By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield College's baseball season will continue.
The Renegades learned Sunday that they will be the 14th seed in the 18-team Southern California playoffs and will travel to No. 3-seed Saddleback in Mission Viejo on Friday and Saturday for a best two-of-three series.
BC (24-12) played Saddleback (25-11) once this season. On March 28 at Gerry Collis Field, Saddleback won 1-0 behind a one-hitter by winning pitcher Evan Manarino. That marked the only time this season the Renegades have been shut out.
BC finished the regular season by losing its final four games. With four games left, the Renegades were tied for first place with eventual Western State Conference South Division champion Glendale.
"My only concern were those two season-ending losses," BC coach Tim Painton said, referring to losses to West Los Angeles College, the last-place team in the WSC South. "My concern was how that would hurt us in our RPI.
"But once I sat down and figured it out, I thought we'd get in. I thought we'd play Saddleback, and that's what happened."
RPI is ratings percentage index, which plays a big part in determining post-season berths. RPI is determined by a team's won-lost record, opponents' won-lost records and records of the opponents' opponents.
Seven Renegades earn all-conference honors
Freshman outfielder Kyle Nixon, freshman infielder Rolando Martinez and sophomore pitcher Darion Nunn were selected to the All-Western State Conference South Division first-team by a vote of conference coaches.
Four other BC players earned second-team honors: freshman outfielder Cole Hallum, freshman infielder Erik Williams, freshman catcher Justin Martinez and sophomore starting pitcher Justin Kelly.
Nixon led BC in batting (.371) and hits (56).
Rolando Martinez was second on the team in batting (.345) and Nunn went 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 11 games.
Hallum batted .309 and led BC in runs scored (34). Williams hit .319, tied for second on BC in hits (46) and led with 16 doubles. Justin Martinez hit .307 and led the WSC South in home runs (7) and RBIs (34). Kelly, who has signed with Virginia Tech, was 5-5 with a 4.66 ERA.
Blaze routs Rawhide
The Bakersfield Blaze pounded 17 hits on the way to a 14-3 victory over the Visalia Rawhide at Sam Lynn Ballpark, ending a seven-game losing streak.
Bakersfield's Kyle Waldrop, Mike Gilmartin and Juan Silva hit second-inning home runs as Bakersfield increased its 6-1 lead to 11-1.
Juan Perez had a team-best four hits in five at-bats, and Gilmartin led Bakersfield with three RBIs.
Jimmy Moran (1-0), the second of four Blaze pitchers, earned the win, tossing 2-1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter James Allen.
The Blaze, which played error-free ball Sunday, begins a road trip Tuesday at San Jose.
Six Bakersfield Jam players earned All-NBA D-League honors, the league announced.
Brian Butch and Jerel McNeal, now a member of the Utah Jazz, were First Team picks.
Butch averaged 12.7 points and 10.9 rebounds in 29.5 minutes per game. McNeal averaged 18.1 points, 5.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 30.3 minutes per game.
Damion James (15.8 pounts, 8.2 rebounds) was selected to Second Team and All-Defensive Team. Renaldo Major was an honorable mention pick, and Chris Cooper and James Nunnally were voted to the All-Rookie Third Team.