BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
FRESNO -- Cal State Bakersfield squandered several scoring chances early in Wednesday night's game at Fresno State, but once the offense started clicking, it was no contest.
Roadrunners pitchers Chuck Buchanan and James Barragan contained Fresno State's hitting and CSUB's offense batted around twice en route to an 8-5 win at Beiden Field.
It was the second time this season CSUB (25-13) has beaten the Bulldogs (8-24).
"We always have a good rivalry with these guys," said Buchanan, who allowed two earned runs and four hits in six innings while striking out eight. "They always come out and play hard against us and we play hard against them. It's a good thing."
Barragan got his first collegiate save, although he allowed a pair of runs in the ninth inning on a two-out single by Taylor Tempel and a two-run homer to Jordan Luplow that barely stayed fair down the left-field line.
CSUB second baseman Oscar Sanay scored three runs, went 4-for-4 and was hit by a pitch.
Two CSUB errors contributed to FSU's three-run fourth, and Buchanan had to escape a bases-loaded, one-out situation to prevent further damage.
He struck out Aaron Judge, Fresno's batting average and home run leader, and Chris Mariscal, the Bulldogs' second-leading hitter, to escape the jam.
"That was the biggest thing Chuck did," CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. "He dug in and got out of that inning. We came right back and got those three (runs) back, then he went back out and got them out. That got us back in control of the game."
"His command was good," Kernen added. "He had good stuff. The runs he gave up weren't because of his pitching, it was because of our defense. His pitching was outstanding."
Buchanan said he recalled what worked against Judge in an earlier at-bat in the crucial bases-loaded situation.
"I saw he wasn't doing well with my change-up and low pitches," Buchanan said. "I said, 'Chuck the change-up, stay low and don't give him anything to hit.' I executed my pitches."
CSUB pulled even in the fifth inning when Frank Martinez and Sanay singled, Tyler Shryock walked to load the bases and Dylan Christensen blasted a two-run double high off the left-field wall, missing a grand slam by inches.
Cael Brockmeyer's infield roller drove in the tying run.
The Roadrunners broke the 3-3 tie in the seventh by scoring four unearned runs.
Fresno State pitcher Aaron Gillis threw wildly on Shryock's sacrifice bunt attempt after Sanay had led off the inning with a single.
Two outs later, Kevin Younger walked to load the bases and Mylz Jones, after fouling off two pitches, lined a two-run single over the head of second baseman Jake Alvarez.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play somewhere," said Jones, CSUB's freshman third baseman. "I got my barrel of the bat on it enough to get it over the second baseman's head."
After Garrett Pierce was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Frank Martinez grounded a two-run single to left to put the Roadrunners ahead 7-3.
Sanay led off the eighth with his fourth hit and eventually scored CSUB's final run on a passed ball.
Notes: CSUB had lost four straight midweek games prior to Wednesday. The Roadrunners also beat Fresno State 5-3 in Bakersfield on Feb. 26 in another midweek game. ... Fresno State's top two hitters, Judge and Mariscal, went a combined 0-for-9. ... CSUB faces Dallas Baptist in a home Western Athletic Conference series Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. both days and at noon Sunday. ... CSUB plays two more games against Fresno State: next Tuesday at Hardt Field and April 30 at Fresno State.