BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Jason Kudlock slammed the first pitch he saw over the left-center field fence for a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 15th inning, giving the CSUB baseball team a 9-7 win over visiting UC Riverside Saturday at Hardt Field.
The walk-off hit was the second of the week for the Roadrunner squad, which moved to 8-23 on the season. Brandon Boren knocked a walk-off RBI single down the right field line Wednesday in a 3-2 win over defending national champion Fresno State.
Along with Kudlock’s heroics at the plate, relief pitcher Martin Medina, who entered in the 10th, fanned seven Highlanders and scatter four hits without allowing a walk or a run in 5 2/3 innings. Medina, who began the game at first base and also played at third before moving to the mound, earned the win, moving to 2-2 on the season.
UC Riverside (20-9) scored a pair of runs in the first on a Ryan Goetz home run and added another in the second to lead 3-0. Bakersfield fought back, putting one run on the board in the second and two in the third to tie the game 3-3. The Highlanders took another brief lead in the top of the fourth, but Bakersfield exploded for four runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth to lead 7-4. Kudlock and Garrett Branske had RBI hits in the inning, while the two other runs came courtesy of a wild pitch and a ground out.
The Highlanders battled back in the sixth with a solo run, then scored a pair of unearned runs in the seventh to knot the game 7-7.
Bakersfield had a golden opportunity to win the game in the 10th when Joey Mills led off with a single, Richard Escalera doubled and Medina was intentionally walked to load the bases. But the next two ‘Runner batters knocked short bloop hits to the UCR pitcher and second baseman who were both able to get the force out at home and the inning concluded with a ground out.
UC Riverside made things interesting in the 15th as Daniel Pellegrino knocked a one-out single to left, advanced to second on a error by Medina as Tony Nix flied out. Pellegrino advanced to third on a Brian McConkey single to short, but Medina was able to get Bryan Horst to hit a fielder’s choice to second to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 15th, Medina led off with a ground out to second. Brandon Boren then pushed the 1-1 pitch up the middle of the infield to safely reach first, setting up Kudlock’s first-pitch, two run blast.
Medina and Jeremy Rodriguez each collected three hits to lead the ‘Runners while Boren, Kudlock, Mills and Escalera had two hits each. Bakersfield’s starting pitcher, Erik Draxton, struck out four, walked one and scattered eight hits for six runs in six innings of work. Sam Jones pitched 3 1/3 innings, striking out one and allowing three hits for one run.
Kevin Dickey (1-2) took the loss for UCR, striking out one, walking one and giving up three hits for two runs in the final 3 1/3 innings.
Bakersfield takes a short break from action before hitting the road for a pair of games next week. The ‘Runners make the short trip to Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, followed by a jaunt to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Score by Innings R H E
UC Riverside........ 210 101 200 000 000 - 7 15 1
CSU Bakersfield..... 012 040 000 000 002 - 9 18 4
Note: 1 out, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.
Win - Medina (2-2). Loss - Dickey, K. (1-2). Save - None.
E - Horst, B.(4); Medina 2(13); Sanchez(7); Draxton(5). DP - UCR 2. LOB - UCR 11; CSUB 14. 2B - Uhl, C.(11); Brantly, R.(6); Nesbitt, M.(2); Medina 2(10); Escalera(1). HR - Goetz, R.(2); Kudlock(2). HBP - Horst, B.; Rodriguez. SH - Horst, B.(2); Hairgrove, T(3); Akiyama(1). SF - Nesbitt, M.(1); Shultz, J.(1); Mills(1). SB - Uhl, C.(6); Nesbitt, M.(3); Horst, B.(2); Mills(5). CS - Uhl, C.(2).