Painton, BC baseball look for consistency during April


Elias C. Ahumada

Freshman outfielder Brooks Douglass (5) slides home for the Renegades after Hanz Harker's hit against Saddleback.

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports Editor

The Bakersfield College baseball team has yet to remain consistent in the season. Prior to the second and final meeting on the road against Glendale (14-13 overall, 10-2 WSC South) on April 7, the Renegades (11-16, 5-7 WSC South) haven’t had an overall record of .500 or better since Feb. 6.

As for conference play, the Renegades began 4-4 but dropped two of their last three conference games leaving them at 5-7 in the Western State South Conference.

“We’ve been inconsistent for three months… if we can find some consistency over the next three weeks we’ll be okay,” head coach Tim Painton said.

With an Easter Classic Tournament over Easter weekend, this was an opportunity for BC to claim Central Valley bragging rights and even a chance to upset SoCal 11th ranked Saddleback without worrying about conference opponents – not to mention snapping a two-game losing skid.

The Renegades began the tournament against College of the Sequoias (14-12) on March 31, a team who Bakersfield got a glimpse of early in the season when the Giants went on to beat the Renegades 11-3 at home on Feb. 13.

It was nearly a similar score again this time but with the runs in favor of Bakersfield. BC put up seven of their 11 total runs in the third inning alone and behind sophomore pitcher Joe Bresson (2-5), BC gave up just one run to the Giants. Bresson pitched all nine innings and finished with seven strikeouts.

On April 1, the Renegades faced another Central Valley foe, the Tigers of Reedley College. Reedley (10-16) came in looking for a tournament win of their own after dropping to Saddleback 13-7 the day before.

Bakersfield had other plans, however. The hitting came in at the right time, and it only took one right-hand BC pitcher again to hold Reedley off. Sophomore pitcher Christian Sinnott (3-1) managed to retire seven of the last eight batters faced en route to a nine-hitter.

“This was the best game he [Sinnott] pitched in two years for us,” Painton stated.

Freshman catcher Jacob Herrera put the game away in the seventh as his two-run single brought in Hanz Harker and Kaidan Meadows giving BC their first back-to-back wins in almost a month and a 5-3 victory over Reedley.

Last but not least, the Renegades faced their toughest challenge of the weekend against Saddleback at Gerry Collis Field. Saddleback (18-10) combined for a total of 30 runs against Reedley (13) and Sequoias (17) over the weekend.

The Gauchos jumped out to an early 3-0 lead through four innings but Bakersfield’s Brooks Douglass doubled down the infield line in the bottom of the fifth allowing outfielder Josh Stone to score. Shortly after, Douglass reached home after freshman Hanz Harker singled to right field cutting the Gauchos lead to 3-2.

The next series for Saddleback however sealed it as University of North Carolina-Asheville transfer Jack Kaloogian singled to first, but a BC error forced Kaloogian to advance to second and two Saddleback runners to score.

Although Allan Winans (1-6) struck out eight runners, his five runs were just too much as Saddleback finished the weekend 3-0 with a 5-3 victory over the Renegades.

After Glendale, Bakersfield will continue WSC South play and make a run for the postseason at Antelope Valley on April 11 then return home to face West L.A. on April 14 (6 p.m.) before their final meeting at West LA on April 16.

“We get to .500 and somehow hurdle a couple teams that are a game or two ahead of us then we’re where we need to be,” Painton said.