CSUB relinquishes lead, fall 11-8 to Cal Poly

CSUB+freshman+Kevin+Altamirano+throws+at+against+Cal+Poly+at+Hardt+Field+on+Tuesday%2C+April+10.%0A%0APhoto%3A+Simer+Khurana

CSUB freshman Kevin Altamirano throws at against Cal Poly at Hardt Field on Tuesday, April 10. Photo: Simer Khurana

Vincent Perez

Sports Editor

The Roadrunners were overpowered at Hardt Field after letting an 8-0 lead slip through their hands Tuesday night. The CSU Bakersfield baseball team surrendered to Cal Poly 11-8, despite leading by eight runs through four innings.

The eighth consecutive loss for the Roadrunners is a nonconference loss, yet, the Roadrunners have not won a game since their first Western Athletic Conference game back on March 23 at UTRGV.

“The outcome is very disappointing,” said Head Coach Jeremy Beard. “You can’t get too comfortable in this game. This is Division I baseball and they had a lot of good hitters. Tonight, we let them get back in the game.” The offense went both ways throughout the nonconference game.

CSUB hitters hit the ground running in the second inning, beginning with a lead off triple by junior Ryan Koch. Two batters later, junior Jake Ortega knocked in Koch, with a RBI ground out at shortstop. The Roadrunners took a 1-0 lead with more batters coming up hungry for runs. Three batters later, sophomore Austyn Tengan drew a bases-loaded walk to drive a run in, and redshirt-senior Mark Pena would score on a wild pitch from Cal Poly sophomore Thomas Triantos. The Roadrunners led 3-0 at going into the third.

After a pitching change in the bottom third for Cal Poly, junior Michael Clark replaced Triantos. Koch, who went 1-for-4 with a scored run, reached first base from an error from Mustang junior first baseman Nick Meyer, when he could not secure the ball in his glove off a bounce in the outfield. Daily, in the next at-bat, singled up the middle to put two on for Ortega.

Ortega scored Koch off a throwing error from junior shortstop Kyle Mariconz and Ortega reached first. CSUB led 4-0 in the third.

Two batters later, redshirt-senior Mark Pena hit the ball up the middle to the ball hit off Clark’s heel. Two runs scored from Ortega and Daily. Freshman Daniel Carrizosa added another run when he singled to left center field knocking in Pena.

CSUB led 7-0 and even added another run in the fourth when Daily grounded into a 1-out double play, which scored senior Christian Deaton. They took their Roadrunner 8-0 lead into the top of the fifth with confidence, but Cal Poly would respond in the bottom half.

Mustang sophomore Scott Ogrin gave the Roadrunner pitchers a tough night. He singled in the fifth inning with two Mustangs on base, scoring the first of his four RBIs. Junior Kyle Mariconz and freshman Tate Samuelson would add two more runs from singles to edge them back 8-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth.

The Roadrunners would never return the favor as they would not score again in the game.

In the seventh, trailing 8-5, with two Mustangs on, Ogrin hit a line-drive home run over the right center field wall. High winds throughout the night could have played a factor in the flight of the ball. “The wind was blowing straight out of here pretty heavy. I don’t know if those balls get out in a regular day,” said Beard.

Despite weather, the Mustangs took a 9-8 lead and added another when freshman pinch-hitter Cole Cabrera hit the ball to CSUB third baseman Luis Martinez and he could not make a play on the ball. Martinez overthrew Carrizosa at second and was given an error. The Mustangs (14-17, 1-5 Big West Conference) led 10-8 off five big hits in the seventh.

The Roadrunners were stifled in the last six frames by Cal Poly junior Austin Dondanville (1-0). In 51 pitches, he gave up only one hit, striking out four. Dondanville got the win and Kyle King, of CSUB, got the loss when he came on in the sixth. King (1-3) finished with 1 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 5 runs and 4 strikeouts.

CSUB freshman Kevin Altamirano started the game and gave his teammates enough strength to hang in the game in his four innings. Altamirano, in his first collegiate start, got a no-decision, despite giving up 2 hits and 3 runs in a high-scoring game.

Even in the loss, Carrizosa played spectacular defense. He recorded eight put outs for CSUB in his first collegiate start at shortstop.

“He showed promising defense. That was great for a freshman to do,” said Beard on Carrizosa. The regular shortstop, freshman Evan Berkey, was given a day to rest.

“I felt comfortable. My philosophy was to have fun,” said Carrizosa on his playing. “Other than that, I could care less how I play. I want to win.”

He said that the Roadrunners (10-21, 1-5 WAC)  were playing their type of baseball in the first four innings. “We just got the play that way through nine innings.”

Koch said that they need to make a few adjustments in the defense to improve. “That’s a part of baseball. We got to find a way to overcome adversities.”

The Roadrunners continue WAC play at Utah Valley (12-19, 4-5 WAC) this Friday, April 13-15 for a three-game set in Orem, Utah. First pitch is at 6 p.m. Mountain Time on Friday. That game can be streamed live on the WAC Digital Network.

CSUB senior Andrew Penner hits a ball at Hardt Field against Cal Poly on Tuesday, April 10.

All photos by Simer Khurana/ The Runner