakersfield rallied one again in the bottom of the seventh as Brandon Boren, Richardson and Ryan McIntyre loaded up the bases with three consecutive walks to open the inning. Cleanup hitter Jeremy Rodriguez then blasted a bases-clearning double to left-center to tie the score, 6-6. With no outs, the ‘Runners looked to take the lead, but Pilots’ relief pitcher Keeler Brynteson drew strikeouts from Smith and Martin Medina and got pinch hitter Jason Kudlock to pop up to short to end the inning.
After eight flawless innings of defense, it was once again late-game errors that proved costly for the ‘Runners. Derek Geisinger dropped a foul fly ball, allowing Craig Smith extended life at the plate to open the ninth. Smith took advantage, reaching first on a dropped fly ball by left fielder Stuart Smith. Beau Fraser bunted Smith to second with a sacrifice and Kraus drew a walk, setting up Powell’s three-RBI homer. Riley Hendricks followed with a solo shot to left, giving Portland the 10-6 final edge.
McIntyre reached on a hit-by-pitch to open the bottom half of the final inning, but Brynteson drew three consecutive outs to end the game.
Jones went 6 2/3 innings for Bakersfield, finishing with three strikeouts, five walks, nine hits and six runs to go with a no-decision. Reliever Garrett Branske took the loss after giving up the four-runs in the ninth.
Bakersfield finished with six hits, including a pair by Smith. Portland, now 11-7 overall, had 14 hits, including three by Hendricks and two each by Powell, Rocky Gale and Kris Kauppila.
Bakersfield returns to action Friday, Mar. 20 in the first of a four-game series with Big West member Cal Poly. The teams play a pair of game in San Luis Obispo, then head to Bakersfield to conclude the series. First pitch on Friday is 6 p.m.
Score by Innings R H E
Portland............ 200 002 204 - 10 14 2
CS Bakersfield...... 010 020 300 - 6 6 2
Win - BRYNTESON, K (1-0). Loss - Branske (0-2). Save - None.
E - KAUPPILA, K; ARMJO, K; Smith; Geisinger. DP - Por 1; CSUB 3. LOB - Por 7; CSUB 9. 2B - POWELL, C; Richardson; Rodriguez. HR - KRAUS, B; CARPENTER, C; POWELL, C; HENRICKS, R; Smith. HBP - FRASER, B; McIntyre. SH - FRASER, B; PEARCE, A. SB - SMITH, C; Mills. CS - KAUPPILA, K; SMITH, C