CSUB looks to bounce back versus N. Colorado

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CSUB looks to bounce back versus N. Colorado

Photo by Ricky Gonzalez/ The Runner

Photo by Ricky Gonzalez/ The Runner

Photo by Ricky Gonzalez/ The Runner

Photo by Ricky Gonzalez/ The Runner

Vincent Perez

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Sports Editor

Comebacks are the best part of athletics. The Roadrunners could be the dark horse in the 2018 Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

In their latest nonconference home game, CSUB did not get off on the right foot. They lost 10-0 to Loyola Marynount Unversity on Tuesday, May 8.

LMU senior Billy Wilson homered to center to start their offense in the first inning.

Wilson (4-for-5) was a triple short of hitting for the cycle at Hardt Field, an accolade that CSUB did not want on their hands. He also doubled in two Lions in the seventh.

The Lions’ offense was awoken at Hardt Field. They collected 14 hits. LMU was led by Wilson and shortstop Nick Sogard, a sophomore who batted 3-for-5, two runs batted in and two runs scored.

CSUB freshman pitcher Kevin Altamirano (0-1, 8.27 ERA) started for the second time this season, who is line to be a future arm for CSUB and in the WAC Tournament, threw five innings, but allowed eight hits and six runs, but only two were earned.

The Roadrunners had five hits in the loss, and are hitting .257 as a team.

CSUB’s pitching was not looking as solid as it was earlier in the season.

Senior Alec Daily, the No. 1 arm, has a record of 4-2, an ERA of 4.30 and 44 strikeouts in 44 innings. Daily will be a crucial part of CSUB’s pitching in the WAC Tournament.

Head Coach Jeremy Beard understands Daily’s importance. His last outing was Friday, May 4 against GCU, which is in first place in WAC. Daily went 2 innings, with 4 earned runs, and another 4 which were unearned from errors.

“I can’t really pinpoint any one thing,” said Beard on Daily’s two-inning outing.

The importance on the Roadrunners’ pitching is vital going into the conference tournament.

Daily said he wants to bounce back in his next Friday night start, which would be May 11 at Northern Colorado. “Our offense got four runs on a Friday night. That’s enough [to win].”

Daily took responsibility and said the team can’t work well when the pitcher can’t make plays. He wants to correct that soon.

Naithen Dewsnap, senior, began the season as a closer and has transitioned to a starter after an injury to Aaron Charles, a sophomore. Charles will be useful in the conference tournament now that he is healthy.

Dewsnap’s ERA of 4.09, 45 strikeouts and 200-faced batters will pay off dividends if Beard is looking to keep him in the starting rotation, at no. 2.

Sophomore Elijah Parks has impressed lately. He has struck out 34 batters and while his 5.71 ERA doesn’t reflect his command on the mound, the team that the Roadrunners will face, will understand why Parks is Beard’s go-to when in trouble, pitcher.

Senior Andrew Penner has led the Roadrunners this season in all hitting categories. Penner’s .358 average, 29 runs, 67 hits, and 21 RBIs, leads the team and is currently seventh in WAC batting overall.

Noah Barba holds his own with a .299 average, 29 hits, 17 runs and 12 RBIs. Barba will undoubtedly see more playing time in the coming games prior to the conference tournament.

“We really want to get there,” said Barba on the WAC Tournament. “When we get there, anything can happen.”

CSUB will earn their frequent flier miles before the WAC Tournament begins. They travel to Greeley, Colorado to face WAC member, Northern Colorado (26-12, 9-12 WAC) in a three-game set May 11-13, back to California for a nonconference game with UC Santa Barbara (22-22-1, 7-8 Big West Conference), May 15 and end their regular season whey they host Chicago State (10-36, 4-14 WAC) from Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19.

If the season were to end today, the Roadrunners would be the No. 6 seed and would play the No. 3 seed, New Mexico State Aggies (33-16, 15-6 WAC). NMSU leads the conference in team batting average (.327), runs (439), home runs (51), RBIs (401) and lead all other categories in offense and fielding (.977).

The 2018 WAC Tournament will be May 23-27 in Mesa, Arizona. The tournament is double-elimination.

Photo by Ricky Gonzales/ The Runner