BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield evened the Western Athletic Conference baseball series against Seattle U Saturday night, using a five-run seventh to rally for a 7-5 final at Hardt Field in Bakersfield, Calif.
The 'Runners (14-14, 2-3 WAC) took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning, but it was all Redhawks (6-18, 2-3 WAC) through the remainder of the middle innings as they built a 5-1 advantage.
Gavin Rork was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second, effectively tying the game, 1-1. In the fourth, Justin Mazzone led off with a single and later score on a Jake Taylor ground out. Rork would be credited with his second RBI when Austin Lively scored on his fielder's choice hit to second.
The Redhawks added two more runs in the fifth as Mazzone knocked two in on a single through the right side.
Seattle U starter Jarrod Billig kept the CSUB offense silent, as he scattered six hits while fanning three in 5.2 innings of work. After surrendering a pair of walks and a hit in the sixth, he gave way to Josh Thompson, who allowed one run to score before closing out the inning with a strikeout.
"Jarrod Billig was outstanding tonight," said Head Coach Donny Harrel. "He gave us a quality start and its sad that we could not play clean baseball to secure him the win. We simply gave the game away in the seventh with routine mistakes by not taking care of the baseball and throwing strikes."
Leading 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the wheels fell off for the Redhawks as CSUB took the lead by scoring five times in a frame that included two hits, two fielding errors, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit by pitch.
Seattle U could get nothing going against the 'Runners' Davonte Butler, who struck out five and allowed just two hits in the final 4.2 innings.
"We knocked CSUB's starter out for the second straight night before the fifth, but need to do a better job on offense as well to continue to separate against opposing team's bullpens," Harrel said. "We can still win the series tomorrow and that's what we need to do on the road to be a contender in the end."
The Redhawks and 'Runners conclude their three-game series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. at Hardt Field.