By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
SAN MARCOS, Texas -- Cal State Bakersfield took the lead for good with a four-run rally in the top of the sixth inning and beat Texas State 7-5 on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Texas State.
The win kept CSUB (29-14 overall, 12-4 Western Athletic Conference) in first place, one game ahead of Texas-Arlington.
Jeff McKenzie (10-1) extended his school record with his 10th win of the season. He allowed four runs and 10 hits in five innings.
The Roadrunners trailed 4-3 in the top of the sixth when they loaded the bases on singles by Frank Martinez and Jordie Hein around a walk to Oscar Sanay. Martinez was forced at home on Tyler Shryock's ground ball, but Cael Brockmeyer's two-run single to center gave CSUB a 5-4 lead. After Brockmeyer stole second, Mylz Jones lined a two-run single to left to make it 7-4.
Texas State (18-23, 9-7 WAC) rallied in the ninth on a hit batter, double and sacrifice fly. But Taylor Aikenhead got a game-ending groundout to earn his fifth save.
Brockmeyer added an RBI single and Jones had an RBI on a fielder's choice grounder in the first inning. Hein's RBI single in the second scored Martinez, who had singled with one out.
Hein finished with three hits while Shryock, Brockmeyer and Martinez had two hits each.
James Barragan, CSUB's second pitcher, retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced after replacing McKenzie to start the sixth inning.
Texas State's Cody Lovejoy and Andrew Stumph had three hits apiece to highlight the Bobcats' 12-hit attack.
The Bobcats scored one in the first added two in the third on Nick Smelser's two-run double and Stumph had an RBI single in the fifth.
In the ninth, Barragan hit pinch hitter Colby Targun with a pitch and Kevin Sah followed with a double. Aikenhead entered the game and allowed a sacrifice fly to Garrett Mattlage to make it 7-5 and ended the game moments later by inducing Lovejoy to ground out to shortstop Shryock.
The second game of the series starts at 11 a.m. today and the series finale begins Sunday at 10 a.m.