Baseball team hopes win signals change of fortune

Sam L. Jaime, Sports Editor

Home games have posed significant issues for Bakersfield College baseball through this point in the season. Through nine games played at Gerry Collis Field, the Renegades have been forced to delay or postpone six, resulting in three doubleheaders. “The weather hasn’t helped, that’s why we played 14 games in 21 days. You know, for us, playing a home game hasn’t been easy. We out here pumping water [off the field] before the sun came up the other day. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the way it is,” said head coach Tim Painton.

Responsible for maintaining field conditions, players arrive earlier for home games than they would for away games, a task that proves daunting when dealing with the remnants of foul weather. “People don’t see that, they see the results of the game, and they don’t realize our guys have been out here six hours prior to that, working on a field to try and play,” said Painton.

Throughout this unusual start to the season, the Renegades have posted a record of 5-11, have won only a single game at home, and withstood a sevengame losing streak before opening conference play against LA Mission with a 5-3 victory on Feb. 25.  “Baseball, probably more than any other sport is a game of momentum, simply because we’ve played 14 games in 21 days, and there isn’t another sport that does that. So, momentum can be a positive, or it can be a negative; and once we started kind of a downhill slide, you don’t really have a chance to fix things. You’re right back on the field the next day,” said Painton.

During the seven-game slide, the Renegades were outscored 59-15. Despite 33 of those 59 opposing runs being scored over just two games, cold bats seemed to plague BC hitters. “Offensively, we haven’t been very good up to this point. I believe we have lost five one-run games and four two-run games out of ten ballgames. Taking that, we’ve done a good enough job on the mound, we just have to get some offense going,” said Painton.

“We’ve just been inconsistent up and down there have been players who’ve played well in spots, but it’s a long season and for us its simply about trying to fix what’s broken. And when the wheels fall off the cart like they have for us the past few weeks, physical things become mental things, and that’s where we are at right not as a club.”

As the weather is expected to warm and stabilize as the season progresses, Painton expects a sense of normalcy to return. “I think as the schedule starts getting into a routine, and you get into the routine of playing three times a week, there’s always a day in between, and a chance to catch your breath a little bit,” he said.

“All it takes is a win or two to get back to feeling good about ourselves. So, a win would do more for us than any adjustment or anything we could do physically on the field,” Painton said before the Renegades streak-snapping victory.

The team opens March 1 on the road against Glendale at 6 p.m., but return home to Gerry Collis Field on March 4 to face West LA at 6 p.m.