By: Steven Gaede
The CSUB baseball team put up six runs in one inning Friday evening against the Dallas Baptist Patriots taking the matchup 10-4. With the win, CSUB senior pitcher Jeff McKenzie was able to break the school pitching record of most wins in a season.
Friday night, spectators witnessed McKenzie’s ninth win of the season, surpassing the old record of eight that was set by Mike McCarthy and redshirt senior Jonathan Montoya during the 2011 season.
McKenzie’s win came on a special night, as the team sported pink jerseys to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
The ‘Runners scored six runs in the third inning, proving to be enough to capture the win. In the inning, the first two ‘Runners led off with singles while the third batter, junior first baseman Cael Brockmeyer, was hit by a pitch. Following Brockmeyer, freshman third baseman Mylz Jones stepped to the plate and knocked in two runs with a single.
“When a guy is throwing that fast you have to have a shorter swing and I was able to do that,” Jones said. “I was just seeing the ball really well.”
Later in the inning, Bakersfield put together a chain of three hits that was highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by junior second baseman Oscar Sanay.
“We clutched up again offensively, which is very very good to see,” said Head Coach Bill Kernen.
CSUB did not have any problems putting up runs against Baptist’s 6′ 6″ giant on the mound, Jake Johansen, who was throwing heat from the mid 90mph range and up.
“I think when you have a guy throwing 96-99mph, the fact that we made contact and were able to put balls in play and get some things going off of him was a very encouraging sign,” said Kernen.
Johansen gave up eight runs on eleven hits in four innings. In comparison, McKenzie was not throwing nearly as hard as Dallas’ flamethrower but was more effective with his pitches.
McKenzie did not have his best stuff in the win, giving up 10 hits, three earned runs and a walk, while striking out four, but the ‘Runners still came away with the win.
“That was probably the least effective he’s been with his stuff and command. He battled as best he could and he got his pitch count up high enough, I had to get Taylor (Aikenhead) in there,” said Kernen. “He still got the thing done. You’re not always going to have your best day and your best stuff and he was still able to get the win.”
Along with Jones and Sanay, sophomore center field Jordie Hein had a multi-hit game, with a single and double. While the CSUB bats were knocking the ball around the park Friday night, the Patriots helped fuel the CSUB offense by committing three errors.
“I think we might have got away with some things tonight,” said Kernen. “We’ve got to be careful about giving things away because if these guys get it going they’ll put up numbers fast.”
Dallas Baptist outhit the ‘Runners 12-11 and had the opportunity to make it a close game but the Patriots could not hit in the clutch, leaving 11 runners stranded on base throughout the night.
Saturday night’s game was almost identical to Friday night’s game, as CSUB won 10-4 and the Patriots committed four errors.
The big innings for CSUB offensively were the fourth and sixth, where the ‘Runners put up three in each. The offensive effort was led with three hits a piece by senior left fielder Kevin Younger and junior shortstop Tyler Shryock, who was named to the first Brooks Wallace Award Watch List which recognizes the Nation’s top collegiate shortstop.
Contributing to the offense with two hits on the day was Sanay, Brockmeyer and freshman designated hitter Chance Gusbeth. Hein also played an important part in the win, going 1-for-3 with three runs and a pair of walks.
Senior Scott Brattvet led Bakersfield’s effort on the mound Saturday evening, allowing six hits, three walks and three earned runs over seven innings. With the win, Brattvet improved to 7-1 on the season.
After winning Friday and Saturday, it was not meant to be Sunday as CSUB fell 7-3 to the Patriots.
CSUB trailed early 4-0 due to a four-run second inning by the Patriots. Dallas Baptist was able to get four runs off of four hits, two of them being triples. CSUB made it interesting scoring two runs in the fourth and one in the sixth, but the Patriots put it away with a three-run eighth inning.
Senior catcher Frank Martinez led CSUB with two hits and Hein led the team with two runs.
The ‘Runners will head to Texas to take on conference opponents Texas State before heading to Fresno for a lone game. The team will then head to Ruston, La. to take on Louisiana Tech in a conference matchup. Bakersfield will return home on May 10 to host conference opponent Seattle University at 6:00p.m.