Matadors pounce on Roadrunners 8-1

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CSUB’s starting pitcher, #36 Kyle King makes a pitch as third baseman, #26 Daniel Carrizosa looks on.

Vincent Perez

Sports Editor

49 degrees fahrenheit. People wrapped in blankets. A cold, dark night spelled disaster for the Roadrunners.

The Roadrunners lost 8-1 on Feb. 27 at Hardt Field, to the CSU Northridge Matadors.

Head Coach of the CSU Bakersfield baseball team, Jeremy Beard said, “We just need to keep moving forward and getting better.”

“We’re not playing great right now. Offensively, we’re not taking advantages of fast balls,” said Beard.
Beard praised the pitching staff, even though 8 runs came across home plate. CSUN is second in the nation in runs scored (91) and batting average (.376 as of Feb. 26). The Matadors are number one in the country in slugging (.701 as of Feb. 26).

“The pitching was pretty good, but a couple missed pitches tonight. They competed well against a great offensive team,” said Beard.

Redshirt-junior Kyle King (0-2) started the game for CSUB (2-7). He only lasted 2.1 innings before being pulled, giving up 2 runs in the second inning to Matador Brandon Bohning, who had a double that drove in Kyle Barret. Following that play, a ball that got away from senior catcher Jake Ortega allowed Bohning to advance to third base. Alvaro Rubalcaba knocked in Bohning from a single. King stopped the bleeding at 2 runs but that wouldn’t be the last time CSUN would get to King.

In the third, King started out well. He struck out Albee Weiss, whose slugging percentage is .813, and had 14 RBIs on 10 hits before the Matadors (5-3) came to CSUB. Weiss struck out three times, as he finished his night 0-for-4.

Then, King walked two consecutive batters. Following the walks, Nolan Bumstead would hit the first of his two home runs on the night, to left field, which changed the score to 5-0 and the Matadors didn’t let off the gas. They scored three more runs in the fifth, off a triple from Justin Toerner and Bumstead’s second homer to left.

The Roadrunners did not get on the board until the seventh, when Ortega singled to left field, which allowed freshman shortstop Evan Berkey to score. It was the only run for the Roadrunners.

Usually at first base, redshirt-senior Alec Daily made his first return to the mound in three seasons. Daily pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out two Matadors in his return. Before tonight’s game, Daily had not pitched since May 2015.

Beard said that the Roadrunners have faced four mature teams that rival the Roadrunners. “We’re a younger club. As long as we continue to get better and keep grinding it out, and be more of who we are, we’ll be fine down the road.”

He said that the Roadrunners have been beaten up in past games.
“Sometimes it’s harder to get up, but we will get up,” said Beard.

Beard said leadership on the team is excellent and senior leadership is there. “Hopefully we get over the hump soon,” said Beard.

He praised Daily. “He did nice job. He attacked the zone with authority.”

“He had a nice mound presence. We’re really excited about getting him back and healthy. He’s a huge part of this pitching staff,” said Beard. He said that Daily will continue to play first base as well as pitch on alternating days.

Daily said as a young team, “It’s going to take time to mesh together well and string together hits.”

He said on his first appearance since 2015, “It felt good. It’s been a long time. It’s been a lot of hard work. It meant a lot.”

Ortega said that the Roadrunners need to get ahead in counts to win more games. “A lot of it is we’re not getting our pitch. We’re kind of stressing, forcing a lot.”

CSUB lost its last series at University of California, Berkley. They were swept by the Golden Bears in a four-game set. The Roadrunners were outscored 58-13 in their Feb. 23-25 games.

The Roadrunners travel to Portland to take on the Vikings (3-4) for a four-game series, beginning Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, March 4.

They return to Hardt Field Tuesday, March 6, as they welcome the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels (8-1) at 6 p.m.