Renegade baseball looks for strong start as season nears

Mohamed Bafakih, Reporter


It has been 20 years since the arrival of Bakersfield College’s head baseball coach, Tim Painton.

Looking back, Painton reflected on his family as to why he decided to continue residing in Bakersfield instead of possibly going back to coaching at the upper level as he did for 10 years as an assistant with Fresno State.

“When I came to Bakersfield College, initially my thought was I would be here for a couple years and bounce back out to that level, but more than anything else, family decisions were more important than baseball decisions,” said Painton.

Under Painton, the Renegade baseball program has reached the playoffs eight times, advanced to the Super Regionals three times, and even hosted the Regionals in 2006 – a first in the school’s long history – all while moving on 90-percent of his players to the next level, both four-year programs and MLB affiliations.

With a young, athletic team with depth in the dugout for the upcoming season, Painton and players are looking forward to taking the field.

“Our freshman position players may be the best recruiting class of freshman I’ve ever had,” he said. “I think we’re going to be an extremely and very, very good defensive ball-club.”

For a couple of sophomores, they’ve built their expectations high after many of them getting the start last season due to lack of depth.

Second-baseman Kyle Speaks mentioned, “I definitely think we have a lot of room for improvement. We didn’t have the greatest season up to our standards I guess you could say, but it starts with the leadership role down to working on the little things.”

BC finished 14-22 overall and 9-12 in conference (Western State – South) but six sophomores managed to find a home playing at the four-year level.

“This year we all have the same mindset, which is winning – and there’s nothing else besides,” said sophomore pitcher Allan Winans.

With many returners from last year’s cast and freshmen ready to compete for playing time, it’ll be interesting to see how the Renegades baseball club will stack up against opponents – particularly with conference rivals Canyons (11), LA Mission (14), and Glendale (17) – teams that received votes in the preseason top 20 baseball polls.

Bakersfield College baseball won’t open up their season until Jan. 29 vs. El Camino College at Gerry Collis Field, but expect big things from an across-the-board talented team this season in Painton’s 20th season.