BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cal State Bakersfield offense showed a little life in the opener of Saturday's doubleheader against Hofstra.
But the hitting woes resurfaced in the second game as the Roadrunners split, winning the opener 7-3 then losing the second game 6-4.
CSUB 7, Hofstra 3
Hofstra100000110--3 10 2
Cal St. Bakersfield20210020x--7 13 1
Tiedemann, Normand (6), Krause (7), Barbarino (7), Sarra (8) and Reistetter. Brattvet, Aikenhead (9) and Brockmeyer. W--Brattvet (2-0); L--Tiedemann (0-2). 2B--CSUB (Guspeth).
Hofstra 6, CSUB 4
Hofstra100400001--6 9 0
Cal St. Bakersfield102100000--4 9 1
Kozlowski, Jesch (3), Barbarino (8), Verbitsky (9) and Cafiero. Buchanan, Carter (4) and Martinez, Brockmeyer (6). W--Jesch (1-0); L--Buchanan (0-1); Sv--Verbitsky(2). W-L--Hofstra 2-5, CSUB 3-3.
On Friday, Hofstra (2-5) beat CSUB 1-0 as the Roadrunners went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
In the opener Saturday, CSUB (3-3) had 13 hits and was 6-of-20 with runners in scoring position. But in the second game, the Roadrunners were limited to nine singles and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
After scoring a run to pull within 5-4 in the fourth inning, CSUB had only two baserunners the rest of the way. And the Roadrunners went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. It was the third loss in CSUB’s last four games.
“I’m really disappointed in our offense,” CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. “All of a sudden we’re just not doing the things that we did in the opening weekend. I’m confused on why that’s happening.”
Making it more mystifying was seeing a decent offensive showing in Saturday’s opener after Friday’s struggle, and then seeing the team struggle again in the second game Saturday.
“It’s a random thing,” Kernen said. “One time you’re OK. One time you’re not OK. That’s a .500 team, which is where we are now.
“That’s a win-some, lose-some team. We think we’re going to be better than that. We’re certainly hoping we are. With our pitching and defense we should be. But we have to do a lot more offensively than we are right now.”
The brightest spot for CSUB was senior right-hander Scott Brattvet’s pitching performance in Saturday’s first game. He went eight innings and allowed only two earned runs, eight hits and three walks while striking out five.
“He pitched really well,” Kernen said. “We’ve been struggling in the first inning and he did, too. But once he got that thing under control, he really was dominant. That was very good to see.”
The Pride had two singles and a walk, and Brattvet threw a wild pitch that scored a run in the first inning. But from the second through the sixth innings, he allowed only two hits and a walk.
Hofstra added single runs in the seventh and eighth. Kernen let Brattvet go eight innings before Taylor Aikenhead tossed a scoreless ninth.
Brattvet threw 120 pitches. Kernen began the season saying his goal was to limit the pitch count to around 100 for the first few games.
“I go by not just the pitch count but the ease of the innings,” Kernen said. “He threw a few more (pitches) early, and then he had some easy innings along the way. ...
“I wanted to keep Aikenhead to throwing one inning because he’s going to go on Tuesday. He’ll start against Fresno.”
CSUB’s offense in the Saturday’s opener was led by Cael Brockmeyer’s two RBI singles, an RBI double by Chance Gusbeth and a two-run single by Dylan Christensen. Freshman third baseman Mylz Jones had several outstanding defensive plays, highlighted by a staggering, over-the-shoulder catch of a bloop to the edge of the outfield grass that ended the sixth inning.
“That play was unbelievable,” Brattvet said. “I love Mylz. And he’s only a freshman. Imagine how good he’s going to be when he gets more experience.”
Brockmeyer had two singles and a sacrifice fly in the second game. Tyler Shryock added three singles and a walk.
Hofstra had a four-run fourth that was the difference in Game 2. The inning featured three singles, two walks and a double steal.