CSUB suffers 13-4 blowout loss to GCU

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CSUB suffers 13-4 blowout loss to GCU

CSUB freshman Evan Berkey sprints towards first base after a low line drive to second base on Sunday, April 22 at Hardt Field.

CSUB freshman Evan Berkey sprints towards first base after a low line drive to second base on Sunday, April 22 at Hardt Field.

CSUB freshman Evan Berkey sprints towards first base after a low line drive to second base on Sunday, April 22 at Hardt Field.

CSUB freshman Evan Berkey sprints towards first base after a low line drive to second base on Sunday, April 22 at Hardt Field.

Vincent Perez

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Sports Editor

A blowout loss to a formidable opponent is not the best way to start a crucial Western Athletic Conference series. For the CSU Bakersfield baseball team, that is what happened Friday night at Hardt Field. CSUB hosted the first-place Grand Canyon University Lopes.

The Roadrunners were looking uphill since the early innings, down 9-0 by the end of the third inning. They made a few waves with four runs of their own, but CSUB was blown out 13-4.

“We didn’t get out of the gate,” said CSUB Head Coach Jeremy Beard.

“We [also] didn’t do it on the mound.” Beard said redshirt-senior Alec Daily, who started the game, did not have his usual command and pace between pitches against the Lopes.

Lopes right-handed pitcher Jake Wong, a potential draft pick in June’s MLB Draft, took the mound for GCU.

Wong’s scouting report puts his fastball speed at 91-94 miles per hour. He reached a high of 96 on Friday night. He also showed his curve, with late break of 74-78 mph and a change-up of 80-85.

The Roadrunners (16-28, 6-10 WAC) were able to get four runs off Wong in the sixth and seventh innings, a dent to the 13 runs that the Lopes (26-19, 13-3) scored.

Wong went 6 1/3 innings to earn the win. His command took CSUB by storm in 114 pitches and was enough to win. Yet, Beard seemed pleased with CSUB’s attempt to break Wong.

“I thought we took good swings on him,” said Beard.

In the bottom of the third, the Roadrunners loaded the bases, but were kept at bay when Wong took potential runs away with his glove. He caught a line drive back to him and doubled up freshman Evan Berkey off first base.

“That’s baseball,” said Beard. He said that a great catch derailed the rally. “When you get out of the gate like that, things like that happen.”

Buck Anderson, freshman, replaced freshman Daniel Carrizosa at shortstop in the top of the third due to an apparent knee injury. Carrizosa attempted to turn a play to second base and went down in the dirt.

Anderson led off the inning with a bunt single right down the left field foul line to make the infield work.

“He owned the field tonight, he laid down a beautiful bunt and made two nice plays as soon as he got in the game,” said Beard.

Anderson said he was happy to make plays and fill in after Carrizosa’s injury. He said he keeps warm in the dugout between innings to stay warm.

On wanting to be a potential starter, Anderson said, “That’s not my job to decide, but I work hard every day. Give it my all, and whatever coach feels, I’m with it.”

Anderson said that playing time is crucial. He had 46 at-bats before his game tonight. “It motivates me to win and get in the [WAC] Tournament. Once we get there, anything can happen.”

Carrizosa still needs to be evaluated. Beard said he tweaked his knee and the coaching staff and players hope he’s back soon.

The Roadrunners’ mistakes also get the best of them. Five errors were made by CSUB.

“For us to do that tonight, it’s disappointing. We just need to flush tonight and move on to tomorrow as soon as we can,” said Beard.

Daily said he left the ball up and that was the reason he struggled. The errors also cost the Roadrunners.

To minimize errors, Daily said, “It starts at the mound. It’s hard to make plays when your players struggle on the mound when there’s time between plays.”

Daily struggled in two innings’ work. He gave up 4 runs on 8 hits. Freshman Isaiah Moten relieved Daily in the third. Moten went six innings, and while he gave up 5 runs, the longevity of his outing was something that CSUB needed. He struck out three Lopes on 104 pitches.

“They need to watch Moten, the way he attacked the zone and had pace,” said Beard. “[He] pitched with conviction. That’s what we need to learn. That kind of mentality.”

The upcoming WAC tournament is May 23-27 in Mesa, Arizona. The Roadrunners need to make a late push if they’re going to stay in the hunt. They are in sixth place but have lost four consecutive games. The top six conference teams qualify for the tournament.

CSUB continues their three-game set against GCU at Hardt Field tonight at 6 p.m. Former closer, senior Naithen Dewsnap will take the mound potentially, looking to bounce back from the blowout loss.

The Sunday finale is tomorrow at 12 noon.

Photo by Aaron Mills/ The Runner