BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Cal State Bakersfield set team records Sunday no baseball club wants.
The Roadrunners were swept in a non-conference doubleheader at Hardt Field by UC Riverside, losing 4-3 in the opener and 7-6 in the second game.
CSUB (5-6) lost all three games of the series to the Highlanders (6-5).
In Sunday's first game, the Roadrunners left a single-game team record 17 on base.
In the second game, CSUB starting pitcher Hayden Carter threw four wild pitches in the first inning. He left after getting only one out after throwing 10 strikes in his 27 pitches.
The second game also featured a bases-loaded balk by CSUB's second pitcher, Garrett Nimmo; a throw from Bakersfield first baseman Soloman Williams that struck a Riverside baserunner who had been picked off, which allowed a run to score.
And in the top of the ninth, a two-out hit batter and wild pitch set up a game-winning single by Riverside's Drake Zarate, a hard ground ball that hit the lip of the infield grass and scooted under the glove of third baseman Mylz Jones, who expected the ball to bounce.
In the bottom of the ninth, the game ended when CSUB senior Oscar Sanay, who was on second base, thought Garrett Pierce's line drive to center field would drop in front of center fielder Devyn Bolasky for a potential game-tying single, so Sanay ran full speed to third.
But instead Bolasky made the catch and Sanay was easily caught off second for a game-ending double play.
"We just do weird things to shoot ourselves in the foot," CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. "It's going to be like this for awhile. We're green."
Kernen rattled off some of the "weird" plays.
"We get picked off third base after a triple (by Chance Gusbeth leading off the second inning) and that's why we lose the first game," Kernen said.
"Then we balk with the bases loaded in the second game to make sure they got that run.
"And then we get two quick outs, then we hit a guy and wild pitch him to second so they can get a bad-hop deal at third."
Kernen added: "These are things that have nothing to do with talent. They have nothing to do with ability. They just don't know how to play yet."
Carter's wildness had Kernen concerned.
"I thought he was hurt," Kernen said. "He couldn't even throw the ball 60 feet. I wasn't sure what was going on. That's why I got him out of there."
Nimmo, a freshman, pitched 5-2/3 innings in his longest outing of the year, allowing five hits, three walks and three runs. Another freshman, Alec Daily, relieved Nimmo and worked two scoreless innings.
"I was real happy with Nimmo and Daily," Kernen said. "Those are two guys who are starters in the future for this program and both of them are feeling more comfortable every time they go out there."
Riverside infielder Nick Vilter, who hit two home runs Saturday, launched a three-run first-inning homer off Game 1 starter Austin Davis, and he knocked in what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning of the opener with an RBI grounder.
Vilter, who played second base in the opener and shortstop in the second game, had three homers and 11 RBIs in the series.
Vilter is hitting .459 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in Riverside's 11 games.
He entered this season with two home runs in 241 career at-bats. He had 16 RBIs in 53 games last season.
In the two games Sunday, he was 2-for-3 with five walks (three intentional).
It was Vilter who was hit by a pitch in the second game and eventually scored the winning run.
Kernen and associate head coach Jody Robinson moved center fielder Jordie Hein from the No. 9 spot in the order to leadoff on Sunday and Hein reached base five times in 11 plate appearances.
CSUB had 13 hits and received five walks in the opener but left the bases loaded four times en route to 17 left on in the game. The previous record for CSUB was 15 left on, which had been done three times.
"How do you leave 17 on base?" Kernen said.
The Roadrunners added nine hits and received seven walks in the second game.
"We hit the ball well today, the first time all year we've hit the ball," Kernen said.
CSUB plays host to Cal State Northridge Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Hardt Field.