College

Friday, Apr 19 2013 11:48 PM

'Runners solve hard-throwing hurler in win

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    By Rod Thornburg / Special to The Californian

    CSUB vs Dallas Baptist Baseball CSUB's #3 Jeff McKenzie throws one to a Dallas Baptist opponent.

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  2. 2 of 2

    By Rod Thornburg / Special to The Californian

    CSUB vs Dallas Baptist Baseball CSUB's #3 Jeff McKenzie throws one to a Dallas Baptist opponent.

    click to expand click to collapse
BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Cal State Bakersfield showed Friday night it can hit hard-throwers.

The Roadrunners pounded 11 hits and scored nine runs in four innings off Dallas Baptist starting pitcher Jake Johansen, whose fastball was clocked as high as 100 mph, and CSUB posted a 10-4 win at Hardt Field.

CSUB (26-13 overall, 10-3 Western Athletic Conference) broke it open with a six-run third inning and led 10-2 after five innings.

The Roadrunners were held hitless after that but Dallas Baptist (20-18, 7-6 WAC) was never able to mount a serious comeback.

CSUB starting pitcher Jeff McKenzie was not as sharp as usual but still improved his record to 9-1, setting a Roadrunner single-season record for wins. He shared the previous mark of eight set in 2011 by Jonathan Montoya and Mike McCarthy.

McKenzie lasted 62/3 innings and allowed his season-high of four runs and 10 hits. He was pulled after 123 pitches. Taylor Aikenhead worked the final 21/3 innings and did not allow a run to wrap it up.

"I kind of knew it was going to be a bad night when I couldn't throw my curve ball for a strike," McKenzie said.

 

“He didn’t have his best stuff. He didn’t have his best command,” CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. “The mark of a really true quality pitcher is you still win that night.”

Setting the single-season record for wins was on McKenzie’s mind leading up to the game, he said.

“I’ve been thinking about it,” he said. “It’s an honor to be in the same running as Mike McCarthy (now in the Boston Red Sox farm system) and Jonathan Montoya, who’s been here since the beginning of the program. I’m grateful for the win and the record.”

Dallas Baptist did an excellent job going with the pitch and collecting hits to the opposite field. McKenzie has consistently pounded the outside corner all season.

“The scouting report had them pull-happy but they made the adjustments,” McKenzie said. “I tip my hat to them.”

Offensively, Mylz Jones went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Oscar Sanay added a two-run double to cap the six-run third and Chance Gusbeth’s two-run single made it 9-1 in the fourth.

Johansen’s fastball consistently clocked 97-99 mph. Jordie Hein got a double on a pitch that read 100 mph on the Hardt Field scoreboard.

“It was really interesting,” Kernen said. “I was wondering what was going to happen. We knew the guy threw hard. Everybody’s been telling us he’s 96 to 100.

“Our guys handled that pretty well. They were not intimidated. We toughed it out and had some really good swings.”

CSUB also was hit by pitches six times, one short of the school record. Cael Brockmeyer was hit three times to set a single-game school record.

The Roadrunners had five singles, Sanay’s double and two hit batsmen in the six-run third.

Notes: CSUB’s No. 3 batter Dylan Christensen was removed from the game in the fourth inning because of a strained oblique, Kernen said. Christensen had dropped down a two-strike bunt in a third-inning at-bat, “He first hurt it Wednesday in (batting practice) in Fresno,” Kernen said. “He couldn’t swing the bat, that’s why he dropped down that bunt. I would be very surprised if he plays (tonight).” ... The series continues at 6 p.m. today and concludes Sunday with a noon game. ... Hein stole two bases, the 11th time in CSUB’s history a player has had two steals in a game. ... CSUB moved into first place in the WAC by a half-game ahead of Texas-Arlington, which was rained out at Seattle. Those teams play a doubleheader today.

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