BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
It wasn't a lack of effort that beat Bakersfield College's baseball team Thursday. It was a lack of scoring.
The Renegades were officially eliminated from first-place contention in the Western State Conference South Division when they lost 2-1 to first-place Glendale College at Gerry Collis Field.
Glendale, ranked No. 6 in Southern California improved to 23-9 overall and 14-4 in the WSC. No. 8 BC is 22-11 and 10-8 with three games remaining.
"I thought we competed our butt off for nine innings," BC coach Tim Painton said. "I can't ask our guys to compete any better. We came up on the short end of the thing."
Glendale scratched across a run in the second and another in the sixth. The Renegades scored an unearned run in the first and had at least one baserunner in seven of the nine innings, but had trouble stringing hits together.
It was BC's third conference loss in five games since the Easter break. The Renegades, who average more than seven runs per game this season, were coming off a 1-0 loss at L.A. Mission on Tuesday.
"I have no theory on it," Painton said of the recent offensive struggles. "When you score one run in 18 innings, the chances of winning one of those two games is slim and none. But I felt like we competed. I felt like our hitters competed. We just didn't produce enough runs."
BC finishes its regular season with a game Saturday at Glendale, then a home-and-home vs. L.A. Pierce next week.
Painton noted that typically at least two playoff teams come from the WSC South. BC began the day Thursday a half-game behind second-place L.A. Valley and tied for third with L.A. Mission.
"That's too far down the road," Painton said when asked about BC's postseason hopes. "We've got three games to play in this thing. And a lot can happen in three games. I don't want to conjecture on that."
The Renegades took a 1-0 lead in the first when Brent Peterson led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Jordan Turner's two-out RBI single to right. One batter earlier, Isaiah Turner reached on an error that prolonged the inning.
BC had other chances.
A single and double with two outs in the third and a double and two walks in the seventh with two outs loaded the bases. But Glendale wriggled out of those threats.
The Vaqueros converted a hit batter, fielder's choice and two singles into the tying run in the second.
In the sixth, Adam Ochart drew a one-out walk and took third on a hit-and-run single by Matt McCallister. Robert DeSantiago dropped down a safety squeeze bunt along the first-base line.
First baseman Blayne Ontiveros fielded the ball and threw wildly to the plate, but Ochart would have been safe even if the throw was accurate.
BC starter Brad Lindsley got a strikeout and flyout to end the inning without any more runs scoring, and Ryan Stapp tossed three shutout innings in relief.
But Glendale starter Alonzo Gonzalez got the key outs he needed, and closer Kirk Edson -- who entered the game with two walks and one earned run allowed in 26 innings, wrapped it up for his seventh save.
Peterson had the at-bat of the night in the seventh. With runners on first and second with two outs, he fouled off seven straight 3-2 pitches before walking to load the bases. But John La fanned Jon Suda to end the threat.