By Steven Gaede
The ‘Runners blew out and swept the visiting Long Island University Brooklyn Blackbirds 10-3 after an eight run third inning Mar. 4, in what proved to be an error filled game for the visitors.
Starting the game for Brooklyn and giving up seven runs, of which zero were earned, was Chris Franzese. Committing an error himself, Franzese and the Brooklyn shortstop, John Ziznewski, made errant throws, allowing the ‘Runners to run rampant in the bottom of the third frame.
“We were able to score some runs today, which is the first time we have really blown a game open early so that felt good to be able to do that,” Head Coach Bill Kernen said.
The third inning was highlighted by two base-clearing hits, a double by senior catcher Frank Martinez and a triple by junior second baseman Oscar Sanay.
“I don’t know how long it’s been since we’ve had two bases loaded clearing doubles and triples in the same inning,” said Kernen. “We haven’t been hitting well with runners in scoring position early in the year, but today Frankie and Oscar came up with two big base hits with the bases loaded,” senior designated hitter Dylan Christensen said.
Putting the inning into perspective, everyone in Bakersfield’s lineup scored except the seven slot. CSUB also had a total of twenty base runners, eleven of which came off of hits and five walks.
Being up 10 runs after three innings, redshirt senior pitcher Jonathan Montoya was able to sail to victory in what proved to be a pitcher’s dream. Montoya improved to 2-1 on the season.
“Compared to my previous outings, this is probably the best one so far,” Montoya said.
“Montoya’s outing was the best one he’s had. He had his best rhythm, he had his best command, he looked like Jonathan Montoya today a lot more than he did the other times which is very good because he is going uphill in his progress,” added Kernen. “He’ll be ready to go in the WAC in a couple of weeks.”
Being up 10 runs and having only thrown 60 pitches, Montoya was pulled after his excellent performance for the debut of junior pitcher Josh Rodriguez. Rodriguez came in and pitched three innings, giving up three runs.
“I’ve been looking for a chance to use Josh and get him his first college innings here and he did a good job,” Kernen said.
The team as a whole did a good job Sunday afternoon, prompting themselves to a fifth straight win, an 8-3 record and the conclusion of the season-opening home stand.
Friday, Mar. 1 the ‘Runners beat Brooklyn 5-3, in the closest of the three-game series. The effort by the ‘Runners was led by Christensen who had two hits and two RBI’s and senior pitcher Jeff McKenzie who pitched six innings, giving up two runs.
The ‘Runners scored four in the second inning off of four hits. Junior catcher Cael Brockmeyer started the inning by singling, from there he scored off of a triple by sophomore right fielder Garrett Pierce. Freshman first baseman Chance Gusbeth got on by singling and Christensen earned his two RBI’s in the game, hitting a double to leftfield.
CSUB beat the Blackbirds 7-3 Mar. 2 in another outstanding game by Christensen. Christensen went 4-for-4 with two RBI’s. Senior pitcher Scott Brattvet tossed seven innings in which he gave up three runs, while striking out seven.
Once again, Bakersfield came through big with a four run inning. The eighth inning was given life by the Blackbird’s thirdbaseman and pitcher who committed back-to-back throwing errors to allow Brockmeyer and junior outfielder Kris Cayton to reach base to start off the inning. Following the errors, CSUB put up for runs on three hits to lead to the CSUB win.
The ‘Runners return home Tuesday Mar. 12 to host UNLV at 6:00 p.m. CSUB will also welcome in Northern Colorado for a four-game series. The first game will be Mar. 15 at 6:00 p.m., followed up by a double header Mar. 16 with the first game starting at 2 p.m. and the second starting at approximately 5:45 p.m. and a game Mar. 17 at 1 p.m.