Errors define WAC baseball opener, CSUB loses 9-3


CSUB freshman shortstop overthrows senior first baseman Andrew Penner in the second inning, Friday, April 6 at Hardt Field. Photo by Ricky Gonzales/ The Runner

Vincent Perez

Sports Editor

Mistakes got the best of the Roadrunners on Friday night at Hardt Field. The CSU Bakersfield baseball team committed four errors en route to a 9-3 loss to the New Mexico State University Aggies in their first home WAC game this season.

“We made some physical errors today, and that will cost you in a tight ballgame,” said Head Coach Jeremy Beard. “All those mistakes are magnified in close ball games. We have to play better defense.”

However, Beard praised Alec Daily (2-1), who threw 99 pitches, and gave up 2 runs in 6 innings. He kept the Roadrunners (10-18, 1-3 WAC) in the game, but the offense did not get on the board until the bottom of the seventh inning, after Daily was removed.

Despite his effort, Daily said he wants get more first-pitch strikes against hitters. “[I want to] attack early and throw less pitches,” said Daily. “My arm feels better than the last two times I pitched.”

Daily gave up his first run on a fielder’s choice in the second inning, in which freshman shortstop Evan Berkey committed a throwing error by overthrowing first base. Berkey’s right arm has kept him out of the last three games, so that could have been a factor in the play.

Daily had been flirting with allowing runs to score for the Aggies early in the game. In the fourth, after he hit junior Tristen Carranza, Daily pitched to redshirt-junior Caleb Henderson. Then, Berkey committed his second error of the game, bobbling the ball when it came to him. With no play at hand, Berkey held on to the ball, with two runners safe for NMSU.

Henderson would later score when Aggie senior David Bellamy knocked him in with a RBI single.

At the top of the seventh, trailing 2-0, Roadrunner Kyle King came in to relieve Daily. He allowed two more runs to cross home plate before the top half ended. Daily’s runs were unearned until King came in.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Roadrunners scored their first and only runs off a single from freshman Daniel Carrizosa, a bases loaded walk from junior Ryan Koch and a sacrifice RBI from Berkey. CSUB trailed by one run, going into the eighth, by a score of 4-3, before Aggie lead off hitter Joey Ortiz changed that with a swing of his bat.

Ortiz went yard on a 3-run home run to left field, clearing the wall. King went 2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, a surprising outing for King.

The NMSU sophomore’s 8th inning-home run killed all hopes of a CSUB comeback and silenced the home fans when they saw the 8-3 score in the scoreboard lights.

The offense was not the only aspect of the Aggies’ game that surprised the Roadrunners. Junior Kyle Bradish (4-1) came into the game with an ERA barely over 3 and 65 strikeouts, commanding power on the mound with his 6-4 frame.

Bradish went 6 innings and struck out 6 CSUB hitters. He did let two runs score, but was removed in the seventh. Bradish finished with 107 pitches for the Aggies (17-13, 4-3 WAC).

Brock Whittlesey, a junior, came into the game in the seventh inning after two other NMSU pitchers, to earn his fourth save, with 2 1/3 inning’s work.

Despite the loss, senior Andrew Penner has been stellar all season, averaging .370 in 100 at bats, has 17 runs scored, 7 RBIs, and a slugging percentage of .440. Penner went 2-for-4, with a walk in the loss.

“Our young guys need to learn from Penner and not take it for granted,” said Beard.

Redshirt-senior Mark Pena, who also went 2-for-4 and an RBI said, “We played hard and it got away from us. Saturday and Sunday are crucial.”

Pena committed an error in center field in the ninth that gave Aggie senior Trey Stine a free pass to second base. Stine would later score.

He said that errors can happen but they’ll improve with no changes necessary to eliminate errors.

Advice can go far. Pena offered his advice to the Roadrunner squad.

“Play like it’s your last, play hard and do what it takes to win. Most of all, play together.”

The Roadrunners continue their home WAC set with the Aggies today at 6 p.m. at Hardt Field. They wrap up the home set tomorrow, Sunday, at 12 noon.

Photo by Ricky Gonzales/ The Runner