‘Gades slide into season

Leanne Cave

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The Bakersfield College baseball team begins every season with the high expectations of winning a championship.

At this point, the Renegades are struggling with a losing overall record of nine wins and 10 losses and a Western State Conference record of 1-5.

BC still has a chance to accomplish its season goal.

“We have a long way to go,” said head coach Tim Painton. “We have 20 conference games left and we are in a slump right now.”

BC did well against some very good teams in the BC Light Brigade Tournament, but inconsistency has been a weak point for the ‘Gades as of late as they have played poorly in the last three games.

This was evident as Citrus came to Gerry Collis Field and beat BC 10-4, leading 5-1 at the end of the second inning. The ‘Gades could never overcome the deficit as they allowed the Owls 21 hits in the game. Things didn’t get any better for BC in a two-game series against Los Angeles Pierce.

The ‘Gades were dealt back-to-back shutouts by Pierce 10-0 on March 9 and 9-0 on Tuesday.

With a lot of youth on the team, playing together may be the key to turning the season around. Outfielder and designated hitter Tyler Criner said that the ‘Gades can get back on the winning side.

“We just need to gel as a team and play together,” Criner said.

According to Painton, if the ‘Gades are to have a winning season, they will need to turn it around with one of its strong points: pitching.

“Sean Sorrow, right hander, is someone we really count on,” Painton said. “He has a winning percentage after eight games.”

The ‘Gades have a good mixture of returning players along with some talented freshmen. Six freshmen start for BC, three play in the infield.

Shaine Jensen, sophomore all-conference player from last season, has been a positive note.

“He has been the most productive hitter so far this season,” Painton said.

Another positive for BC is that center fielder Sean Alexander, sophomore, the team’s Most Valuable Player last season, has returned to the lineup after a hamstring injury.

“We’re in a skid right now,” Alexander said. “We haven’t been playing as well as we should be as a team.”

Thursday will provide the next test for the ‘Gades as they face College of the Canyons at 2 p.m. at Gerry Collis Field.

“We have beaten some of the top teams,” Painton said. “We are capable of winning a lot of games.”