College

Friday, Feb 14 2014 11:21 PM

Roadrunners cruise in baseball opener

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB outfielder Chance Gusbeth runs out a fly ball during Friday afternoon's game against Milwakee at Hardt Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB's Mahlik Jones runs out a infield hit during Friday's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB's Chance Gusbeth breaks up a double play as Milwaukee's Mike Porcaro throws to first base during Friday's game at Hardt Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB pitcher James Barragan works hard to deliver the pitch during a Feb. 14 game against Milwaukee at Hart Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB reliever James Barragan lets go of his pitch during Friday afternoon's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB's David Metzgar puts a late tag on Milwaukee's Sam Koenig during action Friday afternoon at Hardt Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB players watch as another run scores during Friday afternoon's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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  8. 8 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB shortshop Oscar Sanay turns a double play during action Friday afternoon against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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  9. 9 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB starting pitcher Taylor Aikenhead follows through with his delivery as a Milwaukee batter swings during Friday's game at Hardt Field.

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  10. 10 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB base coach Jody Robinson sets up a play with Oscar Sanay and the batter during Friday afternoon's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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  11. 11 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB shortshop Oscar Sanay turns a double play during action Friday afternoon against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB's starting pitcher Taylor Aikenhead delivers a pitch during Friday afternoon's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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  13. 13 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB's Oscar Sanay rounds third and heads for home to score during Friday's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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  14. 14 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB's Chance Gusbeth slides into second to break up a double play during Friday's game against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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  15. 15 of 15

    By Nick Ellis/ Special to The Californian

    CSUB shortshop Oscar Sanay throws to first for the out during action Friday afternoon against Milwaukee at Hardt Field.

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BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Except for an eighth-inning hiccup, Cal State Bakersfield's pitching was as good as advertised in Friday's season-opener.

The Roadrunners built an 8-0 lead and survived a four-run eighth to beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 8-4 at Hardt Field.

Starter and winning pitcher Taylor Aikenhead and second pitcher James Barragan were effective, combining for seven shutout innings and only three hits allowed.

Offensively, the Roadrunners had 10 hits and could have won more decisively. They stranded 12 baserunners and left the bases loaded three times.

"Except for one throw from the outfield (during Milwaukees's four-run eighth), we were OK defensively," CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. "I felt pretty good about that. I felt like we were under control. We came out and did what we had to do in the beginning."

CSUB scored in the first when Oscar Sanay walked and eventually scored on Logan Trowbridge's bloop single to short right field.

The Roadrunners added four in the second when they sent 10 batters to the plate.

Sanay and David Metzgar had back-to-back RBI doubles and Trowbridge -- had a two-run double to highlight the rally.

Trowbridge, in his Division I debut after transferring from College of San Mateo, had his two-run double set up by his first-inning RBI single when Milwaukee shifted its defense.

In the first, Trowbridge fought off an outside pitch for a bloop single into short right-center.

When he batted in the second, the Milwaukee defense swung around toward the right side, which left a wide-open left-center field. Trowbridge's double found the gap in left-center.

"You don't have any kind of chart on guys you don't know," Kernen said. "We know he can hit. That's why he's DH-ing."

Trowbridge added, "My first at-bat there were some nerves, but being DH I was able to sit back and watch things unfold."

As for his two-run double, Trowbridge said: "My approach is (to hit to) the right side. He missed middle in and I did what I could with the pitch."

Aikenhead changed speeds effectively. Projected to throw three innings, he was only at 37 pitches through three innings so Kernen let him pitch the fourth.

Aikenhead, a senior left-hander, allowed two hits, both doubles, and one walk in four innings with five strikeouts.

"I was not happy with my fastball command. I got behind a lot of batters," Aikenhead said. "But my change-up was real good and they had a tough time with that."

James Barragan, who was slated to be CSUB's second pitcher on opening day for the last few weeks, tossed three shutout innings, allowing one hit with two walks and two strikeouts.

"We wanted to keep the two of them around 50 pitches," Kernen said. "The last 1-2 innings, he (Barragan) was really good."

Sanay added an RBI single in the fifth that scored Jordie Hein, who was hit by a pitch and stole second. Chance Gusbeth had a two-run single in the seventh to make it 8-0.

Milwaukee took advantage of pitching wildness by CSUB to score four runs in the eighth.

Freshman Garrett Nimmo allowed a double and three walks and senior Allen Gwynn issued another walk and a pinch-hit, two-run single to Sam Hammer with the bases loaded. Hammer was 0-for-14 last season and had only three hits and two RBIs in his first two seasons with the Panthers.

"Being a freshman, Nimmo was a little nervous coming in," Kernen said. "He's been better than that through the fall. But you walk everybody and one single up the middle turns into a rally."

CSUB was playing without sophomore third baseman-shortstop Mylz Jones, who was suspended by the NCAA for the first six games because of a mistake in Jones' initial paperwork before the 2013 season.

Jones' brother, Mahlik, played third cleanly and went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

The second game of the series begins at 2 p.m. today and Sunday's game starts at noon.

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