Bakersfield, California – The Roadrunners return home to Hardt Field and attempt to upgrade the ship in a four-game series against Big West leader UC Irvine that begins at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon. CSU Bakersfield is currently in fourth place in the league placement after losing three-four at Long Beach State a weekend ago. Sitting seven games behind UCI in the conference championship race, the ‘Runners are looking for a big streak to get back into the competition.
CSUB has received great pitching in the last two series, especially from the bullpen, allowing only 21 earned runs over 71 innings against Cal Poly and Long Beach State. That’s good for a earned run average of 2.66 over the team’s last eight games.
Bakersfield Reliefs have been even stingier, throwing 34.1 innings in the past two weekends, allowing only seven earned runs and an ERA of 1.83. The pen has achieved four victories and three saves during this time.
Appetizers Aaron Charles (3.13) and Roman Angelo (3.28) ranked among the top 10 in the conference for the entire ERA. Both started against the dirtbags in the sixth inning.
The employees of `Runner will be put to the test again this weekend, against the top offensive in the Big West.
After a record series performance against Cal Poly, the CSUB bats have been calm in four games in Long Beach state. Bakersfield has to recover within the friendly confines of Hardt Field against a UCI employee who finished third in the league with a 3.84 ERA in the conference game.
Senior Tyler Jorgensen continues to lead the Runners, with a team high of 0.362 and 50 goals in 35 games this season.
Evan Berkey ranks among the top 10 in the Big West in terms of batting average (.360, 7th), base percentage (.463, 4th) and slugging percentage (.559, 7th).
But it is Nick Salas He has been CSUB’s hottest batsman lately with at least one base goal in 18 of his last 19 games. He’s increased his season average to 0.290, the third best at the club.
Jacen Roberson leads the ‘Runners’ with six home runs, most of them by a CSUB baseball player since the 2014 season.
The `Runners and Anteaters have played against each other 20 times, with UCI having a 16-4 advantage on the series. However, CSUB has won each of the last two games between the two teams.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine goes into the weekend winners of seven consecutive races. The Anteaters swept UC Riverside last weekend to bring their overall record to 30-15 and 22-7 in conference play.
UCI’s best offense is cited by Jacob Castro (.350 AVG.), Nathan Church (.341) and Mike Peabody (.333). Church and Peabody offer 28 and 20 extra base hits, respectively, with Peabody comprising a total of seven home runs.
Junior catcher Dillon Tatum adds the best 12 home runs in just 98 for bats for the anteaters.
Under her belt, Irvine is led by a deep bullpen and four starters who have made at least 10 starts this season in Michael Frias, Nick Pinto, Peter Van Loon and Trenton Denholm.
Frias leads the starters with an ERA of 2.30 and has been named Big West Pitcher of the Week twice this season.
Jacob King leads UCI out of the pen with a 32.2 IP and has rallied six saves to go with a 2.20 ERA.
CSU Bakersfield’s bullpen has been exceptional in the last eight games. In two series against Cal Poly and Long Beach State, Roadrunner aides allowed only seven deserved runs in 34.1 innings, which equates to a 1.83 ERA. The Bullpen team has scored four wins and made three saves in that time.
The weekend’s opponent, UC Irvine, is taking part in several NCAA polls, including ranked 20th in the DI baseball poll. CSUB welcomes a senior opponent from Hardt Field for the first time since April 22, 2019, when the # 6 UC Santa Barbara (4-1 Loss) runners hosted. The team’s last win against a high-ranking opponent came on March 6, 2018 in the form of a 4-0 win over UNLV.
Three roadrunner hurlers chase 100 career strikes. Junior right handed Roman Angelo is about to join the CSUB Century Club with 97 strikes in 124.0 IP. The batting average of his .227 career opponents also remains the best in program history.
senior citizens Aaron Charles and Kind of joven Both start the weekend with 89 career influences.
A weekend ago, Tyler Jorgensen made the 100th start of his Bakersfield career in the second game in Long Beach state. He has now started 103 games in more than two seasons as a “runner” with 129 hits and a career stroke average of 0.336. Jorgensen has also posted multiple base hits in 40 (39%) of his 103 starts.
SLAM THE DOOR
The ‘Runners lost a late lead for the first time this season in the series finale with Long Beach State, which shows how dominant CSUB has been in the late innings of this season. Bakersfield is now 18-1 if he leads after eight innings in 2021. The team lost only three times when they scored a lead or a tie in the seventh inning and outperformed opponents in 22 runs in the 7th, 8th and 9th of this year.
The `Runners lost a streak for the third time in 2021 when the three of four fell against the Dirtbags. On both previous occasions, Bakersfield rallied to win or split the next streak.
The series from Cal Poly gave head coaches Jeremy Beard The four wins it took to get 100 wins in his tenure as head coach at CSU Bakersfield. Beard has coached the ‘Runners since the start of the 2017 season, averaging more than 25 wins in his first three seasons at Bakersfield. He has 23 more wins in the last two short COVID campaigns.
BACK TO BACK
Cody Holtz and Evan Berkey scored consecutive home runs in the fifth inning of the series finals against the Mustangs. It was the first time since the program’s inaugural season in 2009 that Stuart Smith and Martin Media shot the trick of CSUB hitters following one another.
COME BACK CHILDREN
The Roadrunners have come from behind all season, taking eleven wins when their opponent first scored, nine in Big West and seven times when they fell behind in the 6th inning or later.
Roman Angelos The .227 career opponent’s batting average is the best in school history, .024 points ahead of James Barragan’s standard of .251.
Just like riding a bike
Sophomore Jacen Roberson He hit the first cycle in the history of the CSUB program when he finished the third game against UC Davis 4-5 with three runs scored and six RBI. Roberson doubled in the first inning, scored a Grand Slam home run in the second, tripled in the sixth and singled out in the eighth to make history. The native Bakersfield drove in the GW RBI in both CSUB victories against UC Davis.
WILD, WILD WEST
The 2021 season marks CSUB’s first as a member of the Big West Conference, one of the elite leagues in all of college baseball. The ‘Runners are currently 11-5 in conference play, sitting in third place behind UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara, despite being picked as the last dead before the season.
THEY COME FROM THE COUNTRY BELOW
Freshmen Jack Lee and Jo Stevens are the first non-North American student-athletes to qualify for CSUB Baseball. Lee and Stevens are from Australia, where they were teammates on the country’s 2019 U-18 WBSC team.
Outfielder Damian Henderson signed with the Cincinnati Reds after a stellar 2020 season at Bakersfield, becoming the 23rd roadrunner to sign a professional contract after his college career and the third free agent in the program’s 12-year history.
Seniors in their fifth year Noah Cordova (Environmental Resource Management) and Eric Charles (Kinesiology) and true senior Kenny Johnson (Psychology) everyone is working on master’s degrees this semester.
LOCAL BOYS DO WELL
Eight road runners are from Bakersfield and represent six local high schools, including Stockdale’s Cory Blackburn and Eli Brum. Newcomers Kind of joven and Nick Salas Everyone visited Highland but didn’t play together. Additionally, Roman Angelo (Bakersfield Christian), Aaron Charles (Ridgeview), Jacen Roberson (Garces Memorial), Kobe Silva (Frontier) are all local products.
Limited fans are now welcome to Hardt Field for all CSUB home games. Each student-athlete will receive two passes for family and friends on match day, while a small number of CSUB student tickets are available through a reservation request system on GoRunners.com. Currently, the general admission ticket is not directly accessible to the public.
While attendance at CSUB home games remains limited this season, the Bakersfield community has kept Hardt Field mentally sold out, purchasing more than 800 fan clippings to be displayed in Hardt Field’s stands this season.
WATCH & LISTEN
All Roadrunner home games are broadcast live on local radio (101.1 FM / 1230 AM) and are available at www.bakersfieldespn.com. In addition, all CSUB home competitions are streamed live on WATCHESPN and the ESPN app.