The Bakersfield College baseball team had its lead in the Western State Conference-South cut down to one game as the result of a 11-10, 10-inning loss at the hands of second place LA Pierce College on Thursday. The two teams traded the lead six times before the visiting Brahmas were finally able to close things out and end the Renegades' six-game winning streak. BC led 7-3 after six innings and 9-8 after eight. But each time LA Pierce (18-16, 12-5 WSC-South)fought back and evened the score before eventually pulling ahead with two runs in the 10th inning. Down 11-9 with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, the Renegades (19-18, 13-4 WSC-South) came 90 feet from tying things after a single by Ryan Darbee and RBI triple by Brycin Hernandez. However, BC failed to get Hernandez home as Brahmas reliever Barret Vonderau retired Joe Pineda on a grounder to shortstop to end the game.
"There was meaning to this game for both teams," BC coach Tim Painton said. "Both teams are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. I thought both teams competed very hard for all 10 innings."
Vonderau (4-0) was awarded the win after allowing one run in 2 2/3 innings pitched. BC relief pitcher Frankie Villasenor (3-3) was saddled with the loss. The 5-foot-10 right-hander surrendered four runs on five hits during his 3 2/3 innings on the mound. Renegades starting pitcher Lane Cowan hurled 6 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and three walks. He left the game after giving up a seventh inning, game-tying, grand slam to Brandon Lewis. Lewis, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning, later tied the game up in the ninth with a solo shot, his 14th home run of the season.
"He's the most advanced hitter I've ever seen in (my) 23 years of junior college baseball," Painton said. "That's how good he is…He's a very special hitter that can do special things. He stepped up and he was the difference in this game."
The Renegades out-hit LA Pierce 16-14. Hernandez (3 for 4, 2 RBI, 1 run), Luke Lewis (3 for 5, 3 RBI), and Darbee (3 for 6, 2 runs, 1 RBI) led the BC hit parade.
Despite plating 10 runs, the Renegades left 12 runners on base, nine of them in scoring position. The Brahmas left seven runners on base, four in scoring position.
"I thought we had a pretty good offensive day," Painton said. "Ten runs are enough to win most ballgames. You had two teams that had something on the line today, and both teams came out and scratched and clawed. It ends up being an extra-inning game. It would have been easy to roll over down 11-9 in the 10th inning. We didn't. We ended up scoring a run there and got the tying run 90 feet away…We just came up short."
Thursday's game marked the final regular season meeting between BC and LA Pierce. BC won the season series three games to two so it holds the advantage should the two teams finished tied atop the final conference standings.
Both teams have three WSC-South games remaining.
The Renegades next game is on Saturday at LA Mission College. First pitch is scheduled for noon.