BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—Junior Felix posted a pair of doubles that drove in four CSU Bakersfield runs as the Roadrunners defeated UC Irvine 5-4 Tuesday night at Hardt Field. The victory marked the first time that CSUB has defeated UCI twice in the same season since the all-time series began in 2010.
“Defeating UCI twice in the same season is an impressive feat for this program,” said CSUB interim head coach Jeremy Beard.
Christian Koss singled to begin the UC Irvine (16-26) third and moved to second on a Roadrunner error. Devin Pettengill's grounder to short was deep enough in the hole to advance Koss to third. Alex Guenette's sac fly scored Koss for an unearned run.
Ryan Grotjohn led off the CSUB fifth with a double. With one out, Sergio Robles' reached on an infield single. With the hit and run on, doubled to the right center field gap which allowed both runners to score. Mark Pena came up next and singled through the left side to give CSUB runners on the corners. Ryan Johnston relieved Jake Spear to face Jake Ortega. Pena stole second which forced the Anteaters to bring in the infield. Johnston struck out Ortega looking for the second out. Andrew Penner popped out to short to end the inning.
Kenny Johnson, the CSUB starter, hit Mikey Duarte to open the UCI sixth. Adam Alcantara walked which resulted in Garrett Nimmo coming on in relief. Parker Koss grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Duarte was able to reach third. Ryan Fitzpatrick tied it up with a single to right center. Nimmo got Koss to fly out to right to keep the score tied.
“Kenny did a nice job in his first start,” said Beard. “He competed well and made some pitches. The NImmo ground ball double play was a big play in that inning.”
David Metzgar extended his hitting streak to 23 with a triple to lead off the CSUB sixth. After Max Carter was hit by a Johnston pitch, Grotjohn's sac fly to left drove in Metzgar for a 3-2 CSUB lead. Mahlik Jones singled up the middle. Robles flew out to right that advanced Carter to third. Felix doubled to the left center gap to drive in two Carter and Jones. Pena's liner to first was the third out.
Keston Hiura's hit a two-out, two-run opposite field home run to right to make it a 5-4 game in the seventh. Isaiah Moten relieved Nimmo to start the eighth. After getting the first two outs, Fitzpatrick reached on an infield single. Pinch runner Jake Hazard stole second. Moten would strike out Koss to quiet the Anteater threat.
Naithen Dewsnap came on in the ninth looking for his 11th save. Pettengill nearly beat out a grounder to short, but Grotjohn threw him out. Pinch hitter Dallin Lee struck out. Evan Cassolato grounded out to second; allowing Dewsnap to tie Martin Medina (2009-11) for the CSUB career saves record.
“Dewsnap again came in and did a great job to close it out,” Beard said. “That was a team win for us,” Beard said. “We did a lot of things well. Max did a nice job of making some picks at first base to help his other infielders out.”
Metzgar has now reached base in 37 consecutive games, the 10th longest such streak in Division I this season. Grotjohn tallied his 19th multi-hit game of the year as he went 2-for-4. Fitzpatrick had two of the six UC Irvine hits on the night. CSUB is now 4-16 lifetime against the Anteaters.
The Roadrunners (23-17, 8-7 WAC) open a three-game Western Athletic Conference series against Northern Colorado (16-24, 5-10 WAC) Friday night. Corey Costelloe's pre-game show on ESPN 1230 AM/98.1 FM begins at 5:45 p.m. Roadrunner Digital Network coverage gets underway at 6 p.m.