Baseball season back and in full swing


JJ Reed

Junior infielder Tyler Jorgensen and senior Noah Barba practicing their infield defense on April 3, 2019.

By Chris Burdick, Assistant Sports Editor

The 2019 CSU Bakersfield baseball team have their eyes on one goal this year, winning a Western Athletic Conference Championship.

The strength of this year’s team has been the starting pitching lead by three junior college transfer students that have joined the team this season: junior pitchers Darius Vines, Ethan Skuija, and Edgar Barclay.

The three pitchers have started a combined 23 of the teams 33 games and have a combined earned run average of 2.47 this year and have registered a combined 171 strikeouts between them.

Vines has made his presence known to opposing batters, leading the Roadrunners’ in strikeouts this season with 65 and holds a record of 4-2 in his eight appearances.

“I’m trying to win a WAC championship,” Vines said. “I’ve been on some pretty talented teams in the past few years and we’ve just failed to win a championship so that’s my one goal this year is to win.”

Head Coach Jeremy Beard enters his fourth season at CSUB after being given the head coaching position for the Roadrunners in 2017.

Beard brings 22 years of coaching and scouting experience to the CSUB baseball program, including a four-year run as an associate scout in the Major League Baseball for the Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox.

“He is very particular about what he wants out of a player,” said CSUB team manager Christian Deaton. “We have a program philosophy on certain things so that’s the first thing we look for.”

The competitive philosophy that Beard installs in the program showed successful signs early, leading them to a third place finish in the WAC in 2017 with a record of 32-24 after its lackluster 19-37 record in 2016.

The beginning of the 2019 season was slow for the Roadrunners. CSUB had a 2-8 record through the first 10 games with struggles on the offensive side being the main concern as the team was only able to average two runs per game.

Since then the team has hit its offensive stride. In the last 23 games the team has had a record of 13-10 and is averaging 6.14 runs per game brining the team back to a record of 15-18.

That record can be deceiving however when you consider that they have only lost three of their series this year so far out of the total nine.

The struggle for the Roadrunners this season seems to be in the execution on their Tuesday night turnaround games against teams like Fresno State University and Cal Poly University where they hold a record of just 1-5 on the season.

“We definitely want to play the best competition on those Tuesday games in order to keep that level of competition up we don’t want to take any game off thinking we are going to roll over a team because that’s not who we are,” said Deaton.

Regardless of the outcome of the first few Tuesday games the team is still focused on their one goal: to win against all WAC opponents.

“Our big focus right now is the [WAC]. From here on out every weekend is a conference series so we want to take two out of three games, if not sweep every series,” Ortiz said. “With these series we just have to stick to what we do best and that’s just pitch really well and get guys on base.”

The Roadrunner’s will look to continue their battle towards WAC for the next six weeks. Starting with their next series of games against California Baptist University in Riverside, California this weekend.