BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
One could say Cal State Bakersfield was due for a high-scoring game.
The Roadrunners, who have struggled offensively most of this season, set season highs for runs and hits Saturday night.
And they needed every one of them in a wild 11-10 win over North Dakota at Hardt Field.
The 11 runs and 18 hits were Bakersfield's final totals. It was the first time CSUB had scored more than four runs in 10 games.
"We had our best hitting game and our worst pitching game," CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. "We've been pitching so well, but sometimes you need the offense to bail out the pitching."
Bakersfield (10-11, 3-2 Western Athletic Conference) led 10-6 after seven innings. But North Dakota (2-12, 2-3 WAC) took advantage of an erratic Roadrunner bullpen, which allowed four runs, five hits and five walks in the final two innings.
North Dakota had 12 hits and CSUB's four pitchers issued 10 walks.
The game ended on a spectacular double play with the bases loaded.
Oscar Sanay, who had just been inserted at shortstop, backhanded a hard ground ball by Daniel Lockhert and fired to second baseman David Metzgar, who had just moved there from third base.
With baserunner Jacob Threlkeld bearing down on him, Metzgar got his throw off, which barely beat a diving Lockhert for the game-ending double play.
"We were able to do enough things to win by one," Kernen said.
In addition to the 18 hits, CSUB also benefitted from five North Dakota errors, although only one Roadrunner run was unearned.
Freshman Max Carter from Stockdale High had CSUB's best offensive game, going 4-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
Carter's three-run double in the second tied the game 4-4 after North Dakota had taken an early lead with three runs in the first.
Carter, who came into the game batting a team-high .385, is now hitting .438.
"Carter's been doing real well. It's why we've got him in there," Kernen said.
Garrett Pierce, a junior outfielder from Centennial High, added a single, double and triple in his first three at-bats. Leadoff batter Jordie Hein had a double, two infield singles and a walk.
Bakersfield had at least one baserunner in every inning and scored in seven of its eight innings.
"We were able to come back and score every time they scored," Kernen said.
Both starting pitchers were knocked out after only 2-1/3 innings.
North Dakota's Zach Muckenhim, a freshman left-hander, came into the game 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA.
He allowed seven runs (all earned), nine hits and one walk.
CSUB starter Alec Daily, also a freshman lefty, allowed five runs (three earned), five hits and two walks.
James Barragan, normally a starter, replaced Daily and worked 5-1/3 innings of relief. He was chased in the top of the eighth inning after issuing two walks.
"Barragan kept it under control," Kernen said.
The series concludes today at 1 p.m.