Win streak sends BC to playoffs

Kyle Cortez, Reporter

The Bakersfield College baseball team finished the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, which allowed them to make the playoffs. The Renegades finished the regular season with a conference record of 16-5 and an overall record of 26-10, which included them winning 14 of their last 16 games.

BC only finished one game behind Glendale College for first place in the WSC-South Division.

“We have won games many different ways, but our starting pitching has been really good since spring break and our defense has been exceptional,” said head coach Tim Painton.

The Renegades are heading to the playoffs, but they will be on the road. Many people thought that BC would get a home playoff game, but BC is the ninth-seed and will be playing the eighth-seeded Long Beach City College on May 6.

“We finished the regular season as the No. 6 team in RPI (Rating Percentage Index). RPI is really the most important (only) criteria for establishing seeding for playoffs,” said Painton. “All six conference champions must be placed in a top eight spot to host. Three conference champions were below us in RPI. Cuesta was 8, Chaffey was 10, and Long Beach was 13. Cuesta moved up to 6, Chaffey to 7, and Long Beach to 8, which pushed us to #9. Don’t have to like it, but that is the way it is.”

The Renegades were one of just 13 teams in the entire state to win 26 games or more, and one of just six in the Southern Region.

“We’re 26-10, and not many teams in the state won 26. We’ve been very good on the road. I’m happy because at one point not long ago, we weren’t sure we’d be in the postseason, and we had our backs against the wall for the last few weeks, but the team responded,” said Painton.

“I feel like this conference is the deepest it’s been in my 21 years at BC, and the entire South is very competitive. I can’t even begin to count how many big leaguers have come out of this division and conference,” said Painton.

Painton believes that their tough conference schedule has helped them prepare for the playoffs.

“We are confident going into the postseason. Our body of work this season and how we have played down the stretch breeds confidence. We also played arguably the toughest non-conference schedule in the South. We have prepared all season for postseason play,” said Painton.

“This team has certainly gelled. Not all of us are best friends, but we tug on the same end of the rope and that’s why we are playing in the postseason,” said Painton.

BC had 10 players earn post-season accolades. Outfielder Brooks Douglass and starting pitcher Monty Stevens were both named 1st Team All-Conference. Infielders Kyle James and Harrison Smith, outfielder Hanz Harker, designated hitter Brock Hallum, and starting pitchers Hudson Hartley and Austin Toerner were named 2nd Team All-Conference.

Catcher Jacob Herrera, infielder Luis Martinez, and outfielder Jassen Oliver were all Honorable Mentions.